Join 3,495 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"I've never been so excited on a 3-1 count in my life."
September 30, 2009 3:27 PM   Subscribe

"I think clearly it's going to be Tuiasosopo today, he's swung the bat well the last few times and he's got an opportunity to play. I expect him to hit his first big league home run today."

Mariners television analyst Mike Blowers makes a goofy pregame prediction... that comes true.
posted by starman (50 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This gruel here, she is awfully thin.

On the other hand, I really like saying Tuiasosopo.

Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo.

Try it. You'll see.
posted by dersins at 3:31 PM on September 30, 2009


He predicted the game of the first career homer, the inning, the pitch count, the fastball, and where the ball would land. Not bad. I actually did something similar once. I was sitting at a minor league game with my best friend and predicted pretty much everything that happened in the game. It was a weird statistical thing that freaked us both out. I've never been able to repeat it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:36 PM on September 30, 2009


Fun fact: My ex-wife grew up with the Tuiasosopo family, and she knew all the kids (who are now major league baseball players and NFL football players).
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:37 PM on September 30, 2009


The OP doesn't do the prediction justice. Blowers claimed all of the following:

*It would be a HR.
*It would be a fastball.
*It would be on a 3-1 count.
*It would be on Tuiasosopo's second at-bat of the game.
*It would go into left-center field.
*It would go into the second deck.

Oh, and if all the stuff above came true, it'd be Tuiasosopo's very first major league home run of his career.

Let the record show that 5-and-a-half of those came true (the Rogers Centre's first outfield deck would be second level at many other ballparks).

Seriously, this was freaky.
posted by sachinag at 3:38 PM on September 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Maddow had this on the show last night - they didn't cut it as well as SportsCenter did, but good enough for government work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b494dinhd4Y
posted by sachinag at 3:42 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quite the athletic family. Matt's father Manu played for the Seahawks and the 49ers, his brother Zach has bounced around several NFL practice squads, and his other brother Marques plays for the Raiders.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:43 PM on September 30, 2009


Matt Tuiasosopo on wikipedia, MLB.com (plus his minor league stats), fangraphs.com, and Ones 2 Watch.

Mike Blowers hired onto the Mariners broadcast crew in 2007.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:45 PM on September 30, 2009


...and where the ball would land.

The ball didn't land in the second deck as he said it would. CLEARLY BLOWERS IS A FRAUD.

Actually, I love this story and I love Mike Blowers, even tough he sounds like he's on sedatives most of the time.
posted by xmutex at 3:50 PM on September 30, 2009


Oh great. Now you're ruined it for when it actually does hit the second deck.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:56 PM on September 30, 2009


I saw this on ESPN. Amazing.

But here's the thing about baseball. The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen. You're talking about 32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs, and a hell of a lot of history.

What were the chances of Randy Johnson hitting a flying bird with a fastball? Bunting for a triple? A plane crashing into a field? Yet all these things have happened in baseball.

It's a sport based on the law of averages, and wholly allows for the insane.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 3:56 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen .... It's a sport based on the law of averages, and wholly allows for the insane.

I hate you.
posted by xmutex at 3:58 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I mean, to be fair, if the guy's going to hit a home run, and you're going to guess the pitch, fastball's what you should guess. And if you're going to guess the count, 3-1's what you should guess. And if Tuiasosopo's right-handed, you're going to guess it's going out to left. Predicting the second deck -- that was bold. And wrong.

Not saying this isn't surprising. Just that it's not a miracle.
posted by escabeche at 4:03 PM on September 30, 2009


Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.
posted by exogenous at 4:03 PM on September 30, 2009


The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen. You're talking about 32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs, and a hell of a lot of history.

Shhh, you're ruining the moment. Shh, shhh, just sit there and relish in the moment.

Mmm, relish.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:04 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen.

Also: a human trait found in only 1 of every million people would exist approximately 1,330 times in China.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:06 PM on September 30, 2009


Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

While most clocks that "work" never tell the right time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:06 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs
Coming in at a grand total of 0.33 outs per game!
posted by lumensimus at 4:09 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Ah, Metafilter. Just when I think I enjoyed something, I can come here to find out how wrong I was."

(Thanks, Loosefilter)
posted by Adam_S at 4:13 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen.

Yeah, how impossibly rare is it to throw a 3-1 fastball right down the pipe, only to have it crushed to left center?

I mean, I get it, freakish prediction and all, but Babe-calling-his-shot this ain't.
posted by mark242 at 4:16 PM on September 30, 2009


Yeah, how impossibly rare is it to throw a 3-1 fastball right down the pipe, only to have it crushed to left center?

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I seem to recall that 3-1 isn't as much of a home run count as 1-0 or 2-0.
posted by dw at 4:24 PM on September 30, 2009


What a nice momento for him.
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:26 PM on September 30, 2009


I keep reading the player's name as Tulse Luper, which is clearly and totally wrong, and very confusing.
posted by hippybear at 4:31 PM on September 30, 2009


Yeah, how impossibly rare is it to throw a 3-1 fastball right down the pipe, only to have it crushed to left center?

