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What is your team doing to maximize the rule book to your advantage?

Major League Baseball teams play 162 games a season. You might think that the wheat would separate itself from the chaff over those six months and the 1,458 innings and 8,800 outs therein.

You would be wrong.

The Colorado Rockies beat out the Milwaukee Brewers for a spot in tomorrow night's National League Wild Card Game by one win. The Boston Red Sox avoided a do-or-die game in the AL Wild Card Game over the New York Yankees by two games. The Cleveland Indians won home field advantage over the Houston Astros in the AL by one game.

Still, with such a gargantuan scope of a baseball season, you would be forgiven for thinking a team may not chase an out call in the fifth inning of a weeknight game in May all that hard. After all, even if this game ends in a loss, well, there's another game tomorrow, and another game after that, and on and on it goes.

Instead, the best teams chase every out, because that out could be the difference between making the playoffs and not.

For example, take this passage from a recent New York Postpiece:

Take last season, when the Cardinals missed the postseason by one game and were right on just 52.7 percent of their challenges. The two NL wild-card teams, the Mets and Giants, ranked ahead of them (66 and 61 percent, respectively).

With the Yankees hoping to contend for the playoffs this year, they were tied with the Twins for the best challenge rate in the majors at 83.3 percent as of Thursday. The Yankees were successful on 12 of 14 attempts, Minnesota on 6 of 7.

The Yankees employ someone specifically to manage the MLB replay system. His job is to know every word, every grammatical mark, of the MLB rule book and use it to the Yankees advantage. And they do that because Brett Weber's knowledge of the rule book and the replay system may be the difference between a shot at the World Series and not making the playoffs.

Now consider the difference between baseball and football. A typical college football program's season is 7.4 percent as long as an MLB teams'. High school? 6.2 percent. This means that the breaks of each game mean 14 times as much in football as they do in baseball.

With all that in mind, ask yourself this: What is your program doing to use every available resource to your team's maximum advantage?

Read the full story here.