Saturday, May 14, 2016

Who the hell believes in the Pythagorean theory for baseball anyway?

Even Mackanin has to wonder if this lucky streak will keep lasting, and where it may take this young Phillies team

Just today there was a call to have Pete Mackanin considered for Manager of the Year by baseball pundit Jon Heyman. Here's the tweet that went round the world about it from Jon:

But how is this possible? We've been watching the Phillies all season so far and as dedicated blogging professionals and fans, we can't figure this out. The Phillies just have not be dominating teams this year, in fact, we've seen them winning lately and holding leads but how much of this is because of great managerial moves or great offense and pitching displays?

Then there is something that is the the Pythagorean theory of baseball, which is a formula used to tell how a team could just be lucky in the manner in which it's won the games that they have if their record is indeed better than what it 'should' be based upon this theory. If you've never heard of this or have never seen it, you can find a team's Pythagorean record at

I just happened to wonder by the 2016 Phillies before the start of the game between the Phils and the Reds tonight. The number left me dumbfounded, according to this theory, the Phillies should have been with a record of 15-21 at the beginning of the game with the Reds, and not the 21-15 record that they indeed had.

What does all of this mean?

It could mean that the Phillies have won some games that they shouldn't have. Their amount of runs scored compared to the runs scored against can't be good if your record should be 15-21, but that's proving this theory a bit wrong when the Phillies have such a great record. Is it just luck then? You can't find the answers in any sabermetric stat, you'll just go crazy because the numbers don't support the good record.

That's where the sabermetric and the crowd that thinks they have baseball all figured out by the numbers are sucking some serious wind. The numbers don't show the good results, they are the force of something else, perhaps a bit of baseball luck, a blessing from the baseball gods or something else unexplained that will leave a sabermetrics fan speechless. The power of winning, of clinging to 1-run games (the Phils have a 13-3 record in these games so far this year) and pulling out miraculous victories can lead you to a certain amount of faith..almost like a baseball religious experience. It's happening folks, you gotta believe.


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