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Hardball Times: The Human Roots - Evolution


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An instant hence, Arencibia drops his hands and initiates his pass at the two-strike pitch from A's closer Sean Doolittle, a man for whom the strikeout rate (12.8!) has become precious art. Inevitability has found this path before, and should soon find it here: Arencibia, offering at a pitch whose fate is a catcher's mitt. Now, in that juncture when all possibilities - wild pitch, HBP, -just a bit inside- are reduced to a few, Arencibia, with his K% of 28(!), directs his torque along a sturdy axis and his bat, shockingly, straight at the ball, forging an instant when potential is repositioned on the balance of a sliver's distance. Were the viewer to pause the scene, he might expect that Arencibia whacks a double to left or fouls the pitch straight back, capping his failure with the grimace of a guy who just blew his best and last chance.
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“As expected, intense fans reported pleasure when their team made a good play or their rival made a bad play, and their brains’ reward centers lit up. They didn’t react this way when their own team played a third neutral team – the Baltimore Orioles. But – and this is the kicker – they were happy, and their reward centers lit up, when their rivals lost to the Orioles, showing pure schadenfreude. Likewise, the activation of their brain’s reward centers correlated with their reports of having heckled, insulted, threatened or hit a rival fan.”

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