Friday, September 23, 2005

Baseball fans can be geeky too

Speaking of arguing about the semantics of limits, I had what boiled down to the same conversation with father about how to keep track of how many games ahead or behind one baseball team is from another. My father explained it to me, and, although he did teach me to keep track of team placement, I can’t remember exactly what my father said, I just know how understand it. For me, each game is worth one game, or point. The team that wins game gets half a point, and the team that loses the game loses half a point. That way, if two teams play each other, the one that winning team gains a whole game over the loser, which makes sense, and also allows for keeping track of teams that don’t play each other.

So when my father explained it to me, I thought about it, and told him how I understood it. He got all upset, and said, “No, it’s not like that.”

“But it works,” I said.

Again, just like my high school calculus teacher, he was stumped by this fact. He considered my technique, applying it to theoretical baseball teams, saw that it worked, and said, “Well, fine, it may work to keep track of team placement, but that’s not how it really works. The games aren’t worth ‘points,’ for one thing.”

“But the entire purpose is to keep track of placement, so if it works to keep track of placement, then it works, right?” I said.

“Look,” my dad told me. “I don’t care how you keep track in your head, just don’t tell people you are assigning ‘points’ like that, OK?”

“OK,” I said, rolling my eyes. And Baseball Cap Guy reacted in much the same way when I told him my team-tracking technique. So I guess it’s just not kosher. But for any of you out there who could never understand limits or baseball team standings before, try my way.

1 comment:

sis-in-law said...

Funny enough your brother and I had the same conversation... I use the same method you do which works wonderfully for me, as long as I don't mention it to him