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 Post subject: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:43 pm 
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http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14696 ... al-meeting

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2016/2/2 ... to-tanking

I think this is a good idea, and a lottery involving every team that misses the playoffs (like the NBA has) - I'm all for it. Maybe move it up to the top 5 or 6 picks get picked by lottery so the team with the worst record gets at least pick #6 or #7, with maybe a 45% chance of higher and #1 in round 2.

I'd run the odds more favorably so teams that go 79-83 would have a fair shot, like 20%-25% at a top 6 pick. Stir things up a bit. The NBA didn't go far enough I think cause teams still tank.

Another idea, I'd flip the September records so teams that win in September get points in the draft, so if a team goes (132 games thru Aug 31), 50-82 and they go (30 games after Sept 1), 12-18, their "lottery" record is 68-94, not 62-100. If they go 18-12 in September, their lottery record is 62-100 even though they win 68 games. I like giving bad teams an incentive to win in September. That would make things more interesting.

- - - clearly I've spent too much time thinking about this.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:49 pm 
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How often to MLB teams actually tank? MLB draft picks are simply too unreliable for it to be worthwhile. When MLB teams are awful, it's generally due to a combination of poor decision making and/or management waiting for young players to make their way through the ranks. Take the Astros of a couple years ago, for example - they weren't tanking, their talent just had yet to arrive.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:34 am 
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LTKfRGM wrote:

I'd run the odds more favorably so teams that go 79-83 would have a fair shot, like 20%-25% at a top 6 pick. Stir things up a bit. The NBA didn't go far enough I think cause teams still tank.


And that's the problem. Teams on the fringe still tank in the nba.

I think the whole tanking narrative in MLB is totally overstated. It's a faux issue to me. Rebuilding is a necessary stage for most teams. There's no way to get around it. In fact it's fun to see how the rebuild is carried out by different organizations. Some clearly do it better than others. And of course depth of financial resources plays a role but that's part of this sport bc there is no salary cap to even out the playing field. But in most ML situations, the rebuild/tank is much less dramatic than it is in the nba for example where teams can easily lose 55+ games in a season. In baseball, the worst teams are may be not more than 12 wins from 500, and they normally start off by attempting to be competitive (to a degree).


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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:43 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
And that's the problem. Teams on the fringe still tank in the nba.

I think the whole tanking narrative in MLB is totally overstated. It's a faux issue to me. Rebuilding is a necessary stage for most teams. There's no way to get around it. In fact it's fun to see how the rebuild is carried out by different organizations. Some clearly do it better than others. And of course depth of financial resources plays a role but that's part of this sport bc there is no salary cap to even out the playing field. But in most ML situations, the rebuild/tank is much less dramatic than it is in the nba for example where teams can easily lose 55+ games in a season. In baseball, the worst teams are may be not more than 12 wins from 500, and they normally start off by attempting to be competitive (to a degree).


. . . I agree with a lot of this. The rebuilding process is fun. The actual tanking, and rooting for losses, I don't care for that so much. Lets say a team gets really bad like the Astros, 56, 55 and 51 wins 3 years in a row. #1 pick, 2012, 2013 and 2014. I'm fine with a team rebuilding, I'm fine with a team trading all their vets. I'm not fine with a team locking up the #1 pick. A lottory for the first 6 picks would have (probably) kept the Astros from drafting Correa and Appel. They'd have still gotten good picks (no later than #7), but it would have stirred things up a bit and made wining 50 vs 65 not a goal to reach for.

It doesn't have to be a huge adjustment, but I'd get behind some adjustment to dis-incentivize the benefit of wining 1 or 2 fewer games than another team so you can pick a spot or two sooner or putting together a team that's bound to win less than 60 to lock up a #1 or #2 pick.

- - - is this something I want to write letters to MLB about - no. It's not my #1 issue, but I do think the game would be improved if they put in an NBA style lottery to mix up the first handful of draft picks.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:07 am 
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LTKfRGM wrote:
HeyNowHK wrote:
And that's the problem. Teams on the fringe still tank in the nba.

I think the whole tanking narrative in MLB is totally overstated. It's a faux issue to me. Rebuilding is a necessary stage for most teams. There's no way to get around it. In fact it's fun to see how the rebuild is carried out by different organizations. Some clearly do it better than others. And of course depth of financial resources plays a role but that's part of this sport bc there is no salary cap to even out the playing field. But in most ML situations, the rebuild/tank is much less dramatic than it is in the nba for example where teams can easily lose 55+ games in a season. In baseball, the worst teams are may be not more than 12 wins from 500, and they normally start off by attempting to be competitive (to a degree).


