Follow Up To Friday Two Cents: Statistics Who Do You Think Will Win


twoCentsOldNew

Well on Monday we had the championship game for the softball league at the school. I was a little concerned about the weather but thankfully it did not rain until after the game. The game itself was extremely enjoyable and at time nerve-racking.

Let me set the picture for you. Both teams are lined up along the base lines in what I call a learning circle. We begin with the Canadian National anthem and after I gave some last-minute words of encouragement. The Dolphins have home field advantage and they take the field to warm-up and throw the ball around. We play slow-pitch with your own team pitching to you with four pitches maximum. The Lions are up to bat and begin their routine with their pitcher warming up as well.

 

National Anthem and Learning Circle

National Anthem and Learning Circle

Once the warm ups are done the balls are brought in and I (being the home plate umpire) call out “Play ball!!” The Lions strike first and bring in a run and at the end of the top of the 1st inning it is 1 – 0 Lions. The teams switch places and the Dolphins are up to bat. They rally back and at the end of the 1st it is tied up 1 – 1.

The Lions are up to bat again getting two players into scoring position but with a pop fly in the infield, a strikeout and a grounder to first the two runners are stranded on base. The Dolphins come up to bat and begin with two singles to have runners on the corners. The next batter hits a line drive past short and the runner is safe on first with the leading run coming into score. After a pop fly in the infield to end the treat the Dolphins leave two runners on base but cash in a run to take the lead after 2 innings 2 – 1.

With the game being four innings long the close nature of the game is beginning to show signs of nervousness among the spectators (parents and family members) cheering for their team. Despite the growing anxiety, the players are focused and eager to play. The Lions are up to bat in the top of the 3rd but 5 batters later they leave two more players on base. The final out of the inning was very close call at first where the three umpires had to discuss the play and after a short conversation, they called the runner out at first.

In the bottom of the 3rd the Dolphin’s first batter struck out but the following batters made multiple singles and doubles to score 6 runs before the end of the inning.

Now we come to the top of the 4th inning, the final inning with the score 8 – 1 in favor for the Dolphins. The Lions are up against the wall, they need 7 runs or more to force the Dolphins to play the bottom of the inning or else the game is over. The Lions are cool and collected like seasoned professionals. They cheer on their teammate and it works, with a mighty swing he hits a double. The next batter is up and is ready to continue the rally. She fouls several times but with the four-pitch rule is called out after four. The next batter come to the plate and hits the ball up the middle and is called out at first but the runner at second speeds around third and scores a run. The score is 8 – 2 for the Dolphins with 2 outs.

The next batter comes up and takes his place at the plate. He hits a mighty blow into centre field and the outfielder runs it down. But the runner is fast, too fast. He tags first but over shoots second and the second base umpire calls that he did not touch the base. The team is yelling for him to return to tag up second while he is approaching third. He quickly stops and returns to second, tags up and proceeds to third. He makes it safely to third but if he had touched the base earlier he would have had a home run and not a triple. But in the end it would not of mattered in the score as the next batter hits up the middle and is thrown out at first to end the rally. The Dolphins win their first baseball Champions ever with a convincing 8 – 2 victory.

Dolphins 2014 Champions

Dolphins 2014 Champions

In the end the true winner were the spectators, myself included. I have been running the baseball program for 5 years and I can tell you that this final was by far the most nerve-racking, enjoyable, heart pumping game. I loved every minute of the game and the reactions of the children and parents.

Going back to the statistics the Dolphins, on paper were the better team, but that does not count for everything. The majority of the children said that the Dolphins would win the game and in statistical fashion out of 60 children and adults asked, 63.3% thought the Dolphins would win, 26.7% thought the Lions would win with 10 % not sure. But from the faces of the children and spectators, 100% of them had fun. And that number, in the end, is what really counts.

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