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How Do You Score This Game?

October 12, 2017

I love baseball. I’m what you would call a fanatic. Not just a fan, a true fanatic. Get me started and I turn into a complete and total bore. My passion in the Seattle Mariners. But, I’m a fan of the game in general.

The Cubs made a big deal about not having won the World Series in 108 years before winning it all last year. Did you know that Seattle is the only Major League Baseball team that has never sent a team to the World Series? Sure, the Washington Nationals haven’t been either, but back when the Texas Rangers were called the Washington Senators, and played in DC, they went to the Fall Classic.

So, sure the Cubs were 108 years without winning (only 71 years since they had been there and kicked a billy goat out of the game, thus invoking the curse of the goat) but I consider the Mariners have actually gone longer than the Cubs did.

Cubs: 108 years
Mariners: FOREVER!

Yeah, it’s that kind of stream of consciousness baseball trivia that gets me disinvited to parties.

As much as I love the game, there is one thing I cannot do. I never learned to score a baseball game. You might think that scoring the game is as simple as figuring out which team scored the most runs. It’s way more complex than that.

Billy Chapel: I lose. I’ve lost 134 times.
Jane Aubrey: You count them?
Billy Chapel: This is baseball. We count everything.

– “For Love Of The Game”

In baseball, everything gets counted. Not just ball and strikes, but batting averages, on base percentages, combination of on-base percentages and batting averages, runs, hits errors, numbers of pitches, wins over a replacement player, hitting percentages during day games at home with the stadium’s retractable roof extended.

If it happens in a baseball game, there’s a way to put it on the scorecard. By reading the scorecard, it’s possible to completely reconstruct the game. Ever wonder why when a pitcher strikes out a batter fans hold up the letter “K”? Because “K” is the designated letter for strikeout. That’s because “S” was already used. In fact, it’s used three times: Steal, Save and Sacrifice.

Yesterday the Chicago Cubs won the final game of the National League Division Championship series. It means they move on to National League Championship series. If they win that best of seven series they will be back in the World Series as the defending champions.

I was thinking about baseball last night. I had a maintenance activity that started at 11:30pm and went for several hours. I was planning to take off early this afternoon from work. Didn’t happen. I was there until about 4:00pm. And that was after getting into the office slightly later than my normal time around 8:00am.

Tuesday night we did several hours of maintenance as well. And Tuesday and Wednesday I worked full days.

I got an email from my boss today asking if I had taken any personal days in the past two weeks. Like I have for the past couple months I reported: None.

Now don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t. My job is demanding. I knew that when I took the gig. The fact that I’m still here after four years means that they must think I do a reasonable job. And I enjoy it. But, I do struggle with how to score the game.

My boss doesn’t set my hours. He only cares if I get my stuff done. In fact, he lives in Virginia and I live in Utah. We rarely see each other, although with email, phones and Skype, we “talk” multiple times per day. So, why did I work a full day and now am working half the night?

It’s because I decided it was important. And if you empower your employees typically they will give you more than you could reasonably expect by micro-management. So, I may not know how to score the game, but I’m pretty sure I’m winning!

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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