I have had to laugh over the last 15 hours or so since the American League won yet another all-star game – their 13th in a row. The media has felt the need to explain this total and utter domination, and they have come up with all sorts of truly ridiculous theories. I’ve hard about the pitching, the hitters, the different styles managers embrace in the different leagues, and so on. All of that, frankly, is really, really stupid.
There is really just one explanation for what has happened – it’s a total fluke. Just think about it – both leagues have more than their share of good players, and it’s a different team managed by a different manager every year. There is absolutely no matchup in the baseball world in which you would bet on one team to win 13 straight – not even the Nationals against the Red Sox. The very worst teams in the league still win a third of their games, and they still manage to beat top teams once in a while. Why, then, would a team with the best players in the league not be able to beat another team? The only way it would happen is by some strange statistical fluke, not any of the ridiculous reasons I have read and heard.
Think of a casino game like roullette – black and red are equally likely to hit over the long term, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t see a streak of 15 or even 20 of one color before the other comes up. That same basic idea is the only feasible explanation for the all-star dominance. The one-sided nature isn’t helped by the sample size, either. Because there is just one game per year the long streak can seem like it goes on forever, and that makes it more of a story. Several teams this year have already had wnning or losing streaks of 13 or more gamesthis year and that hasn’t seemed like as big of a deal because they only lasted for two weeks instead of two decades.
All in all, the domination is interesting but it’s a total non-story.