After last night’s loss sent the Indians even deeper into the American League Central basement, I started to wonder why this team might be having such trouble. I decided that it must be due to the weird start times, especially those 6:10 home games, which is the sole reason for last night’s loss. Shockingly, the data actually back me up on this one, although none of the numbers are pretty when a team is as bad as the 2015 Indians. In my opinion, baseball games should start at either 1:05ish or 7:05ish local time. Any start time aside from those is done as a gimmick for national television, the fans, or both. And since baseball is a game of superstitions, this theory makes complete sense.
Through 31 games, the Indians are 10-21. Of those games, ten have started at atypical times. The Indians’ circadian rhythms must be off, as they are 2-8. In games that start just after 1 PM or 7 PM local time, the Indians are 9-12. Though 9-12 amounts for a .429 winning percentage, it is over 200% higher than the .200 “earned” in the abnormal start time games. Not to mention attendance still stinks, which was the whole reason for the switch. There are people getting paid a lot more than me to try and figure out the on-field issues, but since everyone wants to think they have the answers, I came up with a few not-so-serious theories.
For the start time issue, the theory I have is that Terry Francona likes to take 90-minute naps every day at 4 PM local time. With a 1:05 start time, this happens right after the game ends, while a 7:05 start means that he will be up and ready for first pitch. This also means that Tito sleeps right through 4:05 games and he is still out of it for those bizarre 6:10 starts. This puts the Indians at a disadvantage since Brad Mills has to take over and he can’t manage his way out of a paper bag.
I also have two theories about the season as a whole. First, in a display of true fielding excellence, every player aside from Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis showed that they are unable to catch a popup, instead getting hit in the head and becoming secretly concussed. For various reasons, the concussion doesn’t affect Carlos Santana. Second, Nick Swisher saps the life out of his teammates in order to keep up his extremely happy and bro-heavy demeanor.
Just like the SI Cover Jinx, these are all real and legitimate theories based on hard data and evidence. They’re also as well-rounded as the wheels on Francona’s scooter. Take that, Ryan McCrystal!