Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work

Noticed this tidbit from Monday's Wall Street Journal:

256: Games National League teams would have to play to accurately determine which is the best, about 58% more than the schedule allows.

Source: New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory

Firstly, I'm interested to know their methodology, since there are 16 NL teams, and 256 doesn't divide by 15 evenly--I assume they mean EACH team would have to play 256 games, so it's a seven-game series against all 15 opponents, plus a one-game tiebreaker--but I'm not sure why that tiebreaker would exist in the first place if all the other head-to-head matchups were resolved with a seven-game series. Any of you rocket scientists know the scoop?

More importantly, however, what the hell is Los Alamos National Laboratory doing spending its time and taxpayer money figuring shit like this out? Don't they have government secrets to make available for leaks?


QuadSevens said...

Does the American League have to play more or less games to figure out who is best?

I think someone just said, "There are 16 teams in the NL? Well 16 squared is 256! That's how many games they should play!"

Steve Sax said...

I would guess the AL, with 14 teams, would have to play fewer games.

Or, they could just call them "playoff games," and the A's could just forfeit in advance.

berkowit28 said...

Yeah, it didn't even occur to them that teams don't play themselves. I think they *meant* : all teams have to play each other (that's 15 games) and equal number of times. But why 15 (or 16) times? Why would that be better that, say, 8 times each? Or 11 times. 11 times would be 165 games, very close to what they play now, but would indeed be "fairer" than the current system.