DR. D'S BIG REVEAL
The Mainframe, or so it tells us, has been sitting on a theory about baseball. He has just about grokked that GM's can try to --- > add BASES and therefore runs. Dr. D is much less sure that GM's can do a lot to decide WHEN the bases collect and form friendships.
Okay, I plagiarized that, maybe. From Brad Pitt or Jonah Hill or Michelle Obama or Yoo-Hoo Rick. What difference, at this point, does it make. (Readers note exactly one kazoo raspberry at either side there.)
If and when the M's get on their roll -- and Dr. D is typing from behind a net here, like Jeff Healey in Road House -- Lee and Lind combined will be part of the rapture. Well, short of us trading for a AAA Prince Fielder who hits from the left side.
From Hey Bill:
HeyBill: If MLB used a different criteria than W/L, such as some run differential (Runs Scored - Runs Allowed), to determine champion how do you think the game would be changed? Since every run was important teams would be aggressive throughout the game despite score. Managers would pull pitchers - not leaving somebody in to get shelled, in lopsided games. Since pythorgorean calculation does predict W/L % fairly well, maybe the change would not have as great effect as I think. College football, and I think the NFL at times, have used point differential as tie-breakers without much acceptance by fans .........
Asked by: FrankD
I think it would fundamentally undermine the game. If all the runs are poured into a pool, then nothing happens today that cannot be undone tommorrow. We've got a game on June 18 . ..why worry about it? All it is is a few points that are poured into a vast lake of points. So basically, if that was the way the game was, there would be no game because nobody would watch. - James
RESUME the MAINFRAME
Which, if true and we're sure it is, leads us to (1) a Big Light Bulb and to (2) a followup introspection:
We just about HAVE to believe that there is something about "knowing how to win" or "knowing how to lose" that transcends "base collection" the way Pitt and Hill laid it out in Moneyball. You and I are almost forced to believe that, on some conscious level, in order to enjoy baseball.
Baseball is weird, maybe unique. In football you can do things, with your roster and etc., to have some influence on whether you get that last 2 yards you need, after the first 78. It's not completely luck whether you punch in the touchdown. Even if you don't, there is the feathering influence of the field goal.
But if that were really 100.00% of what a GM, a manager, and his players can do to influence their W's and L's? To collect bases on a white board in February? The whole spectacle would collapse -- for me, anyway -- like a house of cards.
Fortunately, no SSI denizen be'lees dat. He's been blaming the M's character for their underperformance all along.
There's a mitigating factor. It's the 162 games. If you played a MILLION games, then a team with a 109 OPS+ and 103 ERA+ would make the playoffs with calculus-limit certainty.
But 162 are better than 90.