Sullivan: The worst called ball of the season

From Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs on November 7, 2017:

Every year, around this time, I look forward to this post. I look forward to it because it checks the two boxes most important to me as a writer: the post is always popular, and I don’t have to try to come up with a new idea. It’s always the same idea, and it’s always the same basic research. What changes are the names and the dates and the numbers. It’s not that the research and prep are easy, but finding an idea is usually the challenge. That’s not a concern when you have a recurring series.

That being said, I get nervous. I always want to write about the worst called ball of the season, but, around the All-Star break, I tend to write about the worst called ball of the first half. Here’s this year’s. If that stands up as the worst called ball overall, then I’d have to decide if I want to write a second time about the same event. It’s preferable, to me, that the second half contain a ball that’s objectively even worse. The odds of that aren’t great; the second half is shorter than the first. They’re not actually halves at all.

Excitement and nervousness. My fingers are always crossed. This year, I got lucky again. The worst called ball of the first half was thrown on June 18. The worst called ball of the whole season was thrown on August 20. It was worse by a fraction of a fraction of one inch.

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Originally published: November 7, 2017. Last Updated: November 7, 2017.