I’m not a big believer in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but sometimes when a concept is expressed in a different language or using a different metaphor, it’s like coming to the top of a steep hill, and a whole wide valley opens up beneath you.
For instance, you’ve probably understood the idea of "Earned Run Average" for years; it doesn’t thrill you much anymore, does it? Ah, but what happens to your understanding of that concept if you start calling it "Traffic Vibration Rate" instead?
Suddenly, you’re not looking at ERA as just a number of baseball events divided by another number of baseball events. You’re imagining the advancement of baseball runners to be like cars on the freeway, sometimes getting congested, and other times moving unobstructed. You imagine the pitcher not just as a trigger of single individual events, but as a source of oscillation over time. Runners flow around him, like a stream around a boulder. Baseball is governed not just by the laws of averages, but by complex systems of fluid dynamics.
And then, on further inspection, we imagine that the game inhabits the very paradoxes of quantum mechanics: each baseball event is not just a particle, but it is also a wave. Like string theory, all matter consists of tiny vibrating strings, and the rate at which they vibrate determines how they manifest themselves in our perceptions. Each particle exists as an individual unit, but each wave interacts with every other particle/wave in its vicinity, amplifying and/or cancelling its effects. The fastball up-and-in exists as a fastball up-and-in, but has a profound effect on the curveball down and away that follows.
The pitcher is no longer just a single man throwing a single ball. He is, in his moment of throwing, at one with the universe: both creating it and being created by it. He is a happy young boy, standing barefoot along the shore, skipping stones atop the waters, making waves that cross a wide, wide ocean.