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Newsletter Snippet: What Till Next Year

Another baseball season came to close on Sunday, ended for the Padres on a swing by Pablo Sandoval, the broken down former Giants hero whose brief resurgence won San Francisco the finale but cost them the coveted first overall draft pick next June.

For the Padres, with a final tally of 71-91, the results were business as usual. That’s the sixth time in seven years that the Padres have finished with 70-something wins, a stretch that was rudely interrupted only by last year’s 68-win team. On balance, it’s been an unremarkable stretch of bad but not downright terrible performance, shag carpeting and wood paneling repurposed in the form of a baseball team.

This squad was supposed to be really bad, though, projected by most algorithms and talking heads to be the worst team in baseball. In the end, they weren’t—at least if you ignore our old friend Pythagoras. The Padres won more real-life games than expected, outpacing six other clubs, some of which entered April with legitimate playoff hopes (like the Mets and those Giants).

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