CLEVELAND (Bottom of the Fourth) - The term "upside-down standings" has been thrown around a lot in the early baseball season in reference to the American League Central division, as the teams' current records reflect essentially the opposite of what pundits predicted prior to the 2011 season. However, while the small sample size of early season play naturally produces surprising results, this is one that can be expected to continue indefinitely, as there is a logical explanation for it: games in the AL Central are actually being played upside-down.
It is a well-established fact, of course, that physically inverting the game of baseball correspondingly inverts the expected results, as with mathematical functions. To be specific, this phenomenon is analogous to the mathematical reciprocal function, in which the function is flipped to the bottom of the fraction. This explains Cleveland manager Manny Acta's explanation for his team's excellent early-season play: "we've all got a common denominator right now."
For anyone who hasn't witnessed upside-down baseball, this may seem outrageous. How would one, as a fan, watch an upside-down baseball game live, in the park? And how could this have been going on for 10% of the season already without anyone mentioning, even off-handedly, "hey, isn't it weird that the game tonight was upside-down?"
In reality, the crowds haven't themselves been aware of the inverted nature of the games in the early going, as each AL Central stadium possesses a special gravity field that flips everything inside the stadium, not just the playing surface. Fans are watching the game while upside-down without being aware of it. And for some reason nobody has yet questioned the "re-orientation chambers" by which all fans are required to enter the stadium, assuming it was just some sort of TSA-related cancer beam.
This concept was originally implemented as a joint project between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians. The two teams decided that rather than developing and acquiring talented baseball players in an effort to win, it would be easier to just turn their 50,000 capacity stadiums upside-down. Upon successfully completing the endeavour in their own parks, they hired an unlisted, independent contractor to stealthily install the system in their divisional rivals' parks without their knowing. Through a series of upside-down phone calls Bottom of the Fourth was able to reach Ali Sunderji, the contractor, who was surprisingly candid about his work.
"Oh yeah, I mean the government hasn't really found out about LSP (Large-Scale Reciprocation, apparently the industry term for flipping huge things upside-down), so there aren't any laws against it," explained Sunderji. "I stay out of the spotlight to prevent regulation of my field, but what I do isn't actually illegal."
Sunderji went on to describe some of his other LSP work, including reciprocation of mountainous Peruvian villages ("to produce crops other than potatoes"), archaeological sites (funded by the Republican Party, "to unprove evolution"), and Mount Everest ("to make an awesome sledding hill").
But Sunderji says he's found his true calling in baseball. "I grew up in Cincinnati, home of baseball, and I've loved the game all my life. Pete Rose was my favourite player growing up, I idolized that guy. And there's nothing that gives me greater pleasure than bringing my work into the game to give certain teams unfair advantages because they paid me to."