The explanation rests in a mathematical formula created by the baseball analyst Bill James and introduced in the 1980 Baseball Abstract.
Rain Delay is an essay in his 1988 Baseball Abstract.
Bill James Baseball Abstract (annual editions published 1977-1988)
As Bill James, author of "The Baseball Abstract," points out, the spiral always heads downward toward lower standards.
The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract offered two alternate rationales for the name change.
The list originally appeared in James' 1985 Baseball Abstract along with the anecdote of how he developed the list.
Bill James ranked McAuliffe 22nd all-time among second baseman in his Historical Baseball Abstract.
He emerged in the late 1970's by self-publishing an annual polemic called the "Baseball Abstract."
James produced his "Baseball Abstracts" for 12 years before burning out.
James's "Baseball Abstract" hit the best-seller list when it came out in the late 1970's.