. . . I agree with a lot of this. The rebuilding process is fun. The actual tanking, and rooting for losses, I don't care for that so much. Lets say a team gets really bad like the Astros, 56, 55 and 51 wins 3 years in a row. #1 pick, 2012, 2013 and 2014. I'm fine with a team rebuilding, I'm fine with a team trading all their vets. I'm not fine with a team locking up the #1 pick. A lottory for the first 6 picks would have (probably) kept the Astros from drafting Correa and Appel. They'd have still gotten good picks (no later than #7), but it would have stirred things up a bit and made wining 50 vs 65 not a goal to reach for.

It doesn't have to be a huge adjustment, but I'd get behind some adjustment to dis-incentivize the benefit of wining 1 or 2 fewer games than another team so you can pick a spot or two sooner or putting together a team that's bound to win less than 60 to lock up a #1 or #2 pick.

- - - is this something I want to write letters to MLB about - no. It's not my #1 issue, but I do think the game would be improved if they put in an NBA style lottery to mix up the first handful of draft picks.

First, the nba lottery system is horrendous. Just 5 times has the team with the worst record gotten the #1 pick in 31 years of the lottery. And 10 times (of the 31 times) a team with < 10% odds has gotten the #1 pick. It's a crazy system. They give the worst team just a 25% "chance" of getting the #1 pick. That's way too low for a league where the top picks actually are huge prizes. And it effectively means there is a 75% likelihood the worst team isn't getting the top pick. All that said, has it stopped teams from tanking in the nba? About that, I don't know bc I don't really follow the sport. It seems like they have much bigger problems to me but I digress.

A lottery would make no sense in baseball for the primary reason that there is generally no consensus top pick each year and so teams usually aren't vying to get the worst record, and so a lottery wouldn't really be *solving* anything.

Truth is that the only jockeying that we've seen in recent years is wrt the #10 pick since it now carries draft pick protection from signing elites FAs. That to me is a problem that needs addressing together with the whole QO/compensation system which currently penalizes the best teams far less than it does the middle tier teams, especially those who fall just outside the bottom ten.


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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:14 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
LTKfRGM wrote:

. . . I agree with a lot of this. The rebuilding process is fun. The actual tanking, and rooting for losses, I don't care for that so much. Lets say a team gets really bad like the Astros, 56, 55 and 51 wins 3 years in a row. #1 pick, 2012, 2013 and 2014. I'm fine with a team rebuilding, I'm fine with a team trading all their vets. I'm not fine with a team locking up the #1 pick. A lottory for the first 6 picks would have (probably) kept the Astros from drafting Correa and Appel. They'd have still gotten good picks (no later than #7), but it would have stirred things up a bit and made wining 50 vs 65 not a goal to reach for.

It doesn't have to be a huge adjustment, but I'd get behind some adjustment to dis-incentivize the benefit of wining 1 or 2 fewer games than another team so you can pick a spot or two sooner or putting together a team that's bound to win less than 60 to lock up a #1 or #2 pick.

- - - is this something I want to write letters to MLB about - no. It's not my #1 issue, but I do think the game would be improved if they put in an NBA style lottery to mix up the first handful of draft picks.

First, the nba lottery system is horrendous. Just 5 times has the team with the worst record gotten the #1 pick in 31 years of the lottery. And 10 times (of the 31 times) a team with < 10% odds has gotten the #1 pick. It's a crazy system. They give the worst team just a 25% "chance" of getting the #1 pick. That's way too low for a league where the top picks actually are huge prizes. And it effectively means there is a 75% likelihood the worst team isn't getting the top pick. All that said, has it stopped teams from tanking in the nba? About that, I don't know bc I don't really follow the sport. It seems like they have much bigger problems to me but I digress.

A lottery would make no sense in baseball for the primary reason that there is generally no consensus top pick each year and so teams usually aren't vying to get the worst record, and so a lottery wouldn't really be *solving* anything.

Truth is that the only jockeying that we've seen in recent years is wrt the #10 pick since it now carries draft pick protection from signing elites FAs. That to me is a problem that needs addressing together with the whole QO/compensation system which currently penalizes the best teams far less than it does the middle tier teams, especially those who fall just outside the bottom ten.


