Playoff Odds as Distance from Rome circa 200 AD

Below is a map of the Roman Empire upon which are pasted the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Where they are located on the map corresponds to cities of the Roman Empire. Each city’s distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014. The image is entirely embiggenable and is really only understood in an embiggened state.


A table with some data for y’alls:

Team Playoff Odds (%) Roman City Travel Days From Roma Distance (km)
Cardinals 78.2 Capua 3.3 276
Tigers 74 Carthago 4.2 632
Dodgers 73.5 Syracusae 5.1 771
Red Sox 67.7 Dertona 6.2 598
Braves 59.2 Massilia 6.8 906
Nationals 57 Tarentum 7.2 1065
Rangers 52 Apollonia (Epirus) 8.1 1201
Pirates 48.8 Salona 8.4 433
Giants 46.4 Iol Caesarea 8.7 1362
Athletics 43.8 Arminum 8.9 442
Indians 42.7 Corinthus 9.2 1444
Angels 41 Carthago Nova 10.7 1629
Rays 36.6 Chersonasos 11 1754
Yankees 34.1 Verona 12.9 668
Blue Jays 33 Alexandria 13.2 2309
Royals 31.5 Smyrna 14 2148
Diamondbacks 28.3 Caesaraugusta 15.8 1280
Mariners 28.1 Memphis 15.8 2535
Padres 25.1 Lugdunum 15.9 1267
Rockies 24.5 Virunum 17.2 806
Brewers 17.2 Antiocha 17.9 2903
Mets 13.4 Portis Blendium 18.1 1733
Reds 12 Siscia 19 733
Phillies 10 Scytholopolis 20 2980
Orioles 6.4 Constantinopolis 20.6 2645
Astros 4.2 Sirmium 21.2 888
Cubs 3.5 Volubilis 22.8 2384
Marlins 3 Londinium 26 2972
Twins 2.5 Lauriacum 26.5 1049
White Sox 2.4 Circesium 31.8 3588

Some notes:

  • Distance was determined by using an astonishingly cool tool called ORBIS, and playoff odds are found on this very site, itself astonishingly cool.
  • ORBIS assumes the year to be 200 AD, but this map represents the Roman Empire in 400 AD. If you tinker with ORBIS yourself, I used the default settings with September as the travel month (’cause we’re travelling to the playoffs, get it??).
  • Portis Blendium, where the Mets are located, apparently disappeared between 200 and 400 AD.
  • You’ll notice that it’s very difficult to hike over mountains and quite efficient to cross the empire by sea. This explains why the Twins in Lauriacum appear much closer to the playoffs/Rome than the Angels or Blue Jays. In reality, the Twins have about the same chance as the Marlins (OLD LOGO ALERT) in Londinium. I included Distance (km) in the table to give you a sense of the disparity between route length and ease of travel. The Giants are “closer” than the A’s by travel days!
  • Poor White Sox.


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Zach is an egregious malcontent whose life goal is to literally become the London Tube. @itszachreynolds.

39 Responses to “Playoff Odds as Distance from Rome circa 200 AD”

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  1. Yirmiyahu says:

    This is brilliant, and combines all the things I love: baseball, statistics, maps, and history.

    On a related note: I am such a geek.

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Matt from Chicago says:

    I sincerely hope that this feature will be updated periodically showing how much further or closer to Rome teams get as the season moves on.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. pmreddick says:

    Pirates, Reds, and Rangers all could cut a lot of distance from their trip by sailing across whatever the body of water east of Rome is.

    Advantage: Pirates

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Resolution says:

    I’m also glad that the Rays, Pirates, Mariners, and Marlins are all near a body of water, the Rockies are in a mountain range, and the Blue Jays are on a different continent. If only the Angels were at the Vatican… I blame Pujols.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. ryan says:

    Shouldn’t the Mariner’s logo be in Seattle’s present day location?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. AC of DC says:

    Poor Tigers! (Vae Tigribus, perhaps?) Censeo Detroitinem deletur. At least, last I knew.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. eckmuhl says:

    This is awfully abstruse even by NotGraphs standards. Thank you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

    “Those of us about to lose, we salute you.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. scatterbrian says:

    My family hails from Dodger country. Damn you Cistulli.

    Also, I thought ORBIS was some new stat. Perhaps Octavian Runs Batted In.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. KCDaveInLA says:

    Changing my username now to SmyrnaDaveInSyracusae.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. jcxy says:

    just outstanding

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Craig says:

    This is amazing, but there was no Constaninopils in 200 A.D. Byzantium was in the same location, however.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. James says:

    Which team will be the Spartacus of this season? Coming dramatically close to Rome while gaining a legion of followers but never actually reaching it (okay, not dramatically close, but enough to make Rome shudder).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Sean says:

    Astros 10th closest as the Roman Eagle flies.

    We’re comin fer ya.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Gyre says:

    What happened to ‘enlarge’ ? More Luddites in the kitchen?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Gyre says:

    I see the Yankees multiple holes have been fixed by one rookie pitcher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nathanyanks3 says:

      He’s gonna play 3rd too. And second. And he’ll have such great range that Jeter’s lack of range won’t matter. And he’s gonna be the fifth starter too! Let’s go Verona!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Ira says:

    Fun fact: Rome was built in one day.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. smocon says:

    There are Roman ruins in Ireland, couldnt you put some of the teams located outside of the Empire there instead?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Bertie says:

    Thanks for this – absolutely brilliant.

    Would be cool to see this updated during the season – but I guess some teams will have fallen off the edge of the known world by All Star break…..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Mike says:

    I’m sorry, but where did these odds come from? Seriously. White Sox, dead last? I understand the chances are slim, but worse than the Cubs and Astros?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. BenReverDoesSteroids says:

    Just stick the White Sox in Butte, Montana.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Matthew Murphy says:

    I think my favorite part about this map is that the Yankees appear to be quite close, but upon further inspection, you realize that they are actually quite far away from Rome / the playoffs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. elixxior says:

    I enjoy the fact that the Phillies are located near Philadelphia, lol.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. JiminNC says:

    Why isn’t your header “travel-time from Rome” instead of distance, since that is what Orbis offers?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. SouthSideScipio says:

    I love the White Sox, but I also love history. I don’t mind being told my team is going to suck as long as it is done in such a remarkable way.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. TAk says:


    Vote -1 Vote +1

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