Why Would a Baseball Player Do That?

Ever get asked why a user would do that? Of course you do. You’ve already been asked that today.

Here’s a little story for you about why the ball player trying to steal third base ended up on first base:

This guy stole second. Then he tried to steal third but somehow wound up on first. Then he got thrown out trying to steal second again. All in a span of five pitches.

The result, as far as we’re concerned:

The part where a runner on second base finishes the next play on first base? It’s not possible to score that without crashing every computer in America.

“There’s no way to do that,” longtime official scorer and SABR historian David Vincent said Saturday. “Not covered in the rules. A runner on second base going to first base? That’s impossible.”

Now obviously it’s not “impossible,” because it really happened. But tell that to the computer programmers of America.

“All the computer software — none of it will handle that,” Vincent said. “You don’t run the bases [from] second to first. Any software that processes play-by-play won’t accept that.”

So because it’s theoretically impossible, the official box score of this game listed Segura as having been thrown out stealing third — even though he slid into second. Huh?

“That’s because the play-by-play listed him as staying at second base [because it couldn’t compute that he was actually on first],” Vincent said. “So then he had to be caught stealing third. But that never happened. So that has to get changed.”

Right. But that’s not all. The official box score and play-by-play also said that Braun got caught stealing second.

So why would a user do that? Because the user could do that. And just because someone has not done that does not mean someone will not do that in a strange set of circumstances you cannot anticipate now.

(Link via tweet linking to this article.)

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