Hello. I’m the famous Internet baseball writer Numbers McAnalysis. You may know me from my writing about baseball on the Internet. I’m here to talk to you about the assault on reason that is the Baltimore Orioles.
You see, the Orioles have a real good chance of making the playoffs this season. That part is cool, because they haven’t been in the postseason since the 90s. The uncool part? THEY’RE ACTUALLY A BAD TEAM. I mean, if you disregard the standings, that is.
This aggression will not stand. This is entirely unfair to actual good teams who are deemed not good strictly based on their wins and losses. (Look, for the sake of argument, go ahead and assume that when I talk about “good” and “bad” teams, I am not referring to how many games they’ve actually won and lost.) Because of the blatant disregard the Orioles have on playing the game the right way, we are going to see inferior teams play in, and possibly win playoff games. The taste of vomit in my mouth is running rampant.
Look, we have tools to decide whether a team is good or not. These tools have been crafted and improved and upgraded for as many as 30 years. They are infallible and not to be questioned. Who are the Orioles to question this? What makes them so special that they can fly boldly in the face of years of computation and data parsing? You’re ruining it for everyone, Baltimore. Your wOBA, xFIP, and fielding statistics are laughable. You’ve produced less WAR than the Phillies and Marlins. Why must you threaten us?
The Orioles’ “success” can be firmly affixed to the product of randomness. My colleagues and I hate randomness. Why? Because the presence of randomness precludes the terror-inducing fact that we are perhaps not in charge of our own destinies. If we allow these kinds of anomalies to exist, it proves that our mere existence as people is without meaning, consequence, or overall affect on the spinning of the planet and the alignment of the stars. Sure, astronomers can point to the Big Bang as a completely random act, but that does not mean we have to take this crap from a baseball team.
Think about the precedent this sets for the future. Are we just going to allow any team into the playoffs now simply because they have the best record? Imagine a future conversation you may have with a friend where you reminisce about baseball seasons passed. Would you rather say “Hey, remember that time the Orioles shocked everybody and made a run in the postseason?” or “Hey, remember that time everything went exactly how we thought it would and we all felt better about ourselves?” If you don’t prefer the latter, you have no right being a baseball fan, honestly.
I don’t want to root against Baltimore; I just want to root for process. Process is what holds us together and makes us feel alive. Process is how we glean joy out of things like baseball. Process, and our understanding of it, is what makes us smarter and better than those who simply enjoy the aesthetics and narrative of the game.
Death to the Baltimore playoff push. Long live Process.