The guys over at 538 have proved the Cubs really are the unluckiest team in baseball—but they still give them a 48% chance of winning the World Series:
[A]ny ballclub that appears in the postseason often enough — no matter how mediocre its teams are — should eventually be guaranteed a World Series win. But for more than a century’s worth of Cubs squads, no level of greatness has been able to get them over the hump. I determined just how unlucky each franchise has been over its postseason history by taking its Elo rating and the size of the playoff field and then calculating how likely the team was to win the Series each year using the process I outlined above. I added up those probabilities from all the years in which a World Series was held and compared them with how many titles the teams actually won, and I found that the Cubs are the unluckiest team of the last 113 years.
Just based on the pretty-good teams the Cubs have featured in their 18 playoff appearances, my model expected them to win six or seven championships. Instead, they’ve only won two since 1903, and both were more than 100 years ago. (Notably, this year’s Cubs triumphed in the NLCSover the second-most-unlucky team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.) The Cubs have had more years to be unlucky than most teams, since they’ve existed for a long time. But even on a per-playoff-season basis, the Cubs have been the least fortunate franchise in baseball.
That said, the Cubs are in Cleveland tonight to play their first World Series game in 71 years. Will they win it all? No one can say. But they're here.
It's really real:
Now all they need to do is update this sign:
Holy shit. They did it.
More later; still absorbing it.
Still busy. So busy.
And now I have to set up a development environment.
Recaps of the debate comprise just a few of the things I haven't had time to read today:
- Who hated Trump's caginess on whether he'd accept the election results if he lost? Everyone: The Economist, The New Republic, The National Review, Talking Points Memo, everyone.
- Trump's debate performance is being compared to book reports by kids who haven't read the book.
- Pilot Patrick Smith says Trump's airline wasn't that bad for customers, but it never made a profit either.
- Meanwhile, the Cubs beat the Dogders 10-2, which means the series will be decided at Wrigley on Saturday or Sunday.
- Looks like Chicago will have a warm-ish November and a normal-ish winter.
- One of the world's largest data centers, here in the South Loop area of Chicago, will soon be a lot bigger.
- Funny statistic: almost all airport noise complaints come from a handful of people—like the one person in Maryland who complained about Washington Dulles 1,024 times last year.
- Finally, "Hamilton," which I saw Sunday, got a rave from the Tribune.
Back to my meetings.
Why am I not super-excited about the Cubs being in the playoffs? Well, take tonight's game, for example. Right towards the end, Fox Sports' color guy pointed out that in 200 postseason appearances, the Dodgers have never had back-to-back shutouts.
You know what? Call me when the Cubs win their third game in this series.
I'd planned to wear a Cubs hat every day during the NLCS and World Series this year. Yesterday, however, Hamilton took precedence. I won't make that mistake again. The Cubs are now 1-1 with the Dodgers, and they still have to win 7 more games this year.
I'm also swamped at work.
Last night the Cubs came back from a 3-run deficit to beat the Giants 6-5 and win the National League Division Series. This puts them in the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2008—4 wins away from their first pennant in 73 years and 8 wins from their first World Series win in 108.
I haven't let myself get excited about these possibilities until now, because I've been a Cubs fan for a very long time. But Saturday they're at Wrigley in the playoffs. And two weeks from Saturday, on October 29th, they could conceivably cause millions of Chicagoans' heads to explode.
(The location tag for this post is accurate. I'm on a train heading to a client site. I love living in the future.)
Wow, my blogging velocity has been crap this month. And here I go, doing it crappier:
There will be more later, I'm sure.
Just a couple of tasty items today:
- One of my favorite BBQ places in Chicago, Smoke Daddy, will be opening at Hotel Zachary, which is currently under construction next to Wrigley Field. Next season's chow options will be that much better, not to mention excellent ribs a 20-minute walk from home.
- Republican US Senator Mark Kirk sparred with his Democratic opponent, US Representative Tammy Duckworth, at the Chicago Tribune's editorial board endorsement session yesterday.
That's it for now. Back to optimizing software.