04 August 2008

And this is relevant how?

Today's big story: Jason Giambi shaved his moustache!

Wait... that's a big story how, exactly?

Well, obviously, it's a big story because when Giambi started to grow the moustache in May, he started hitting better - so now that he's gotten into a slump with the moustache attached to his face, the reasoning is that shaving it off will help him get out of the slump.

Of course, that reasoning makes no sense whatsoever.

I've never understood superstition. Stepping or not stepping on basepaths, tapping the corners of home plate with your bat, or... um... this (to go back to the Giambi theme) has no observable, quantifiable impact on performance.

My friends know that, despite a few quirks, I am a decidedly nonsuperstitious guy. When I'm going up to bat, I pick up a bat that has the right combination of length and weight, take a couple of practice swings, and then walk up to the plate. If I'm involved in a very casual game, I might imitate Julio Franco, Nomar Garciaparra, or Craig Counsell... but I digress.

What is the point of ritual? Why do any of these illogical, impractical things? I don't get it. It just doesn't make sense. The human mind searches for patterns where, often, there are none.

In the end, though, whether you shave your moustache or not, your performance will regress to something approaching your career mean.

Have a great night, y'all.

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