Friday, October 30, 2009

A win without a win

poor Joe

What is the right choice?

Your "Philosophy Question of the Day" is sponsored by The World Series.

The Yankees won Game 2 just a few hours ago, 3-1. So I guess Yankee manager Joe Girardi should have a good sleep tonight before leaving for Philadelphia.

Not so fast. For Game 2, Girardi used a line-up with two weaker hitters (Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston, Jr.) in place of two very good hitters (Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher). Why? He used Molina instead of Posada at catcher because the starting pitcher seems to pitch better to Molina than to Posada. And Girardi decided to bench Swisher because he has been terrible in the post season.

Baseball fans who carefully study the numbers didn't think these decision make sense. My favorite line is:

If it works, that doesn't make it the right move.

Wait a minute. If it works, then it is right. Right? Or does the philosophically correct choice matter more than the result? Are we counting strategically-sensible wins over real wins?

I can understand making an argument against Joe's decision. But how can you say he didn't make the right move when he got the result he wanted? Girardi's job is to win games. And his decision helped to win the game -- Molina picked off a runner and Hairston got a hit that led to a run. Cut Joe a break. Give him a pat on the back and let's resume in Philly.

Monday, October 12, 2009

English Lesson: Tastes Great! Less Filling!!

Max: How is your ice cream?
Naomi: It has good taste.
I love green tea ice cream. Wanna try it?
Max: Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer chocolate.
Naomi: You only like chocolate?
Max: Yup. By the way, you should say, "It tastes good."
Naomi: Why?

It is a matter of style. Americans most often use "taste" as a verb when we talk about food:
Your spaghetti sauce tastes great!
This bread tastes stale.

I don't like tofu because it tastes bland.

We do this with the other four senses:
You look great in your new jacket!
The popcorn
smells so good.
My voice
sounded raspy after five hours of karaoke.
feel so tired every day after work.

How about "good taste"?

One situation where people do say "good taste" is when someone agrees with your choice in something -- fashion, movies, cuisine -- and that choice shows you have an appreciation for sophisticated things. Of course, it also means you have have "bad taste."

For example --

Hugh Jackman has good taste when it comes to picking suits. Of course, when you look like Jackman, just about anything you wear is going to look good. (I don't know about that pose, though. Where was this picture taken? Japan?)

Cher, on the other hand, had bad taste the year she decided to pick this dress. But of course, if she hadn't dressed like that, we would have had nothing to talk about when watching the Academy Awards.

Thursday, October 1, 2009