Jesse Jarnow

3.5 months.

Baseball, more than other sports, is a game of statistics. There are batting titles, earned run averages, and Bill James freak-outs. It is a game of distances covered simultaneously by whipped balls of cork and running feet, coming down to inches, and the strategy that pits them against one another. There are lefty/righty match-ups, pinch-hitters, and careers made or broken by the chance encounters of a baseball after it connects with a bat. Numbers are the game’s blood.

Despite this, like the point where human consciousness emerges from a collection of cells and organized tissue, stats only go so far. Ultimately, baseball requires a leap of faith — or, at least, a willful defiance of the numbers. Your favorite team might collapse down the stretch, but they’re still your favorite team. It is not rational. It is the opposite. The Phillies may have won the World Series, but I say fuck ’em, the Mets are still better with exactly the same passion as I did in the middle of the summer, and the same as I will when spring training starts. Fuck ’em. See you in three-and-a-half months.