The World Series Imitates the Electoral College

In honor of the World Series of Baseball, which is starting today, I am reposting a piece of satire that I wrote in 2011. Enjoy!

Poll: Americans Want to Scrap World Series

A new poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly prefer to scrap the World Series. A shocking 68% of Americans instead believe that Major League Baseball should rely upon “total runs scored” during the regular baseball season when deciding who should be crowned the MLB champion. This number is a sharp rise from polls taken a decade ago, but still falls slightly behind the 72% majority that preferred change in 1960. In that year, the Yankees scored a record 55 runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but still lost the Series.

Joe Ball, President of FairBaseball, explained the sentiment driving the call for change: “The World Series is fundamentally unfair! One team can score a majority of runs during the course of seven games, yet still lose the championship. Every run should be equal, whether it was obtained in Game 3 or Game 6 of the series. A team should not be able to win the championship simply because it won 4 out of 7 games.”

Ball concluded, “One time in American history the team scoring the most runs failed to win the championship. Outrageously, the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series despite scoring only 27 runs to the Yankees’ 55. Moreover, crisis has been narrowly avoided on several other occasions. We must act now before another baseball team is stripped of victory, despite its demonstrated ability to score more runs than its opponent.”

Supporters of the World Series note that the 7-game series was created decades ago because the founders of MLB knew that important principles would be served by such a structure. They wanted to identify the most well-rounded team: Champions should be able to do well in a variety of circumstances; they should not do well only when a particular hitter is matched against a particular pitcher or only when the team is playing in a certain type of stadium. Sam Homer, president of Save Baseball, explained: “MLB should not crown a team as champion simply because it was able to win a few lopsided victories. If we eliminate the World Series, championships could be won by a team that lost the vast majority of its games but racked up dozens of runs when its best player was able to hit home runs on his own home turf.”

Homer concluded that baseball fans should keep the World Series for the same reason that Americans rely upon the Electoral College during presidential elections. Both were created with the same goal in mind: Just as MLB seeks the most well-rounded team for its champion, so the Electoral College awards the presidency to the most well-rounded candidate. The nation’s Founders wanted to ensure that the President would not simply represent big states and urban areas. Instead, a winning candidate should appeal to a variety of states, cities and regions. Our uniquely big and diverse country deserves its unique presidential election system. After all, this system must identify the candidate best suited to represent a cross-section of Americans.