Sound and fury

A press release that caught my attention.

One of the “joys” of returning from vacation is sorting through the ton of e-mails that have accumulated in my inbox.

Of course, I can still remember the days when returning from vacation meant trying to find your desk under all the mail that had piled up. When I returned to my office this past Wednesday, sorting through two weeks of snail mail took about seven minutes. E-mail took up the better part of my day.

Anyway, tucked away in the virtual avalanche of e-mails was a rather amusing, if somewhat off-point, press release from Workers United Union, which represents foodservice employees working in a variety of settings. Workers United, as had its previous incarnation, Unite Here, periodically attacks contract management firms for their “exploitation” of employees. Over the years its primary target has been Aramark, and this release was little different.

Now, I don’t know who’s right in this ongoing cold war between Aramark and Workers United, and it is not an issue we involve ourselves with as a magazine. But I have to give Workers United an A for attention-getting for its current campaign.

The release’s headline read: Superstitious Fan Wonder: Is Ballpark Concessionaire Aramark Bad For Baseball Teams? Citing a sports statistic tracking service called baseball-reference.com, Workers United went into a brief description of Pythagorean Win-Loss, which apparently is the expected win-loss record of a team based on runs scored vs. runs given up, explained how that number is compared with a team’s actual wins and losses to come up with Pythagorean Luck.

Simply put, teams who win more games than they should based on their Pythagorean Win-Loss are lucky, and those that do not, are not.

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