I just wrapped up reading A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr, and let me tell you, it was a good one. Originally released in 1996, and later made into a movie starring John Travolta (which I have not yet seen, but will), the novel details the ground water contamination case of Woburn Massachusetts. It became a best seller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.
If you’re into legal thrillers (John Grisham, Scott Turow, etc) give this one a shot. I found it particularly interesting because it gives a ton of information about personal injury law, both procedural specifics and ideology, and since my company does work with several personal injury lawyers, I found that it gave me a new appreciation for the profession (although, I do realize that there is still a certain level of “ambulance chasing” that exists). Below are some reviews of the novel. Just let me know if you want to borrow it.
On April 22nd, 2012, Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez’s stat line looked like this:
.240 / 0 HR / 5 RBI
Now, 10 days later, it looks like this:
.310 / 7 HR / 23 RBI
This kind of hot streak is not unusual for CarGo. None-the-less, it leads one to wonder what he might be doing differently now than he was to start the season. To this question, anyone who as ever played a season of baseball at any level might respond with the explanation that he is not doing a damn thing differently, that this is just how hitting works. Sometimes you can’t get out, and other times hitting a foul ball feels like an accomplishment.
However, whether intentional or not, one difference in CarGo’s plate appearances since April 22nd is that he is seeing more pitches, and thus getting ahead in counts at a far greater percentage. This tells me that he is being more selective with the pitches he is swinging at. Hitting with a 2-0 or 2-1 count is much easier than the alternative, and those are the kinds of counts CarGo is seeing now, far more so than during the first couple weeks of the season. As a friend of mine would say, “the proof is in the pudding”, so let’s have a look at the numbers.