Sunday, April 11, 2004
Who Says Scholars Are Humorless?
Leslie A. Johnson, "Settled Insanity Is Not a Defense: Has the Colorado Supreme Court Gone Crazy?" University of Kansas Law Review 43 (October 1994): 259. Ian M. Rose, "Barring Foreigners from Our Airwaves: An Anachronistic Pothole on the Global Information Highway," Columbia Law Review 95 (June 1995): 1188. William Ewald, "Comparative Jurisprudence (I): What Was It Like to Try a Rat?" University of Pennsylvania Law Review 143 (June 1995): 1889. Grantland M. Clapacs, "'When in Nome . . .': Custom, Culture and the Objective Standard in Alaskan Adverse Possession Law," Alaska Law Review 11 (December 1994): 301. Kent D. Streseman, "Headshrinkers, Manmunghers, Moneygrubbers, Nuts and Sluts: Reexamining Compelled Mental Examinations in Sexual Harassment Actions Under the Civil Rights Act of 1991," Cornell Law Review 80 (May 1995): 1268. posted by Keith Burgess-Jackson 4/11/2004 07:21:21 PM The 1984 Detroit Tigers Steve Stone, who played Major League baseball for many years, is an announcer for the Chicago Cubs. During today’s game, which I watched on WGN, he perpetuated a myth about the 1984 Detroit Tigers that I want to destroy. Stone said that the 1984 Tigers were the only team to have won a divisional title in the first forty games of a season. (Teams play 162 games.) The Tigers began the 1984 season an incredible 35-5, which is a winning percentage of 87.5. It’s hard enough to win seven of eight games. The Tigers did that for five consecutive eight-game blocs! So far, I have no gripe. But Stone then added that the Tigers played “.500 ball the rest of the way.” In other words, they lost as many games as they won. This is not even close to being the case. The Tigers finished the 1984 season 104-58, which is a winning percentage of 64.1. If you do the subtraction, you find that the Tigers were 69-53 for the final 122 games of the season. That’s a winning percentage of 56.5. A team that won 56.5% of its games for an entire season would win 91.6 games. Sometimes that’s enough to win a divisional title! Contrary to Stone’s suggestion, the Tigers played superb baseball all season. Their season didn’t go from miraculous to mediocre; it went from miraculous to magnificent. And it didn’t end with the regular season, either. They swept the Kansas City Royals in three games in the American League Championship Series and defeated the San Diego Padres in five games in the World Series. Fittingly, they won seven of eight postseason games to match their early-season pace. Here’s a summary of the season: 35-5 (87.5%) (first forty games) 69-53 (56.5%) (remaining 122 games) 104-58 (64.1%) (regular-season total) 111-59 (65.2%) (regular season plus postseason) Don’t mess with my Tigers. It’s been twenty years since they won a World Series. Twenty years makes a man ornery. Ambrose Bierce Sheriff, n. In America the chief executive officer of a county, whose most characteristic duties, in some of the Western and Southern States, are the catching and hanging of rogues. (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, c. 1911)