Since 1954, 5299 home runs of 191302 have come on a 3-1 account, so roughly 2.8%. Location data isn't very reliable that far back so I'll not take a shot at the left field, but he is a right-handed hitter, so..
posted by xmutex at 4:36 PM on September 30, 2009


Lacking Subtlety: But here's the thing about baseball. The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen. You're talking about 32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs, and a hell of a lot of history. What were the chances of Randy Johnson hitting a flying bird with a fastball? Bunting for a triple? A plane crashing into a field? Yet all these things have happened in baseball. It's a sport based on the law of averages, and wholly allows for the insane.

Actually, the chances of Randy Johnson hitting a flying bird with a fastball are pretty damned low. I mean, the chances of somebody hitting a bird over more than a century of a popular sport might be better, but the chances of Randy Johnson in particular hitting a bird are pretty bad. Even if he has faced more than seventeen thousand batters in over six hundred games,* a whole lot of pitchers have had longer careers and pitched more innings without so much as grazing a chicken.

Besides, with a career W.H.I.P. average of 1.171,* he's probably not throwing that many pitches that end up landing fowl.
posted by koeselitz at 4:44 PM on September 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


And frankly, 'the law of averages' doesn't really erase the weirdness of strange events. "That guy has wings and can fly faster than an airplane? Pish-posh! You know, there have been trillions of people that have existed on earth since the dawn of time - it was bound to happen at some point!"
posted by koeselitz at 4:46 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


You should be ashamed of yourself, koeselitz.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 5:10 PM on September 30, 2009


162 games a season.
posted by rainperimeter at 5:13 PM on September 30, 2009


whoa whoa whoa, just came back to this one and i'm bolding because what I said has been completely misinterpreted and I want to clear the air. i love baseball more than anything and i wasn't pissing on the parade. i was trying to highlight the thing that i LOVE about baseball. Everything single thing I listed is extremely rare including the subject of the FPP. What makes baseball is great is that it's structure, history, and quantity allow for these complete absurdities that are so entertaining?

I hope that clarifies. Sorry folks.

posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:19 PM on September 30, 2009


Small notes

3-1 is a really good fastball count.



32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs

Coming in at a grand total of 0.33 outs per game!
posted by lumensimus at 4:09 PM on September 30 [+] [!]


I just meant 54 outs per game silly! and yes it's 162 games. that one was a typo.

God i shouldn't comment when I'm trying to do other stuff.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2009


Rally fries for Blowers.

He's still an annoying announcer, in my opinion, but this was great.

The only thing I'd like to know is if he's tried this kind of specific prediction before, and been wrong, and if so, how many times.
posted by cell divide at 5:35 PM on September 30, 2009


he's probably not throwing that many pitches that end up landing fowl.

clever.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:13 PM on September 30, 2009


At dinner tonight, someone used the word "memento" and I started thinking about how people often spell it "momento" and came home to read this article with the word spelt wrong. What are the odds?
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 6:18 PM on September 30, 2009


Quite the athletic family. Matt's father Manu played for the Seahawks and the 49ers, his brother Zach has bounced around several NFL practice squads, and his other brother Marques plays for the Raiders.

Samoans, dude. What did you expect?
posted by Slap Factory at 6:29 PM on September 30, 2009


The extremely amazing and impossibly rare events are sort of bound to happen.
Sure, they happen. But they're not predicted an hour in advance. It was the prediction (guess) that was unlikely, not the outcome.

What were the chances of Randy Johnson hitting a flying bird with a fastball?
Are you saying you would not be impressed if the announcers had predicted that before that very game?

You're talking about 32 teams, 163 games, 54 outs, and a hell of a lot of history.
All three of those numbers are wrong.

Are you just fucking with us?
posted by rokusan at 6:33 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Samoans, dude. What did you expect?

About 300 more pounds?
posted by rokusan at 6:34 PM on September 30, 2009


This is totally fun. Hush up, fun-haters.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:06 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was just fantastic. Thank you for the link.

What are the specific odds of something like this happening? I'm teaching quantitative studies to my class right now and I would love to mention this - it has "teachable moment" written all over it.
posted by HostBryan at 7:48 PM on September 30, 2009


Sure, they happen. But they're not predicted an hour in advance. It was the prediction (guess) that was unlikely, not the outcome.

Maybe. But how many such predictions, detailed or no, do sportscasters make every season? This one happened to be eerily correct. SportsCenter doesn't rehash the thousands of false predictions.

It's like thinking there's something special going on when I run into a friend after dreaming about meeting them. I'm just more likely to remember that than the fact that my dream about Mary-Louise Parker didn't come true.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 7:48 PM on September 30, 2009


The Niehaus call is great. The Blowers prediction was fantastic. Normally his "pick to click" is something along the lines of "Felix is going to have a good game today. He's been pitching really well lately and I expect him to get through the 7th inning and strike out about eight batters." Whatever it was that got into him on Sunday in Toronto and compelled him to make such a detailed prediction, it sure did work out well for him.

