Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baseball rules redux

posted by Todd T @ 9:35 AM

Last night's Red Sox - Blue Jays game featured a play that brought two little-used rules into play. I did not even know that one of them exists. The outcome of the game hinged on what happened, vs. what could have happened.

Down 2, the Sox had Gabe Kapler at first with Tony Graffanino at bat and two out. Graffanino hit a deep fly, and Kapler took off on contact. After he touched second, he realized the ball was out for a homer, and he slowed down, and somehow his achilles tendon snapped in the process. He was off base and unable to move at all, and here comes Graffanino towards second.

Luckily Graffanino was aware of events and stopped at second, thus avoiding passing the trapped Kapler on the basepaths and eliminating the tying run. There he waited to find out what the hell to do, which I would have wondered also.

What I did not know is that there is a rule specifically covering a runner who injures himself, dies, retires, is carried off by giant eagles or what have you, such that he cannot continue around the bases on a homer. His team is allowed to pinch run for him in the middle of the play, and that's what happened. Kapler was carried off to the discard pile, someone touched third and home in his place, and the Sox went on to win. I wonder when the last time this rule came into play was.

Dhalgren and New Orleans

posted by Todd T @ 8:45 AM

Here's a very good column comparing the two:

Thursday, September 08, 2005

New Blumlein

posted by Todd T @ 9:34 PM

Somewhat to my surprise, there's a new Michael Blumlein novel out:

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lois McMaster Bujold

posted by Todd T @ 8:31 AM

I decided I had to read a Lois McMaster Bujold novel, to see what all the fuss is about. She's won several Hugos for novels in the Vorkosigan series, and her panels at cons are packed with fawning fans. I read THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE, and it's space opera in the romantic tradition all the way. Well rendered, no sloppiness even though the plot races headlong and some could be got away with. The characters are memorable in a sort of Errol Flynny way, including many of the lesser ones. Miles Vorkosigan, the son of a general in a militaristic society, handicapped since birth and thus unable to take his intended place in the military academy, uses cleverness and bold bluffing to stumble through a series of hairy escapades and wind up the admiral of a hodgepodge but intensely loyal mercenary force - a crime punishable by death back home. And his father's political enemies are using this to try to bring down their old adversary for good. Oh, and he has to sacrifice his beloved's hand (not literally, this isn't Orson Scott Card) for honor. Speaking of maiming, even though it's here alongside plenty of death, torture and blaster shootouts, plus emotional suffering, the tone somehow seems to remain light and unthreatening. OK but nothing to run out and grab.