Who Cares About the Cat? Check the Box Scores

Granderson’s latest malady notwithstanding, the Yankees rolled over the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-4, to end a two-game losing streak. The Yankees and the Texas Rangers are the only teams that have not lost three consecutive games this season.

via Yankees Top Rays but Lose Curtis Granderson to Broken Finger – NYTimes.com.

The theory says that of course the cat is either alive or dead (and not both). Sure, its wave function represents a superposition of alive and dead, but a wave function is just a description of the observer’s beliefs. Asserting that the cat is truly both alive and dead is akin to a baseball fan’s saying that the Yankees are stuck in a superposition of both won and lost until he reads the box score.
— Page 49, “Can Quantum Bayesianism Fix the Paradoxes of Quantum Mechanics?” Scientific American, June 2013

The idea of the Yankees’ being in a superposition of both success and failure is not a bad way of describing this season so far.

Certainly the prospects at the outset were not good. Their best players, who were all too old and stupid, opened the season on the disabled list, and the cast of idiots dredged up from the waiver wires and unclaimed on the free-agent market was not exactly awe-inspiring.

But remarkably the Yankees have played well, even entertainingly. And so, in truth, they are losing — players and prestige — and winning, namely ballgames.

They are 11-5 since May 8, and have been for a while in first place, a game ahead of the Red Sox and three and a half up on the Orioles.

And five on the Rays, who played target practice on the Yankees on Friday night, but did not bother to win the game. (The Yankees did, 9-4.)

But. First. A couple of things:

  1. Did you know that Scientific American has no mechanism for linking a print-only subscription to online access of its Web site? A person can renew his subscription online, and change the mailing address. But that’s it. We are talking Scientific American, folks; “science” is implied right there in the title, and not even the Pointdexteriest of the lot has ciphered a way for Yours Truly to share something I’ve read with a friend via e-mail. In fact, even as a digital subscriber, I am unable to read the main articles of the magazine on the Web. These are available only as a .pdf. Though, not to me anymore because I am no longer a subscriber of any kind.
  2. The article excerpted above, incidentally, was about a supposedly new way of discussing quantum physics known as Quantum Bayesianism. Coincidentally, this is exactly the way I have been discussing quantum physics to people for years. I won’t go into it; you don’t care. I am just saying if someone wins a Nobel for this business I shall be very put out.
  3. And seriously, is there anyone on this baseball team that can get out of the way? Someone remind these guys to never join a dodgeball league.

For starters, Curtis Granderson cracked his nose-picking finger after being hit by a pitch in the fifth. Mr. Granderson is the same dude who missed the first 38 games of the season after getting hit by a pitch (and breaking his arm) in spring training.

Mr. Invincible told reporters after the game, “It is what it is.”

Vying for Punching Bag of the Game was David Phelps (3-2), a plucky, featureless Missourian who retired 13 batters in a row to start the game but left in the eighth inning after taking a line drive off his forearm. “It’s a little sore,” Mr. Phelps said, probably referring to his arm.

As the A.P. put it, without irony, “the Yankees have been hit hard by injuries.” And, it says here, baseballs.

“That’s never a good thing,” Manager Joe Girardi chirped.

On the plus side, the roll call of nobodies clobbered the Rays’ pitching. Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix each drove in two runs, Christ Stewart had a run-scoring single.

In the end, you look at the box score and it is hard to get worked up about Mr. Granderson’s injury.

The Yankees, floating free above the American League East, remain in that superposition of both winning and losing.

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