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You Can Win The Series If You Are Willing To Lose The Game

September 5, 2022

There were once two brothers who raced chariots. The two brothers were highly competitive. They constantly races their teams again each other. Each brother had three teams. Their teams were evenly matched. They would first race their best teams. Then, on the next day they would race their second best teams. And then on the last day they would race their third teams. The winner was the brother who won the most races over the three days.

One day a man visited the younger brother,

I can help you win every time over your brother.

That doesn’t seem possible.

The Seattle Mariners baseball team has not been to the playoffs in twenty years. It is the longest streak among professional sports leagues. The other teams with long droughts are:

  • NFL – Jets: 11 years
  • NHL – Sabres: 11 years
  • NBA – Kings: 16 years

The Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001. That year they won 116 games, a record. But, they failed to reach the World Series. In fact, they remain the only MLB team to never reach the World Series. It’s unlikely the World Series drought will end this year, but with 27 games left, they are currently tied for the top playoff spot. There’s a 99% chance they will make the playoffs. One of the strongest parts of Seattle’s team is their starting pitching. They brought in a pitcher named Robbie Ray who won the Cy Young award last year. And then, at the trade deadline they added another ace pitcher. They have two of the best pitchers in the league. Their third best pitcher is pretty good as well. Even their rookie pitchers are good. But, the top two are in a class by themselves.

If they do make the playoffs they will play in the Wild Card round. It’s a best-of-three series. In other words, whichever team wins two out of three games wins the series. Seattle will likely pitch their best pitcher in game 1, their second best pitcher in game 2 and their third best pitcher if there is a game 3. Obviously the team they are playing will do the same thing. Each team trying to win each game.

But, what if there was a way to win the series? I don’t know if it would work, but the ancient brothers and their chariots offer a method.

That doesn’t seem possible?

Your teams and your brother’s teams are evenly matched, right?

Yes. They are nearly identical. Each race is very close.

On the first day, you normally run your best team, correct?

Yes, of course.

The next time you compete, run your third best team on the first day.

But, against my brother’s best team they will surely lose.

Yes. And then, on the second day when your brother is running is second best team, that day race your best team. Your best will beat his middle team, will they not?

Yes. Easily.

Then, on the last day run your second best team against your brother’s worst team. Once again you will win, and winning two out of three you will be the champion.

Baseball is not a horserace. And there is no guarantee that Seattle’s best pitcher would win against another team’s second best pitcher.

But, it would be fun to see them try it.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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