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Busting the narratives: reverse pennant races

backwards clock

As Kierkegaard once said: “The baseball season can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Which is why narratives are created as the season goes on, assigning epic collapses to teams who play poorly late and inspirational surges to teams who play poorly early. Even if said teams -- over the long haul -- are about exactly the same.

But what if we turned the season around backawards? What if we lived it “Time’s Arrow”-style, with the season beginning in early October and ending in early April? What would we say about teams then?

Chris Jaffe takes a stab at that, looking at past seasons -- 1982, 1973 to be exact -- and figuring out the narratives which would have prevailed in that case.

It’s a fun mental exercise and a good read.