Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to hit Grand Slams

Anybody who knows me knows I'm a Dodger fan. My priorities are, in order:

  1. My family

  2. Baseball

  3. Everything else

I just thought you should know this before continuing.

On July 10, Matt Kemp hit his third Grand Slam of the season. There was a lot of talk about this at the time, since the NL record for most grand slams in a season (tied this year by Albert Pujols, as it happens) is only 5. Three is pretty good.

There was also a lot of talk earlier in the year about Matt Kemp batting 8th in the lineup. So much talk that Dodger Thoughts had to resort to a The Matt Kemp Batting Eighth Get It All Out of Your System Thread.

Nobody, that I saw, really stopped to put these two things together. Think about it - how do you hit a Grand Slam? You have to be able to hit a home run, which isn't easy, but lots of people can do it. You have to be able to do so with the bases loaded, which I'm sure is an even tougher feat. But the most important part is that you have to come up to the plate with the bases loaded. And there's nothing you can do to control that. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

The middle of the Dodgers lineup was definitely being productive in the earlier part of the season, which meant that in the 8 spot, Kemp was getting to the plate with good odds of having runners on base. It was like a second cleanup spot.

So how, metaphorically, does one hit a grand slam? Somebody needs to have loaded up the bases for you first. If you're dealing with a computer guy, and he seems to keep hitting those metaphorical grand slams, you should ask yourself who keeps loading up the bases for him. If it's you/your employees/your business practices that's creating the situations in which it's possible for this guy to pull out grand-slam-grade accomplishments, you might want to consider making everybody's life a bit easier.

If situations like this are arising without apparent outside intervention, you might want to look into your computer guy's abilities and practices.

If you are the computer guy, and you keep finding yourself in these situations, then you should take a long, hard look at the way you're maintaining your systems, look at your workflow, and figure out who is loading the bases for you, and find a way to make it not happen.

Anyway. Go Dodgers.

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