Monday, July 14, 2008

"I can call spirits from the vasty deep."

So says Glendower in Henry IV Part I*, Act 3, Scene 1. To this, Hotspur replies:

Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
My efforts at baseball prognostication seem about as efficacious as Glendower's summoning of spirits. Just over a month ago, I posted here, declaring the Mets as good as dead this season. I also offered this gem of an opinion:
[F]iring the manager isn't going to do the trick. Indeed, at least in the short run, I think it's likely to make matters worse.
Well, in the short run, the Mets have a winning record since the Midnight (PDT) Massacre à trois, though it's an open question whether the change of managers caused this (perhaps a better theory, given the improvement in pitching, both from starters and bullpen, is that the change of pitching coaches made the difference), or whether we may just be seeing an instance of the Hawthorne effect.

Indeed, one of the things (perhaps the principal thing) that makes baseball fascinating is the number of variables involved in the outcome of any game, or season. Recognizing this, I'm foreswearing any further attempts at predicting the Mets' (or any other team's) fortunes after the All Star break.

*Demonstrating the enormous effect Shakespeare has had on the understanding of English history, Sellar and Yeatman, in their magisterial 1066 and All That, assert that there were two Kings Henry IV: Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II.