Over and Out

On Slate, Bill James offers the formula he uses to determine when a basketball game is over: “Take the number of points one team is ahead. Subtract three. Add a half-point if the team that is ahead has the ball, and subtract a half-point if the other team has the ball. Square that. If the result is greater than the number of seconds left in the game, the lead is safe.” (If you’re a Knicks fan, the answer is, “don’t ask.”) Fun, if not baseball related. Alas, there’s no version for the pastime.

8 comments… add one

  • As a lifelong Soxfan I have learned that there is no such formula in baseball: the game is over when the game is over. It’s really very simple.

    SF March 20, 2008, 9:59 am
  • i know i’m not a math wiz yf, but i’m afraid by the time i did the calculations the game would be over anyway…
    sf sounding like yogi

    dc March 20, 2008, 10:26 am
  • dc probably haven’t seen many basketball games, because the last minute takes about half an hour..

    Lar March 20, 2008, 10:44 am
  • That’s the great thing about baseball. Even when down 10-0, with one out left, it’s entirely possible to win. Timed sports suffer from the lack of this possibility, although the timer itself adds a different kind of drama.

    AndrewYF March 20, 2008, 10:54 am
  • you haven’t seen me do math lar…not sure a half hour is long enough for me to figure out the game is over…

    dc March 20, 2008, 10:54 am
  • When the last minute of a basketball game takes about half an hour you can be pretty sure the game’s not over. Because that’s when they need to take all those oh-so-important time-outs.

    pale blue eyes March 20, 2008, 11:25 am
  • Just in time for March Madness.

    DR March 20, 2008, 11:31 am
  • I’m just teasing.. =)
    Go Knicks? ;) Why didn’t we have a YF vs SF bracket? (Or did I miss it?)

    Lar March 20, 2008, 12:35 pm

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