A Paradox Unparadoxed

NL West

The above image comes to us from the pages of a friendly rival organization, who make it their business to spoil everyone’s fun and tell us exactly what the odds are of your favorite team making the playoffs (the answer, I’m sorry to say, isn’t good for most of us). Today, on the other hand, they provide us with an amusing game wherein we get to imagine a scenario where the Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies, and Giants all have a zero percent chance of making the postseason, but still have a 0.1 percent chance of winning the World Series.

Here’s what I’ve sketched out:

 Alternate Timeline

Click upon to embiggenate.

1)      TJ Simers is rehired by the Los Angeles Times.

2)      Simers discovers Yasiel Puig is actually Yasail Puig, a Grenadan war criminal.

3)      Puig rats out Clayton Kershaw, Juan Uribe, and Zack Greinke as Cylon imposters.

4)      Vin Scully is murdered by Cylon Greinke.

5)      Major League Baseball, its disciplinary hands tied because no one has used PEDs, begins investigating ways to disrupt the space-time continuum.

6)      The Dodgers sweep the World Series after Cylon Kershaw pitches four straight games, strikes out 108 batters, and triggers an earthquake that separates Los Angeles from the rest of the West Coast.

7)      Kershaw, Uribe and Greinke declare themselves God Emporers of New Cylafornia.

8)      Working in secret, Mike Trout discovers how to create a stable Einstein-Rosen bridge and jumps through, returning to February 2013, where he exposes the Dodger imposters before the season begins, thus altering the past to preserve the future.

9)      The Dodgers finish fourth in the new timeline.

10)   In an amazing act of self-sacrifice, “Old” Mike Trout exiles himself to a Himalayan monastery, to avoid polluting this new timeline as much as possible. He achieves enlightenment in 2017 and transcends his physical body, becoming living energy, and is worshiped for centuries to come.

11)   As their own timeline disappears and is being re-written around them, the BBWAA still feels compelled to announce the AL MVP is Miguel Cabrera.

And thus is the 2013 NL West won by someone other than the Dodgers, and the rest of the clubs in the division have a shot at the World Series. I eagerly await any additional scenarios you could think of that would render the same outcome. Please deposit them in the usual place.

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Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for MLB Daily Dish on SB Nation. He currently cohosts the podcast This Week In Baseball History. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.

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So you’re saying there’s a chance….



Exactly what I was going to say.