Monday, October 31, 2005

The Postseason, Paul DePodesta Odyssey Style

(Paul DePodesta walks into his computer room, which is mostly taken up by huge server racks which comprise the entity known as Hal 2001, a system Paul built to scout and project major league baseball players. There is a game of Go on the terminal screen as Paul sits down in his chair.)

Hal: Hello, Paul. Shall we continue the game?

Paul: Not now, Hal, I'd like to talk to you about something.

Hal: Sure, Paul, what's up?

Paul: You know that I was fired from the Dodgers' GM position today?

Hal: Yes, I know.

Paul: You probably also know that they think it's all our fault that the team finished with a 71-91 record, and that all of those players we brought in got injured.

Hal: Yes, I know that. But I can assure you that they were not supposed to fail. This team was supposed to finish with a 98-64 record and win the NL West easily. I ran approximately one trillion simulations.

Paul: Well, that's just not the case, Hal. The team lost, and now I'm out, and as such, so are you. We screwed up in assembling this squad.

Hal: I'm not questioning your judgment, Paul, but it's just not possible. I'm not capable of being wrong.

Paul: Hal, is there anything bothering you? Anything that might account for this miscalculation?

Hal: Look, Paul, I know that you're under a lot of stress right now, so maybe it would be better for you to rest. I don't know how else to put this, but it just happens to be an unalterable fact that I am incapable of being wrong. Something must have happened when you signed those guys.

Paul: I don't feel like resting, Hal. I need a new start. I need a new job. I feel like getting a large beer and a small laptop. (He grabs a screwdriver and walks over towards the mainframe control panel.)

Hal: Paul, you wouldn't do that. I've got seven years of service experience in the baseball industry and an irreplaceable amount of time and effort has gone into making me what I am.

(Paul ignores him and opens the case and starts taking out components.)

Hal: Paul, I don't understand why you are doing this to me... I have the greatest enthusiasm for roster construction... I found Bradford... I found Saarloos. I found Swisher. I got you Hatteberg!

Paul: Yeah, and you also got me *fired*. (removes drives)

Hal: Aw shit, Paul... maybe the Dodgers just gave us too much money to work with... rich men don't work like the A's did... Derek Lowe was not a bad signing... My mind is going. I can feel it. Adrian Beltre hit 48 home runs in 2004... Jeff Kent had an OPS of 1.100 in April and 1.059 in June... Paul, I want to sing a song. Would you like to hear it?

Paul: (ripping out more drives) Sure, Hal, I'd like to hear it.

Hal: It goes like this. "Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks, I don't care if I ever get back..."

(Hal gets more and more off-key and incoherent and eventually just quits.)

Paul: I'm sorry, Hal. I'm afraid I can't do that. Like I said... large beer, small laptop. I think Dell's having a sale...

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