Friday, October 27, 2017

Astros v. Dodgers and the randomness of baseball

At one win apiece for the Astros and Dodgers, in about three hours we have the start of what is a best three-of-five World Series. IMHO the best predictor of a winner between these two 100-plus-game-winning teams is a fair coin toss. If that is so (and it is) then there is a decent chance that this will end with Sunday night's Game 5. That decent chance is one-in-four or 25%. Why? Whoever wins tonight has the equivalent of two subsequent coin tosses coming up heads of being WORLD CHAMPION before ever having to leave Houston to play again in LA. If this happens then the talking-head analysts and commentators (i.e., blowhards) will explain why such a one-sided, 4-to-1 series was inevitable. How one team choked, blah, blah, blah, and how the other came through in the clutch.

A just as good or better explanation is that the championship was the result of what is, not to be too technical, called Dumb Luck.

Of course there is a 3-in-4 or 75% chance that there will be a Game 6 Tuesday night in LA. The dream of the dreams of Fox TV executives, the guaranteed high-ratings fall event, Game 7, has a better than 1-in-3 (37%) chance of also happening.

Again the expensive suit-and-tie wearing Big Boys, ex-players all, will pontificate as to why it all happened and do so with all the absolute certainty obtainable with 20-20 hindsight.

These well-paid, self-satisfied Big Boys with Big Mouths get the Big Bucks while Lady Luck only gets ignored. Talk about Gender Inequality!

So relax and take in two great teams playing each other. Take in baseball’s ultimate emotional roller coast ride with the thrills, disappointments, randomness, and joy called the World Series. It doesn’t get better than this -- especially if you don’t pay too much attention to the talking heads.

Just do what Mr. Puig #66 would do: Enjoy the game.

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