The Winning Formula


Winning formulas are too formulaic. Yes, I said it. Who in their right state of mind honestly predicted the Oakland A’s to arise from the projected ashes of cellar dwelling in the AL West, to unflappable division champs? There was no winning formula in Oakland. Nobody saw the relevance behind the signing of Yoenis Cespedes other than flipping him for prospects when the time became right. Nobody understood how a team that traded Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey in one offseason could possibly compete with the likes of a Texas Rangers team that was returning as AL Champions, or an Angels team that boasted the newly signed Albert Pujols. Yet, the A’s finished on top.

Like I said before, there was no winning formula. This was mad science as orchestrated by Billy Beane. This was collective chaos and unexpected synchronization. This was cooperative opportunism by the front office, as reflected by the team’s style of play on the field. This was in all honesty, a greatly underestimated roster and organization.

The Rangers have had a taste of the forbidden fruit, and are forever entranced. Winning it all is of the upmost importance, but not at the cost of opportunity. Granted, trading prospects for proven MLB talent and signing high-priced Free Agents raises a team’s chances of winning the World Series, but it is far from a guarantee. This is why all of the Rangers’ moves are made with high regards to the intended sustenance of a winning organization.

The fact of the matter is that winning isn’t a certainty—there are too many variables to relinquish such an assurance. There is no true formula to being a champion. There is no true science to warrant the finality of an outcome, which is why the games are played in the first place.

Sometimes the triumph of the nuances of the game of baseball exist within the intangibles—the less we know—that in our craving for knowledge, we are left stranded at infinite crossroads of conventional thinking—that the gratification of the game of baseball is the unpredictable—the random events that spark elation and euphoria.

Baseball is a simple game, perhaps too simple—simple beyond the means of our collective perspectives, and complicated beyond the means of the emotions that the game raises within us.

There is no winning formula. There is only hope. Whether it is hope for the present, or hope for the future, there is always hope in the game of baseball. But winning formulas? Save those for conventional thinkers.