Re: Strike out = to any other out?
BCubb and RFS:
One key difference between a hitter and pitcher is that a pitcher does not perform in a vacuum. While a hitter's success at the plate is his own doing, the same can not be said of pitchers--they require fielders to make plays on their behalf.
In that sense, think of a K for a pitcher like a HR for a hitter: a K is a signal that a pitcher does not require the help of teammates to assist him in doing his job, much like a HR for an offensive player is a sign that a hitter doesn't need help from his teammates. And since these Ks for pitchers are repeatable over time and highly correlated with winning, we use Ks as a shorthand for good pitching. The inverse can not be said of high-K hitters.
Our world is full of situations where pieces of information are relevant for one subset of the population and irrelevant for others. If someone has a good credit history, he runs no risk of financial ruin if he misses two car payments. No big deal. On the other hand, it is a big deal for someone who has a poor track record with credit. This data point (or *signal*) means something pretty significant for one part of the population--people with bad credit--than it does for the rest. The same can be said of Ks for pitchers and hitters. . .
I'll shut up because my help is probably more confusing than "helpful."