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With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground . . .


{Tuesday, September 12, 2006}

For the last few years, I've played in the Boston Men's Baseball League, for a team called the Mariners. This is a hardball league, mind you, not softball. I love it; I love the game, and just taking the field in a baseball uniform is one of the best feelings in the world. I only made it to about half the games, this year, mostly because I was traveling too much, but also in some part because my thesis & job apps have been staring me in the face. Anyway, the team actually got decent this year, and finished better than .500, good enough for a wildcard playoff berth. Because I missed so many games, I didn't end up being playoff eligible . . . which was a bummer, but in truth I would have missed the playoff games anyway, being away in NY & NJ visiting family.

So here's the good part: the team won their wildcard matchup, to advance to the next round. Unfortunately, they were matched up with the best team in the league, the Cutters, who finished 18-5 and have been at or near the top of the league for years. I figured, truthfully, that my guys were toast. They managed to split the first two games, though, over the weekend, and make it to a deciding third game.

Game three was last night. It went rough early on; the Mariners went down 3-0, picked up one, then gave up another three. The game went to the 7th (last) inning with the M's down 6-1. Then the unthinkable happened: with TWO OUTS in the last inning, the M's strung together SEVEN consecutive hits, the last one driving home the tying and go-ahead runs, and then held off the Cutters in the bottom of the inning to lock down the win. Here's the game summary on the league site.

Before I go on, I just want to say: HOLY SHIT!

Okay, now, in honor of this blog's name: the odds against a team with a .250 team average getting 7 straight hits at a particular moment (like with 2 outs in the last inning) are 4^7 to 1; that works out to 16384 to 1 against.

So here's a question: has there EVER been a more unlikely, more amazing comeback in a similar backs-against-the-wall situation, in the deciding game of a pro-sports playoff series? I can't think of one. In baseball, there are seven playoff series every year (since the advent of the wildcard, anyway), and it's safe to say that fewer than half of them go to a deciding final game. Before 1969 there was only ONE series per year. So over the 103 years since the first world series, you would get fewer than 160 deciding final games. So the odds are at least 100:1 against such a comeback ever having happened in the history of major league baseball.

So I say again: HOLY SHIT!

posted by Miles 11:44 AM

Oh that's why the infinite number of monkeys with the Hamlet script were asking for you this week...
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