SI Vault
October 02, 1961
UNDERSTANDINGSirs:The Last Race of Count Crash (Sept. 18) is a great article. From the shock of the lead sentence to the closing, almost pathetic quote from Phil Hill, this is real understanding of the sport.RICHARD L. KNUDSONMechanic Falls, Me.
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October 02, 1961

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Apparently it is quite all right with you if Charles O. Finley owns the Kansas City Athletics as long as he doesn't act like he owns them. Your disparagement of Finley in your item "The Big O" (SCORECARD, Sept 4) for personally reacting to the attack made on him in The Kansas City Star by Sports Editor Ernest Mehl is a typical reaction of the corporation mentality that afflicts so many today. This type of thinking distrusts the individual owner of a business who takes a direct and active part in his business. In this day of corporation encroachment it is refreshing to have watched Charles O. Finley rise from poor factory worker to millionaire through individual initiative, imagination and hard work—an American success story that could only happen in America but which too few Americans appreciate.

For you to say that Finley has no respect for the sport is ridiculous. It is saying that he has no respect for the sweat and sacrifice that he poured into the making of the $5 million that he paid for the Athletics.
South Bend, Ind.

Earlier you published a long article calling Mr. Finley a "baseball revolutionary" ( Charlie Finley and Bugs Bunny in K.C., June 5). Now you call him a zero.
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Herman Weiskopf's consideration of the importance of relief pitchers (BASEBALL'S WEEK, Sept. 11) notes that leaders in earned run average were Brosnan, Miller, Arroyo and Lown, all relievers. I have some observations on the significance of the ERA as the measure of effectiveness for pitchers who relieve in mid-inning.

With one or more out at the time he enters the inning, a reliever needs only to retire the remaining one or two men in order to "get out of the inning," and is therefore charged with a minimum of earned runs. A starter does not have this advantage. For example, let us say that Whitey Ford begins an inning and allows three runners to reach base (no errors) while he retires two men. Arroyo then relieves, allows three more batters to reach base before he gets the third out. Ford's ERA for his performance in this inning is 40.50, while Arroyo's, even though he has been less effective, is 0.00 if he leaves the bases loaded.

It may be argued, of course, that a relief pitcher may help the starter's ERA by leaving the original runners stranded. This is true, but the relief pitcher himself has the opportunity to be rescued from this sort of jam by a second reliever.

A statistic which corrects this inequality is a type of inverse batting average that compares the number of outs a pitcher gets, or should have got without errors, per number of batters he faces. I have arrived at a rough average by multiplying innings pitched by three to determine outs, then adding hits and walks to determine, roughly, the number of batters faced. Included are pitchers with 10 or more decisions including games of September 8 as listed by The New York Times, September 10:

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

By contrast, ERAs at the same date were:

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

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