Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just Say It

One of my personal heroes, completely unrelated to forestry (other than the fact that the lumber needed for wooden bats which might not be the time-honored white ash for much longer) is Bill James.  James completely revolutionized the way people understand the game of baseball, simply by writing long enough and well enough about the stupidity surrounding so much of baseball's collective "wisdom."  As an example, James once wrote how mind numbingly stupid it is to rank baseball offenses based on batting average rather than on runs scored.  Isn't the goal to score the most runs?  This blindingly obvious observation led to today's understanding and appreciation of on base and slugging percentages as the more accurate pieces of data from which to analyze a player's impact on his team's ability to score runs. Only took 140 years of playing baseball to get there.  I think it's all the chewing tobacco.

In my own little way I have been writing about tree tubes for more than 21 years.  Hopefully I have learned something from Bill James.  Just say it.  And: the blindingly obvious is always worth stating emphatically since it's probably being ignored.

My hope - my dream - is to have to be a small part of revolutionizing the way we plant trees (e.g. so that they actually live and go on to live long lives) in this country. 

It's not much of a dream compared to making the blindingly obvious observation that the sacrifice bunt is the most self-defeating idea ever, but it's something... that I can hang my cap on.

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