But this gives me an opportunity to share one of my favorite Tuiasosopo stories, about a game Matt's brother Marques had as quarterback of the Washinton Huskies football team. It was in 1999, against Stanford. On Washington's first drive of the game, Tui took a hard hit while throwing a pass, and had to go to the locker room for treatment of a severely bruised left buttock. When he returned, he went on to lead the Huskies to an exciting come-from-behind victory while becoming the first Division I player ever to pass for over 300 yards (302) and rush for over 200 yards (207) in the same game. It was a truly heroic effort. After the game it was revealed that his buttock and hip were essentially one giant bruise, and he ended up walking with crutches for the rest of the week. I wish I had saved a copy of the UW student newspaper from the Monday after the game because it was a classic. The front page was a full-page picture of Tuiasosopo, taken from behind on the football field. The caption was simply: BAD ASS
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:37 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just that it's not a miracle.

Nothing is. Do you have any point other than making me sad?
posted by IvoShandor at 11:53 PM on September 30, 2009


I don't anyone is trying to be a downer here, but instead are just trying to bring some statistical relevance to the discussion. Sports announcers make so many bogus predictions that are quickly forgotten, that to get one right seems more like a fluke than a feat.

Anyway, here is a video with some baseball love (unless maybe you're a Mets fan).
posted by exogenous at 5:21 AM on October 1, 2009


I guess when you make a prediction every day of a 162 game season, you're bound to get one right.
posted by HumanComplex at 5:43 AM on October 1, 2009


But it's not like anyone is saying, "He must be psychic!" You don't need to debunk everything.
posted by smackfu at 5:50 AM on October 1, 2009


> Babe-calling-his-shot this ain't.

> I don't anyone is trying to be a downer here, but instead are just trying to bring some statistical relevance to the discussion. Sports announcers make so many bogus predictions that are quickly forgotten, that to get one right seems more like a fluke than a feat.

> Maybe. But how many such predictions, detailed or no, do sportscasters make every season? This one happened to be eerily correct. SportsCenter doesn't rehash the thousands of false predictions.

Good Christ, what's wrong with you people? You seem to be missing a vital point that makes grade-A bullshit of all your tired ennui: those bogus predictions that are quickly forgotten are serious predictions based on track records and the announcer's experience. This one was a joke. There was no reason whatever to think a guy who's spent a few weeks, total, in the majors and has never hit a home run there would hit one at all, let alone at a particular point in the game. Your "statistical relevance" is irrelevant. Your "I'm not impressed" attitude is bad for MetaFilter. You're all benched!

And no, it's not Babe-calling-his-shot—it's far more impressive. Ruth was the greatest home run hitter of the day and had a pretty good idea of what he could do in the situation.

Good post; ignore the snarkers!
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on October 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


> Anyway, here is a video with some baseball love (unless maybe you're a Mets fan).

I'm not watching that.

How can the Mets keep losing to the fucking Nationals??
posted by languagehat at 6:34 AM on October 1, 2009


What languagehat said.

I've watched at least 175,000 baseball games, and have never heard anyone make anything close to this precise a prediction. For it to actually happen is completely absurd. And fun.

Hooray, fun! I like fun!

If you don't, that's great too. Go do some math and/or fuck yourself.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:34 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think bringing in the "anything can happen!" aspect of baseball's enormous statistical set only makes this more impressive, not less.

I had an oldish baseball bloopers/highlights tape where in the midst of an otherwise unremarkable game, with a runner on first and none out, 2-2 count, the announcer said something along the lines of "We're gonna take a short break, but we'll be back with you with two down as soon as [player] hits into a 6-4-3." Sure enough, next pitch, 6-4-3, and they were back.

Was this mind-blowing? Of course not. Double plays happen in every game, sometimes frequently, and 6-4-3 is one of the most common configurations. Further, [player] may well have been susceptible to GIDPs, making it even easier for the announcer to make this claim. The point is, it's a funny clip because regardless of how likely the outcome was, the announcer NAILED it.

Now, contrast that with a minor leaguer hitting his first major league home run. Less frequent of an occurrence, but still not earth-shattering in its own right. Toss in the at-bat, the pitch count, the pitch speed, and the general location, and you're talking about such a massive convergence of events that accurately predicting all of them is much closer to impossible than not.

But lo! It happened!

Does it *mean* anything? Of course not! It's a freak coincidence. A FREAKING AWESOME COINCIDENCE.

Given that we've reached the point in the season where the big story is "Which AL Central Team can win the right to get pounded by the Yankees in three games?"1 I think it's awesome for something like this to happen to a club completely out of the running, because *THIS* is what I watch baseball for. The freak occurrences that happen because of enormous amount of time spent on this game should be celebrated.

1I really hope I'm wrong. Go Twins/Tigers!
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:49 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wonder if Blowers also predicted that he would tie the American League record of four errors in one game? (Yeah, he had other notable events in his career, but I was at the game in 1990 when he booted the ball four (!) times.)
posted by Man with Lantern at 8:50 AM on October 1, 2009


Any relation to Peter Navy Tuiasosopo?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:32 AM on October 1, 2009


That was great. And it is everything I boggle at about baseball.

The real humour though was the other announcer howling with laughter. That was sweet.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:38 PM on October 1, 2009


« Older Charlie Brooker's half-serious hatred of Macs is w...  |  Non-linear storytelling taken ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments