I once read that, mathematically speaking, if the Chicago Cubs were put in a closed system and isolated from all other variables, statistically they would have won a World Series by now.
I guess that's one more thing Major League Baseball has screwed up.
OK, the strike, the abrupt end to last season and the late start this year I'm willing to forgive and forget, but come on MLB, you're testing my patience.
It's bad enough viewers only get to see a quarter of the divisional games, but at least give us games worth seeing. I was stuck watching Game 1 of the Cincinnati-Los Angeles series Tuesday, a 7-2 yawner, while the rest of the country got games with Ken Griffey Jr. going 3-for-5 with two home runs, Atlanta reliever Mark Wohlers surviving a bases-loaded ninth inning and Cleveland's Tony Pena hitting a game-winning homer in the 13th inning.
I know NBC and The Baseball Network have contractual obligations, but why? TBN has exclusive rights to the games, which means other networks can't even show highlights until after they end.
Again, everyone wins except the fans.
I felt fortunate just to see split-screen coverage of the Colorado-Atlanta ninth-inning, although the screens were so small I was straining my prescription. The biggest insult however, occurred with the bases loaded and heavy-hitter Andres Galarraga of the Rockies at the plate with one out in the ninth and his team down by one. NBC waited until the count reached 1-2 to leave Denver and go back to Los Angeles so Greg Gumbel could say goodbye from L.A. and give the score one more time.
Thankfully, Galarraga was still up when they went back to Coors Field.
With the updates and split screens, it almost seemed like I was watching CBS's coverage of March Madness. The big difference was CBS would leave a rout and show a close game when the situation called for it; on the other hand, NBC and TBN, after sticking a fourth of the nation with a rout, merely updated the other close games, amounting to nothing more than a tease.
More baseball ... Who made the postseason schedule anyway? In every other sport, the team with the best record gets home-field advantage. It's common sense.
Transfer that logic to baseball and something weird happens. Cleveland, with the best record in the American League, might go through the AL playoffs without home-field advantage. Boston, the team with the second-best AL record, somehow has home-field in its series against the Indians.
Adding insult to injury, if Seattle Ÿ the team with the worst record of the AL playoff teams Ÿ gets past New York, the Mariners would get home-field advantage regardless of what happens between Cleveland and Boston.
This athleticism of the mind didn't stop with the American League though.
Atlanta, the top NL team, at least gets home-field against the wild-card Rockies, but should the Braves win that series, they lose that advantage in the NLCS regardless of who they play.
At some point I keep thinking the law of averages will kick in and baseball will get its act together.
Then I remember the Cubs.
Patrick Klein is assistant sports editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. His column appears weekly.
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