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Explain these dumb strategies to me (or maybe I'm the dumb one)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by ADifferentOkie, May 14, 2007.

  1. I get a laugh out of the strategies employed in the world of sports sometimes.
    For example, golf courses are "Tiger-proofed."
    Now, I'm not a golfer, so maybe I'm missing something, but the concept is to make the courses harder (tougher pin placement, deeper rough, longer holes, etc.), right?
    So how does that work against the best player(s)? Wouldn't it actually benefit those who have long drives, great putters, the ability to stay out of the rough/make the best of it when they get in the rough, etc.?
    On the subject of grass, what about teams letting the grass grow to try to slow down a speedy opponent? How does that benefit the home team, unless the slower team is somehow playing on shorter grass while the speedy visitors are stuck on the long stuff?
    Am I wrong on these things?
    What are some other commonly employed strategies that simply don't make sense?
    Can I ask more questions? Am I interviewing you all?
  2. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    A team loaded with sloth-footed line-drive/flyball hitters playing in a division with teams who boast jackrabbits (who rely on ground balls to get on base and then disrupt the pitcher) at the top of the order might consider letting the infield grass grow a little taller. The Padres might be that sort of team, I guess.

    I don't know what they do with their grass.

    However, I don't believe
  3. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    Opposite. A team with speedy guys, like Luis Castillo, may want the infield grass a little longer. It slows down weak ground balls and kills bunts and allows quick guys to get on base. Either that, or they play on turf, where the ball gets through quickly no matter what.

    And with the football grass question, it does make a little sense if the team playing on longer grass is built for it. Obviously, a team like the Chicago Bears, which relies more on short passes and the running game, isn't a real speed-oriented team. If they are playing a team like the Colts at home, it would be very beneficial for them to grow the grass a little longer. It slows down guys like Wayne and Harrison and makes it a little easier to stick with them because their cuts aren't as sharp.

    It's probably all bullshit. I think teams do stupid stuff just to have this psychological edge that gives them the thought that they did everything they could to win.

    The one I've never understood is pulling a righty/lefty who is throwing well just to match a righty/lefty with a righty/lefty hitter. I was at a minor league game yesterday and the manager did it, only to see the batter hit a home run on the first pitch. Baseball managers are the worst when it comes to out-thinking themselves.
  4. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    In soccer, a less-skilled team may use a higher cut of grass against a fast, skilled team because the higher grass will slow the ball down and 1) keep the ball closer to the less-skilled team when it's in possession; 2) prevent the fast, skilled team from using its speed when the ball does roll as far while dribbling.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Do you REALLY think that the PGA and the networks that televise golf events want courses that would keep the top players from competing week in and week out? What would the advantage be? Parity?

    Bottom line is that the players and equipment are so much better that they have to lengthen courses just to keep the scores from being in the negative 30s.
  6. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    "Bulletin Board Material"
  7. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Course managers are trying to protect par, not create parity. The better golfers will still have the advantage over other golfers simply because they're better golfers, but they lose their advantage against the course because their mistakes now cost them strokes.

    As far as Tiger-proofing goes, he hits his driver long, but it's probably the worst club in his bag (relatively speaking, of course). So if the course is longer, he's forced to use it more often and will hit out of the rough more often. Grow out the rough a bit more and he's going to lose a few strokes. Tiger's among the best at hitting creative shots when he's not in the fairway, so it's not as bad for him, but the idea is to keep him and other top golfers closer to par.

    Trimming the grass closer or growing it longer has clear benefits in baseball and soccer. In football, I don't think it makes as much of a difference because everyone is on the same track. However, it can help a team with a deep threat and a QB with a great arm because they can go for longer passes. The DBs won't be at any discernible disadvantage necessarily, but the speedy receiver can cover a longer distance in a shorter period of time, making for more big plays.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Just ask John Madden about Three Rivers Stadium.

    The legend has it that the Steelers watered the field outside the hashmarks so the Raiders, who ran sweeps, would not be able to run the ball when the water froze. The Steelers ran between the tackles so they were not affected as much.

    Madden loves Pittsburgh.

    Didn't the Celtics used to turn the AC off when showtime was in town?
  9. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I'm not sure they ever ran it.
  10. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    I understand that. But unless you're bringing in a guy with a Opp. Batting Average around .230 against a hitter with a similar average against a lefty/righty, it really serves no purpose to pull a pitcher who isn't struggling.

    The guy who was pitching last night was on fire, and though he was a middle reliever in his third inning, he wasn't struggling to get outs. The guy at bat was the 8th hitter and was hitting under .200 overall and had already been retired once by this pitcher. So why pull the guy?

    Baseball strategy, especially at the upper levels, is nuts. Managers adhere to the righty v. righty/lefty v. lefty logic, but they ignore obvious bunting, hit-and-run and other situations, particularly in the American League, where the DH makes any sort of strategy non-existent.

    No one is worse at this than Tony LaRussa. No one. His micromanaging pisses me off to no end, almost to the point where I hate watching StL games after the 5th inning.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I have often asked myself why they pull a pitcher at the end of an inning. Why does a guy get taken out if he is not letting runners on base? Why should a pitcher come out of the game if the go-ahead run isn't even on deck yet?

    I would let a guy pitch (if he is not tired or overworked) until he allows a baserunner. If that means the Hammer of God gets fewer saves or comes in with a runner on second with two outs for a 1/3 of an inning save then so be it.
  12. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    Like I said, Dev, it's all part of baseball managers out-thinking themselves. If something goes right for too long and baseball managers just have to sit on the bench looking fat, they feel like they have to do something to make themselves look useful.
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