In his new book, the Numbers game, Alan Schwarz tells the story of a bowtied Baltimore gentleman, Earnshaw Cook, who published a book, Percentage Baseball, in 1964. Cook had a lot of harebrained ideas and he wasn't afraid to back them up with transcendental mathematical proofs. Here's one of them, as Schwarz summarizes it:
Sluggers should bat first. Games should be started by a "relief " pitcher who would leave for a pinch hitter at the first opportunity, followed by a "starting"-caliber pitcher who would then pitch four or five innings. All this, Cook claimed, would add a total of 250 runs and perhaps 25 wins to a team each season
The Expos will try this tomorrow. They'll lead off with Brad Wilkerson, the team's home run leader, and start former "closer" Rocky Biddle and follow him up with what's left of the bullpen. Good luck with that, Expos.
Kip Wells goes for the men in black and we'll show us what he's made of.