Hardball is the eighth episode of the third season. It was released on 10 November 2006.
The death of a minor league player leads to a math prodigy and stirs buried feelings for Don, whose own playing career was nipped in the bud.
The serious version of baseball, playing for keeps, with no quarter given or expected. In the context, there is also the looming shadow of sabermetrics, and the tough calls Don has made and continues to make, professionally and personally.
In a generic way, the term often conveys that the contest is not a game.