The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:

— The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.

— The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.

— The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.

— The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.

Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.

When confronted with numbers like these, you have to start to ask a few questions, statistical and existential.

NATE SILVER, The New York Times, “Bill Buckner Strikes Again” (via inothernews)

God is a Rays fan, clearly.

(via paulkatcher)

I’ve only read a few baseball novels in the past twenty years, and those didn’t make much of an impression. I love Philip Roth, for instance, and have devoured fifteen or more of his books—but I couldn’t get through The Great American Novel. So there was no tradition of the baseball novel that I felt myself working in. I think I wanted to avoid writing a “baseball book” in the same way that a novelist writing about sex wants to avoid writing pornography. If the sex is the point, then it’s porn. And if the outcome of a baseball game is the point, then it’s baseball porn.

Paris Review – Chad Harbach on ‘The Art of Fielding’