Sept. 9, 2013
TO ALL THOSE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE CHOICE OF SUBJECTS FOR THESE LETTERS
It has come to my attention that a number of my loyal followers disapprove a turn my letters to the faithful have taken.
Instead of continuing the discussion of my concern about communist control of the Large Hadron Collider in Zurich, and why Higgs boson is nothing but a Marxist plot; the New York City Mayoralty race –another reason I thank god for living in New Jersey-- and similar arcane matters, I have begun finally writing about my other favorite obscure subject.
I have held off writing about the Pittsburgh Pirates—not to be confused with the Somali Pirates-- on the grounds that my average –no, above-average readers, the only kind I have – know nothing about baseball and care even less. But now that the Pirates have been anointed by the media as ‘America’s Team,” upgraded from “America’s Losers”-- I am only being trendy now.
As I explained in the offending last letter (Sept. 6, 2013), in 2012 the Bucs established the all-time, virtually unbreakable record of having had 20 losing seasons in a row. No other professional sports franchise in North America is close: In baseball, for example, the Kansas City Royals have managed but 9; the Buffalo Bills in the NFL are at 8, the Timberwolves in the NBA are tied with the Oilers in the NHL with 6.
By “losing season,” is meant not going above .500. Parity. Win one; lose one. In a 162- game season, if my math is correct, that means winning at least 82 games.
All the Pirates at 81 wins (as of Sept.6) needed to break the all-time, never-to- be-repeated in our life time or any other, was one more victory at 82, a level of achievement not reached since 1992. With only 23 games remaining (as of Sept. 6), the 20-season record appeared to be safely in Pittsburgh hands forever.
As I pointed out in the letter that displeased so many (Sept. 6, 2013) to avoid Epic Collapse #3 – Epic Collapse #2 took place in September 2012 and Epic Collapse #1 in September 2011--they need only not lose 23 games in a row starting last week.
Should you have missed the mathematical calculations underpinning this thesis, or have no idea what the protest is about or just want to savor the wit and wisdom of the hot stove league, the original document can be retrieved at:
As you probably don’t know, since my last letter went out on the wires, the Bucs have lost four straight. According to back-of- the- envelope calculations they only have 19 to go to set an even more invincible 21 losing seasons record.
This is not the place to explain how this is happening. As my favorite sports reporter, Larry Merchant, has reminded me, it was Pirates pitcher Bob Veale who first said, “good pitching beats good hitting –and vice versa.”
Suffice it to say, the wheels appear to have fallen off the Pirates steamroller.
I feel bad about all of this, especially if the remaining 19 games go South for the Bucs. It pains me that my mathematical absurdity may be prophetic. But remember a prophet in his own land is still a prophet.
I also feel sorry for those poor wretches who are not interested in baseball. Why, they are probably the same people who are not interested the start of the NFL football season, either.
Sports today are in the mainstream of American thought, especially as the world is about to go up in gas.
What are those who are above sports more interested in anyway? What’s more relevant? The latest app or new electronic toy to buy?
Who is more out of touch --those who have the capacity, indeed, gift, to follow both the baseball races and NFL football at the same time? Or those who say they are not interested? I ask you.
“Religion,” Lenin said, “is the opium of the masses.”
“Opium is the opium of the masses,” said Richard Lingeman.
Carol Kitman says “Monday Night Football” is the opium of the stupid people. Sunday afternoon football is pretty bad, too.”
In the next few thousand words or so, I will attempt to settle this debate. .
FOOTNOTE: Should anyone still continue to not be interested, consider this and succeeding letters on the subject as junk mail. Money back guarantee, as always.