Switch Pitching

June 9, 2007

Many great players have been switch hitters. Pete Rose, Mickey Mantle, and Mike Schmidt are just a few who could hit effectively from both sides of the plate. Switch hitting is an advantage because it’s easier for a right-handed hitter to bat against a left-handed pitcher and vice versa – it’s easier to hit a breaking ball that breaks toward you rather than away from you. Often a relief pitcher will be chosen primarily based on which side of the plate the next batter bats from. So where are the switch pitchers?

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Ways to get to first base?

October 8, 2006

An interesting baseball trivia question asks how many different ways can a player reach first base without getting a hit. Unfortunately, there is no conclusive answer. The ground rules of the answer are left to personal taste and there’s no absolute way to tell when one way is actually different from another. For example, you could judge a way to get to first different from another only if it was scored differently, or only if it fell under a different official rule, or you could use a more subjective measure that reflects so called common sense or conventional wisdom. All these methods are legitimate, but they often conflict.

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Debunking a Craps System

August 24, 2006
Updated November 2013: The gentleman gambler who introduced me to this system was named Wendel. Wendel swore up and down that it made him a fortune and he never wavered in his confidence. He was responsible for the challenge and the enjoyment I got from writing this article and learning the allure of the system. Wendel recently passed away having lived a long life and making lots of people smile. I never saw Wendel without his pool cue, and never saw him use it. He’ll be missed.

The No Risk Don’t Come system has been known for years under a variety of different names. It claims that the player can establish a Don’t Come point with little or no risk, thereby having a bet that is always to their advantage. Unfortunately, this system, like all craps systems, does not deliver its promise and leaves the player at the mercy of the standard house advantages. Nevertheless this particular system has many avid followers. It has an interesting premise and appeals to seasoned players and their understanding of the game. Reviewing and ultimately debunking this system is a rewarding exercise in probabilities and is also an intriguing demonstration of what makes systems compelling to gamblers. Here I give you for free a system that unscrupulous or ignorant people have sold to millions, and I also give you the explanation of why my price is the right one!

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Mentos Diet Coke Rocket

August 20, 2006

Everyone is familiar with the fun that can be had by mixing Mentos with Diet Coke. The usual result is a nice fountain. Bolder adventurers can make a rocket of sorts from an exploding bottle. But I found that the unpredictability and danger from most rocket designs was unacceptable. Here’s one that is much more controllable and predictable, and with proper precautions (and adult supervision) is safer and more fun.

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Word Dojo Megatouch Touchscreen Game

August 20, 2006

worddojo.jpgWord Dojo is a video game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. You score by forming words by chaining together neighboring letters that drop into the screen. The first round ends when time expires or you have used 75 letters or more to form words. The second round ends when time expires or you have used 99 letters or more to form words. And the third round is a bonus round with unlimited letters. In the bonus round there is also an ever-changing bonus letter that multiplies scores of words you form that include the letter. Read the rest of this entry »


Wordster Megatouch Touchscreen Game

August 20, 2006

wordster.jpgWordster is a game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. It’s based on the same idea as Scrabble. You get points for making the eight largest possible words from eight letters before time expires. Proper names and plurals ending in S are not allowed. However you can use words ending in ED, ING, and other suffixes in addition to the root form of a word.

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