The Edges of the World

Istanbulnight1 108Istanbul is a big city. Wikipedia confirms this observation in its description of the metropolis: “With a population of 13.9 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe and is among the largest cities in the world by population within city limits. Istanbul’s vast area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi) is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital. Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus — one of the world’s busiest waterways in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.”

On a day with the most perfect weather ever for a February in Turkey, I left my hotel in the late morning without the faintest idea where I was going and headed out into the sprawling mass that is Istanbul.
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More is Better Than Less.

Aroldis_Chapman_2010_(3)The Cincinatti Reds curious decision to keep superstar pitcher Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen for the foreseeable future is a curious one indeed. Now, I used curious twice in that sentence, but what I really want to convey here is just how mind-numbingly/earth-shatteringly stupid this decision is, and what better way to highlight such staggering ineptitude than to draw a parallel between lousy front-office management and repetitive, mildly lazy writing. Worse still, the Reds do not even use him properly as a relief pitcher!

We can infer how painfully overrated the closer is in baseball given that the main statistic associated with the role, the save, is perhaps the most misleading/useless statistic in baseball. The average closer in baseball throws around 70-80 innings in a full season. Of those, how many are stressful and deserving of a special accolade, namely the ‘save’? We can define stressful as a tie game, one-run game, seventh inning or later, in which the pitcher makes an appearance. Saves are a meaningless’statistic’, occasionally descriptive but more often misleading, since a save can be earned if a pitcher successfully records one out with a three-run lead. ‘Ending’ the game would be a significantly more accurate description than ‘saving’ in this scenario.
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