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Predictable Unpredictability

Baseball’s so amazing. The confluence of predictability and unpredictability is so sharp and poignant in certain moments. Consider Jose Constanza, walking to the plate against LOOGY Tim Byrdak in the seventh inning, with his Braves down one run in their road opener. The Mets announcers would have you know the following things:

1) Constanza was the man who ended Daniel Murphy‘s 2011 season with a slide.
[Cut to Murphy’s face]
2) Byrdak had knee surgery just three weeks before.
[Cut to grimacing Byrdak]
3) Constanza hit .385 in 39 at bats against lefties last year, so Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has no qualms about leaving him in there.
[Cut to Fredi squatting and spitting seeds]
4) Michael Bourn, another lefty, is waiting in the on-deck circle.
[Cut to Bourn in the on-deck circle]

So, both visually and aurally, the scene is set for a dramatic moment for Constanza, correct? And yet, if you’d seen this swing before, you might have been predicting something like this all along.

Well, maybe not exactly that. But certainly something like that could have been predicted. And we’d feel worse about mocking the player for it, but from that walk of shame, Constanza knows what he did.