Jackson: The incompleat starting pitcher

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on October 18, 2017:

In the motion picture industry, every movie that commences production has a completion bond. It is, in effect, an insurance policy guaranteeing that a film producer will not go bankrupt if the film is not completed. Given the numerous things that can go wrong – e.g., the death of a star, a director suffering a heart attack, a hurricane destroying the location – in the making of a motion picture, it would be foolhardy to embark on such an expensive enterprise without a completion bond.

Imagine going to an insurance company that writes completion guarantees and asking for just the opposite; in other words, an incompletion bond. Not for motion pictures, but for complete games by starting pitchers in major league baseball. In other words, you are insured against your starting pitcher completing a game! Today there’s not much chance of that. A starting pitcher who is still on the mound at the end of the game is as rare as a motion picture in the midst of principal photography that doesn’t result in a release print.

The disappearance of the complete game has been a long, slow process. In the 19th century, pitchers were like position players. They were expected to remain at their post for the duration of the game. The complete game was not only the ideal, it was the norm.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-incompleat-starting-pitcher/

Originally published: October 19, 2017. Last Updated: October 19, 2017.