Alex Rodriguez on Baseball: 'You Always Want Even Leads Versus Odd Leads'

Kyle Koster

Baseball is a beautiful game because you can love and follow it for your entire life and still see something new on any given night. Or hear something new. And what Alex Rodriguez said during last night’s Phillies-Mets game has to be new for a lot of people who consider themselves custodians of the American Pastime.

After evangelizing the goodness of Jay Bruce, a slugging lefthander, laying down a bunt to move a runner from second to third instead of simply pulling a grounder to the right side of the infield, Rodriguez dove into some light numerology.

I deeply apologize for the caption here, which is a little hyperbolic and mean-spirited. Perhaps the idea that a two-run lead is better than a three-run lead is prevalent in Major League dugouts. But if so, the mainstream media has done a tremendous job of hiding it.

A two-run lead is surely better than a one-run lead both because it’s obviously more and it keeps the tying run on the on-deck circle unless someone gets on. That part makes sense. And there’s probably something to be said about the security in knowing that even a grand slam — the worst thing that can happen — won’t give the other team control of the scoreboard.

So I think I understand what A-Rod was driving at here. If — and it’s a big if — teams are constantly trying to get to even leads out there, that’s a major story and something to keep an eye on both for practical and wagering purposes.