Serious Baseball fans were left scratching their heads last Fall when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. The Cardinals barely played .500 ball all season and they finished 13th overall in a field of 30 clubs.
So how did a pitiful 13th place team walk away with the whole shebang? Science has the answer:
The 162-game major league baseball season may give underdogs a leg up in getting to the playoffs, say a pair of physicists.
Two physicists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico ran simulations of league play to see how many baseball games National League teams would have to play in the regular season to ensure that the best team came away with the best record. The answer: a whopping 256 games.
Because there’s always some chance that a lesser team will win any given game, teams would have to play a larger number of games to overcome statistical randomness—specifically, the number of games should be the cube of the total number of teams, write Eli Ben-Naim and Nick W. Hengartner in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review E.
(Devil Rays fans may want to start lobbying to shorten the season by, say, 120 games.)
As I sit here I wonder if this can be applied to other fields of human endeavor like, for instance, presidential campaigns. Recently, politicos were surprised to learn that Ron Paul — my man for that big round office — had more cash-on-hand than John McCain.
Could it be that obscenely extended campaign seasons give lesser known candidates greater public exposure and, therefore, increased access to cold hard cash?
If so, Mike Gravel could be our next president…
And speaking of science:
– Business booming at Creation Museum Only in America…