That's the point. The team with the worst record shouldn't be rewarded, especially in the NBA where there can sometimes be an obvious #1 pick. What you call horrendous is exactly why they set up the system in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:07 am 
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LTKfRGM wrote:
The team with the worst record shouldn't be rewarded


Why not? Then why does the draft go in reverse order of the year's standings?


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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:36 am 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
LTKfRGM wrote:
The team with the worst record shouldn't be rewarded


Why not? Then why does the draft go in reverse order of the year's standings?


I'm surprised I even need to say this, but the point is to dis-incentivize the obvious incentive in getting the worst record if the worst record guarantees you a Shaq or leBron or Bryce Harper. Teams still tank, but the incentive to be the worst is less strong with a lottery. I like the dis-incentivizing of losing. Obviously not all the way where the best teams get the #1 pick, but partially dis-incentivizing through lottery is a very good idea. Were the astros really that much more deserving of the #1 pick than say your average 70 win team, so much so that they should have been guaranteed it?

I hope Baseball adopts a draft lottery.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:13 am 
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Why should MLB try to fix something for which no problem exists? There is no consensus #1 pick in the MLB draft the overwhelming majority of cases and bc of that teams are not jockeying (or purposely tanking) to have the worst record. All rebuilding teams are tanking to some extent. It's the result of trading veteran assets for young players.

If not trying enough to win games in the present is so big an issue to some, the way to deal with that is probably some sort of minimum payroll or number of multi-year contracts. Even that seems onerous to me. Teams suffer plenty from finishing in last place. They don't need the league to somehow engineer some draft order result that would likely further disenfranchise someone and not solve anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:45 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
Why should MLB try to fix something for which no problem exists? There is no consensus #1 pick in the MLB draft the overwhelming majority of cases and bc of that teams are not jockeying (or purposely tanking) to have the worst record. All rebuilding teams are tanking to some extent. It's the result of trading veteran assets for young players.

If not trying enough to win games in the present is so big an issue to some, the way to deal with that is probably some sort of minimum payroll or number of multi-year contracts. Even that seems onerous to me. Teams suffer plenty from finishing in last place. They don't need the league to somehow engineer some draft order result that would likely further disenfranchise someone and not solve anything.


The fact that they're discussing it proves that some people think a problem does exist. Besides, it's really not hard to see. I'm surprised you can't see it. Nobody wants owners, before a season to start, to go into the season thinking "Well, we really need an OF, but I'm going to give that AAA guy a chance because we want to lose 105 games this year" - that's not putting the best product on the field and it's not good for the players, and why should the team that spends and extra 5 or 15 million and wins 3-6 more games automatically get a worse pick than the team that Marlins or Astros their way to a 55 win season and gets the #1 pick.

If you want to solve it with a minimum payroll, that works too though that helps teams that can spend money cause they can collect bad players with a couple years left on their contracts. So yours isn't a perfect solution either. Some combination of methods usually works best.

But to say there's no problem, you're just wrong about that. There is a problem. Teams get rewarded in the draft by wining fewer games, especially now with the allotments.

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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:42 am 
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LTKfRGM wrote:
HeyNowHK wrote:
Why should MLB try to fix something for which no problem exists? There is no consensus #1 pick in the MLB draft the overwhelming majority of cases and bc of that teams are not jockeying (or purposely tanking) to have the worst record. All rebuilding teams are tanking to some extent. It's the result of trading veteran assets for young players.

If not trying enough to win games in the present is so big an issue to some, the way to deal with that is probably some sort of minimum payroll or number of multi-year contracts. Even that seems onerous to me. Teams suffer plenty from finishing in last place. They don't need the league to somehow engineer some draft order result that would likely further disenfranchise someone and not solve anything.


The fact that they're discussing it proves that some people think a problem does exist. Besides, it's really not hard to see. I'm surprised you can't see it. Nobody wants owners, before a season to start, to go into the season thinking "Well, we really need an OF, but I'm going to give that AAA guy a chance because we want to lose 105 games this year" - that's not putting the best product on the field and it's not good for the players, and why should the team that spends and extra 5 or 15 million and wins 3-6 more games automatically get a worse pick than the team that Marlins or Astros their way to a 55 win season and gets the #1 pick.

