MLB Season Redesign

(A purely hypothetical one, of course.)

Have every team play every other team 6 times a season, 3 home/3 away. That’s 174 games. Make it a 30 week season (including a full week for the All-Star Break) so every team has an off day Monday or Thursday of every week. If you start this in the last week of March, you end in mid-October. And of course we are shortening the postseason to make this work. It’s back to the old days of just a World Series between the teams with the best record in each league. 

Even though the regular season is longer, it is easier on the players with the longer All-Star Break and a day off every week.

The shrinking playoffs decreases revenue, and this is the reason why these exercises are purely hypothetical, but the six extra home games would help with that.

The leagues remain in place mostly as a formality and excuse to play the World Series since the schedule is exactly the same for every team. So even the pennants would not be very meaningful, even though the regular season would take on prominence.

Basically, the team with the best record in all baseball would be the “real” champion of the season, but the other league gets a shot at beating them for bragging rights.

None of it is perfect, but I think I would like this setup better than the current one.

Strike 2 Zone

strike zone bill

This is from the “Hey Bill” Section of Bill James’ site. James’ answer makes it pretty evident he does not like the idea at all. And it is a pretty odd suggestion.

The weird thing is, I think it could work, with three caveats:

  1. Don’t extend the zone from head to toe and two feet off the plate, which seems to be what ventboys has in mind. Maybe expand it 2 or 3 inches up, down, and away? (Exact number is negotiable.) The inside corner would have to remain in place, however–otherwise pitchers are just going to hit the batter intentionally with two strikes.
  2. You would need robot umps for this, especially on the outside “corner,” since there would no longer be any corner for the umpire to use (unless you made it the near line of the opposite batter’s box). Even if you didn’t need robot umps, it would be a convenient excuse to bring them in.
  3. Lastly, foul balls are no longer strikes throughout the entire at-bat; they simply don’t count against the hitter at any point. (Although it’s negotiable for a no-strike count.) Without this third thing, 1-0 might become a high-scoring affair.

We should definitely try this system in an Italian league first.

“The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime:” Ranking All 58 Presidential Elections

It seems like every four years, someone is going to tell you that the upcoming election is the most important one we might ever have. Of course, importance is relative. Below, all 58 presidential (general) elections, ranked by their importance as Americans went to the polls, from least to most important.

Factors throughout include:

  • Number of candidates.
  • The extent philosophical differences between candidates. The closer the major candidates were, the fewer the consequences would have been had the election gone the other way.
  • The importance of these philosophical differences. Ethanol subsidies and slavery don’t hold equal weight.

Continue reading ““The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime:” Ranking All 58 Presidential Elections”

Game Show Hosting Ethics: Advancing Gameplay While Maintaining Fairness

In a 1990 episode of Cheers, Cliff Clavin appears on Jeopardy and loses $22,000 on a spectacularly bad Final Jeopardy wager.

He led the game $22,000-$3,800 and yet risked everything in the last round and lost. It’s a very funny scene.

But it turns out that a similar wager once took place during an actual game, a summary of which can be found here.

Continue reading “Game Show Hosting Ethics: Advancing Gameplay While Maintaining Fairness”

Using the Spread and Over/Under to Predict Super Bowl Scores

Every year, millions of dollars are poured into betting on the Super Bowl. The two most prominent things you can bet on are the points spread and the over/under. By combining where these two things end up, one can approximate what score might have been expected based on these lines.

Continue reading “Using the Spread and Over/Under to Predict Super Bowl Scores”

Worst AY/A with 50+ Attempts in the Playoffs

In the 2015 AFC Championship Game, Tom Brady threw 56 passes for 310 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, for an adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) of 4.29. His New England Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos, 20-18.

Here are the ten lowest AY/A marks in a playoff game for a quarterback with 50+ attempts.

Continue reading “Worst AY/A with 50+ Attempts in the Playoffs”