Baseball is a pointless, aimless, unfair, repetitive, and endless display of unpredictable failure. But if there’s any readership that snuggles up to the teats of defeat and feeds on its malevolent draught, it’s this one. Even separate from baseball, awareness of our ultimate irrelevance and propensity to fail miraculously and fantastically at whatever we do brings this readership pleasure, right? Maybe it’s just me. I love a good failure. I brim with glee when I heckle Cubs fans about what they’ve been up to since 1908 (and love, perhaps more, when they heckle back), or when I see an Olympic runner crying on the track as she falls on the final lap. It is pleasure I’m feeling, distinctly, and for me there’s nothing more like a guilty pleasure than the pleasure I experience at witnessing a complete disaster. Guilty or not, I love it.
Which is why it brings me immense pleasure to present to you COOL Game Scores. This endeavor is perhaps the clearest example of failure any of you will ever witness. It is a paragon of dumb joy in the face of catastrophe. It’s a number that is horrendously constructed, and whose purpose itself is pointless. Not only does it miss the point, the point it misses doesn’t exist. It’s like having Tofurkey that neither looks like turkey nor is it constituted of tofu. COOL is a total sham. It is literally nothing but space on a server. But like so many human pursuits, we grunt forwards, hoping somehow that something means anything. COOL, though, definitely means nothing.
COOL game scores are simple! Simple like Lennie in Of Mice and Men. They’re a confluence of poorly conceived factors getting together to drink Bud Light Limes. Low numbers are bad. High numbers are good. There are no surprises. The calculation itself will remain top secret until it is perfect. I mean, it’s perfect already, but later I may unveil a more perfect version of COOL game scores (possibly for the playoffs). All you need to know is that I accounted for the home ballpark, and also included a bonus factor: FLAIL. Ultimately it doesn’t matter how I calculated anything as long as it looks gooood, RIGHT BOYS? *clinks BL Lime can against 37” HD 1080p LED monitor*/*weeps into sleeve*
FLAIL attempts to approximate the pleasure one experiences when seeing a grown man in uniform perform a startling and dramatic full-body gesture. As in, umpires calling third strikes. The unbaseballèd love a gyrating man, especially when he comes out of nowhere. Ahem. So, looking at Deadspin’s collection of third strike calls by umpires, I rated their calls as 0=not interesting at all, 1=dramatic enough to be comment worthy, and 2=hysterical such that you are hoping for called third strikes at the expense of all else. Generally, I favored called third strikes where the umpire turned and performed his K-motion perpendicular to the sightline of the camera, such that we witness the profile of a masked man shadowboxing. There were, of course, many exceptions, but the ratings are, of course, infallible.
Ladies and gentlemen, but probably mainly gentlemen, below I present to you today’s COOL scores* for the first and possibly last time. Who knows. I’m kinda just blindly throwing ideas into the internet wind and seeing who I can make angry and/or laugh:
|Away Pitcher||Away Team||Pitcher COOL||Team COOL||Game Score||Team COOL||Pitcher COOL||Home Team||Home Pitcher||Umpire|
|Chris Sale||White Sox||7.41||0.57||5||2.36||9.08||Indians||Justin Masterson||J Hirschbeck(0)|
|Matt Harvey||Mets||7.39||9.41||6||-1.17||7.52||Marlins||Tom Koehler||R Drake (0)|
|James Shields||Royals||4.85||1.76||5||5.77||6.37||Twins||Scott Diamond||D Eddings (1)|
|Jordan Lyles||Astros||6.11||5.59||7||8.53||6.31||Orioles||Chris Tillman||D Iassogna (2)|
|Zeke Spruill||Diamondbacks||3.00||0.42||3||4.76||1.05||Rangers||Yu Darvish|
|Matt Cain||Giants||3.77||9.67||6||5.39||6.16||Phillies||Cole Hamels||B Dreckman (1)|
|Joe Kelly||Cardinals||6.00||7.31||8||5.87||3.00||Pirates||Charlie Morton||P Schrieber (1)|
|Felix Hernandez||Mariners||3.39||2.38||4||9.51||1.31||Red Sox||Ryan Dempster|
|Jerome “The Bus” Bettis||Rockies||10.00||2.59||6||5.58||4.87||Braves||Julio Teheran||M Hudson (2)|
|Ricky Nolasco||Dodgers||4.01||11.28||6||7.53||4.00||Cubs||Chris Rusin|
|Josh Johnson||Blue Jays||7.49||6.44||7||5.40||3.44||Angels||Garrett Richards|
Alright! A table sort of constructed like the NERD table! Minus the care and color. Does this table pass the smell test that all other COOL scores have so gloriously and pungently passed? Perhaps! Depending on who you’re talking to, asking someone to watch two guys named Zeke Spruill and Yu Darvish may either get you a blank stare or a judgmental giggle. Hard to say if either are positive. COOL certainly thinks it is not positive. Which is another way of saying negative.
The good thing is, it seems you have no excuse not to watch the tightly contested NL Central battle between STL and PIT. Not only will you witness Pittsburgh fail to regress, but you will also probably witness Paul Schreiber suddenly break the neck of Yadier Molina’s shadow. Win-Win!
Well, this has been fun. Good, solid, time-wasting fun. Like tickling yourself with a feather, plus hyperlinks. Yep. Just like that.
*I’ll be updating game scores with missing FLAILs as soon as their umpires are announced. It’s my understanding that umpire crews are not announced very far ahead of time, perhaps to avoid altering betting lines or some such nonsense. If any of you know of a place where umpire crew schedules are posted please correspond electronically with me at zachary.reynolds00 at gmail. I’m currently using: http://www.statfox.com/mlb/umpiremain.asp
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