If you want to solve it with a minimum payroll, that works too though that helps teams that can spend money cause they can collect bad players with a couple years left on their contracts. So yours isn't a perfect solution either. Some combination of methods usually works best.

But to say there's no problem, you're just wrong about that. There is a problem. Teams get rewarded in the draft by wining fewer games, especially now with the allotments.

Why does the fact that some people are discussing it, make it a real issue? People discuss lots of things. Teams sacrificing current for future value has been going on for a very long time, so why has it suddenly become "a problem" that needs solving?

But let's say you're right. I haven't yet heard a good explanation of the problem, frankly. I don't think it's an accurate portrayal to suggest that teams enter any season saying their goal is to lose 105 games (or 100 or 95). If the complaint is that teams should be prevented from investing playing time in those AAA OFers and instead they should be spending $5M to $10M more on 30+ yo veteran FAs in order to chase wins 72, 73 and 74, I think most fans would instead acknowledge the futility in that endeavor and prefer to invest the time in the kids. So who does it hurt by taking the long view over the short? The teams themselves are hurt the most by it. It's a painful process. Teams lose $millions at the gate, in ratings, and in franchise value by being a doormat for several seasons. And then they suffer by having difficulty attracting top FAs before they're good again. So it's not a process that is undertaken lightly.

And I'll repeat, there is rarely consensus atop the MLB amateur draft. Most of the time the talent within the top ten is interchangeable.... not to mention that the bust rate is pretty high even in the top half of the 1st rd. So I would challenge the idea that teams on a trajectory for a 72 win season (6th or 7th worse record) are deliberately throwing games in order finish closer to the worst record.

Often times those teams do get worse by selling off more veterans during the season, but those teams recognize that there is no reward for finishing at 74 wins vs. 70, and so they continue on the path of sacrificing current wins for future ones. I don't see the compelling problem with this for which MLB needs to engineer a solution. And so what behavior is a draft lottery going to "solve?" Are teams going to stop selling off veterans during the season and chase the 72rd and 73th win just because they may not automatically get a bottom 3 pick? I don't see why having a lottery system would change any behavior.

Where the incentive does come in that can be corruptive is the 10th worse record and with it, protection from losing that pick if signing a FA who turned down a QO. That's where the contrivance of protecting the bottom ten picks has created a problem and where there is real incentive to finish with the 10th worst record instead of the 11th worst. I think that imbalance (caused by the value attached to the 10th worst record) is definitely something that needs to be fixed.

So teams making the choice to rebuild by sacrificing current for future success do so at their own risk. They risk their own fans and even franchise value for taking the chance that the players they pin their future hopes on actually pan out the way they sketched it out. But as we know, circumstances and other stuff often get in the way. All that said, if you generally accept the idea behind the draft order being in reverse of the previous year's record in order to attempt to achieve some competitive balance, then there would have to be some very compelling reason to tinker with it. If the reason to consider changing it is that a top pick shouldn't come as a reward for not trying to win games, then someone else would be "rewarded" with those top draft picks and on what basis would that be justified? Why would you want to have a .500 team possibly end up getting the top pick in the draft? That flips the whole idea of the draft on its head.


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 Post subject: Re: Owners (might) explore rules to disincentivize tanking.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:40 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:

Why does the fact that some people are discussing it, make it a real issue? People discuss lots of things. Teams sacrificing current for future value has been going on for a very long time, so why has it suddenly become "a problem" that needs solving?



It's become a measurably bigger problem with draft allotment which was only started 4 years ago. Draft allotment is a good idea, but it makes it far less likely that the top player will sign below the top 3 maybe 4 picks. It also gives the team with the worst record significantly more money to spend.

HeyNowHK wrote:

But let's say you're right. I haven't yet heard a good explanation of the problem, frankly. I don't think it's an accurate portrayal to suggest that teams enter any season saying their goal is to lose 105 games (or 100 or 95). If the complaint is that teams should be prevented from investing playing time in those AAA OFers and instead they should be spending $5M to $10M more on 30+ yo veteran FAs in order to chase wins 72, 73 and 74, I think most fans would instead acknowledge the futility in that endeavor and prefer to invest the time in the kids. So who does it hurt by taking the long view over the short?



What I'd like to see stop is a 90 or 95 loss teams deliberately losing 100 or 105 games by bad team building. You're arguments are over-complicating a simple point.


