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.


  1. G'mornin Claude.

    I agree that the change at pitching coach was way overdue. While many of the Mets pitching woes were due to poor execution (hanging the slider not calling the slider) I often found myself screaming "how he call that pitch on 0-2!" I like Dan Warthen's pitch selection philosophy and I think it's working, especially with the younger pitchers. Peterson's "hand on the shoulder" approach was really getting old.

    But that also goes for Willie's passive approach to the game.

    If you want Beltran to be more aggressive on the bases, don't whine about it at the post-game press conference, give him the steal sign. While I never liked Bobby Cox's way of calling every pitch from the dugout, I have to admit that it works.

    Anyway, should be an exciting stretch run.

  2. Hi, if you like 1066 and all that I thought you might possibly be interested in a book I've just written - 2066 and all that. It's kind of a homage. I could email you a chapter or two if you're interested. Cheers, Ben
    PS sorry for the brazen self-promotion
    pps my email is