Bristol, Connecticut--Massive waves of amazement swept through the ESPN offices in Bristol as news regarding America's favorite pastime came to light when key ESPN figures learned that, in fact, Major League Baseball is composed of 30 teams rather than the previously known 9.
"Stunned," Jack Hammerschmidt, ESPN representative and part-time ref for middle school hockey, told reporters following an inquiry about ESPN's emotions in this groundbreaking discovery. "Absolutely stunned. To learn of 21 entirely new teams that have been playing under our very noses was stunning. All we ever play on our networks are the same nine teams, so why would there be more?"
The key event that led to this discovery was the publishing of ESPN's first five Sunday Night Baseball matchups. Among the teams included were the New York Yankees (twice), the Boston Red Sox (twice), the St. Louis Cardinals (twice), the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, and the Cincinnati Reds. "We realized two things," Hammerschmidt revealed. "One, that we didn't actually recognize one team we scheduled--the Reds--and two, that we were pretty sure none of these teams made the World Series in 2014. Using powers of deduction and a few dozen meetings, we extrapolated from these data and concluded that there were 30 teams in baseball."
According to the ESPN website, the only nine teams previously discovered were the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Fransisco Giants, and the Texas Rangers. They were all a part of one massive division, the Pangaea Division, where every team played each other 20 times. The final two games were decided based on a combination of RBIs, bunts, and sacrifice flies.
But how could this happen?
"Well, there are a lot of teams that look alike," Hammerschmidt mused. "For instance, the Giants played the Dodgers in the World Series despite the Dodgers being knocked out earlier in the playoffs. That was a red flag, but we didn't really bother investigating because the season was almost over. We also knew that the Chicago Cubs and the Iowa Cubs were basically the same thing, so we often assumed that a team we didn't recognize was just a farm team of some sort."
By ESPN's own admission, the discovery of an additional 21 teams changes baseball completely. It forces the network to admit that not everybody in the country is a fan of the first nine and that, perhaps, the country would like to see some other teams nationally recognized.
Still, according to the network, it seems unlikely for them to air other baseball games. That would require the network to actually do research on which teams are good and interesting, said Hammerschmidt. Additionally, it would get in the way of the anchors' favorite pastime of finding and wearing the worst possible suit and tie combinations known to mankind.