HeyNowHK wrote:

The teams themselves are hurt the most by it. It's a painful process. Teams lose $millions at the gate, in ratings, and in franchise value by being a doormat for several seasons. And then they suffer by having difficulty attracting top FAs before they're good again. So it's not a process that is undertaken lightly.



Depends on the team. Also, there's not a huge gate difference between a 67-95 team and a 58-104. You claim they lose million. I'm not sure that's the case.

Besides, the team that wins 55 games might only need 4 years to rebuild while the team that wins 75 might meed 6. Lost money is relative to the speed of the rebuild.


HeyNowHK wrote:

And I'll repeat, there is rarely consensus atop the MLB amateur draft. Most of the time the talent within the top ten is interchangeable.... not to mention that the bust rate is pretty high even in the top half of the 1st rd. So I would challenge the idea that teams on a trajectory for a 72 win season (6th or 7th worse record) are deliberately throwing games in order finish closer to the worst record.


That point, I agree with, though sometimes there is. The odds increase measurably with the #1 pick vs the #2 pick though and the increase in money to spend also helps. it still matters.

#1 overall picks, 963.8 war since 1965. average 18.9 war
#2 overall average 12.1
#3 overall, 10.2
#4, 10.9
#5, 7.4

Those numbers are pretty definitive that the first pick is the pick to have. Add to that the increase in draft allotment, it's more true now than it used to be.

Yes, there's no guarantee. I never said there was a guarantee. I said there's a BENEFIT and there is. I've statistically proven it.

Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft ... pe=junreg&
http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft ... pe=junreg&
http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft ... pe=junreg&
(etc)


HeyNowHK wrote:

Often times those teams do get worse by selling off more veterans during the season, but those teams recognize that there is no reward for finishing at 74 wins vs. 70, and so they continue on the path of sacrificing current wins for future ones. I don't see the compelling problem with this for which MLB needs to engineer a solution. And so what behavior is a draft lottery going to "solve?" Are teams going to stop selling off veterans during the season and chase the 72rd and 73th win just because they may not automatically get a bottom 3 pick? I don't see why having a lottery system would change any behavior.



sigh.

Selling off vets to add prospects in trade and to shed salary is fine, and teams aren't wrong to do that. That won't stop nor should it. It's good for the vets who get traded, some of them lose their QO compensation, that's all good.

What I'd like to see stop is a team actually trying to get a really bad record entirely for the draft.

HeyNowHK wrote:

Where the incentive does come in that can be corruptive is the 10th worse record and with it, protection from losing that pick if signing a FA who turned down a QO. That's where the contrivance of protecting the bottom ten picks has created a problem and where there is real incentive to finish with the 10th worst record instead of the 11th worst. I think that imbalance (caused by the value attached to the 10th worst record) is definitely something that needs to be fixed.



I agree with this, but this wasn't the point of the article I posted and this is a separate issue, and also, an issue I'd like to see addressed. It's far too arbitrary and too punishing for the team with the 11th worst record.

HeyNowHK wrote:

So teams making the choice to rebuild by sacrificing current for future success do so at their own risk. They risk their own fans and even franchise value for taking the chance that the players they pin their future hopes on actually pan out the way they sketched it out. But as we know, circumstances and other stuff often get in the way. All that said, if you generally accept the idea behind the draft order being in reverse of the previous year's record in order to attempt to achieve some competitive balance, then there would have to be some very compelling reason to tinker with it. If the reason to consider changing it is that a top pick shouldn't come as a reward for not trying to win games, then someone else would be "rewarded" with those top draft picks and on what basis would that be justified? Why would you want to have a .500 team possibly end up getting the top pick in the draft? That flips the whole idea of the draft on its head.


I don't know what this means. Teams always rebuild at their own risk. All I'm saying is that the team that's the best at being the worst shouldn't AUTOMATICALLY get the #1 pick and the most draft money to spend. We should stop rewarding teams for being the best at being the worst, but instead, mix it up a little, so the incentive to be the best at being the worst is decreased. I don't think it can ever be eliminated, but I'd like to see it reduced.

Yes, somebody will always get "rewarded", but if you make that reward less specific, the goal of losing is decreased. I feel like I've explained this 5 times. It's not complicated.

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I've always loved a good underdog story. Go Mets (2018). I know an underdog when I see one.


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