Making Shoes
by Ken Arneson
2004-05-21 15:32

I was thinking about David Cameron’s post about Tim Hudson, and how a number of pitchers have been putting up excellent numbers despite low strikeout totals.

Then I came across this statement by Robert Bly, in an introductory note to some David Ignatow poetry:

A shoemaker in the Middle Ages…could be in business and yet never have to slide into statistical mentality, since he probably knew everyone who bought shoes from him, and one works on a shoe long enough so that love energy can rest in it, even for a few moments. But it’s clear that business in quantity, that is most post-Industrial-Revolution business, requires that Eros consciousness be given up, and the love energy be pulled back inside.

In Swedish, there’s a word for this “love energy”: snickarglädje, which translates roughly as the “joy of carpentry”. The word refers to the delighful little excessive details that craftsmen lovingly add to their work, not for the functionality, but just for the sheer joy of making something beautiful.

At a statistical level, there’s no such thing as snickarglädje. The quirks that rise up at an individual level get smoothed out in quantity.

If there’s anyone in major league baseball who exemplifies snickarglädje, it’s Tim Hudson. He has about six or seven different kinds of pitches he throws at different speeds with different arm angles. He seems to be making things up as he goes along, inventing new pitches as the situation calls for. Like that shoemaker in the Middle Ages, his work seems custom-made for every client. It’s a joy to watch. No formula can explain it.

This is Ken Arneson's blog about baseball, brains, art, science, technology, philosophy, poetry, politics and whatever else Ken Arneson feels like writing about
Original Sites
Recent Posts
Contact Ken
Twitter

LinkedIn

Email: Replace the first of the two dots in this web site's domain name with an @.
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Ken Arneson
Archives
2021
01   

2020
10   09   08   07   06   05   
04   

2019
11   

2017
08   07   

2016
06   01   

2015
12   11   03   02   

2014
12   11   10   09   08   04   
03   01   

2013
12   10   08   07   06   05   
04   01   

2012
12   11   10   09   04   

2011
12   11   10   09   08   07   
04   02   01   

2010
10   09   06   01   

2009
12   02   01   

2008
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2007
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2006
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2005
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2004
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2003
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2002
12   10   09   08   07   05   
04   03   02   01   

1995
05   04   02