By Chris Daly
Vanity. All is vanity.
Amid the wreckage, a few useful nodes:
–The great Nate Silver, master of mathematical metrics, is reduced on this day to invoking terms like “karma.” In his incomparable 538 blog for the NYTimes, Silver also helpfully supplies several priceless videos, along with his customary formulae and charts.
–In the search for “the other side,” I took advantage of the miracle known as the Internet to visit the webpage of the St. Petersburg Times. (This is a much-praised newspaper, but, man, they have one ugly homepage.) I pressed on to find their coverage of last night’s amazing events. I found one of their big-name columnists, John Romano, who offered this nugget:
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Here’s one that will impress the guy on the next barstool:
You may know that Robert Andino’s game-winning hit in Baltimore preceded Longoria’s blast by only a few minutes. And you may know that Andino’s line drive single went in and out of the glove of a sliding Carl Crawford in leftfield. And you certainly know Longoria’s walkoff homer went slicing down the leftfield line at Tropicana.
But did you know the reason Longoria’s shot had a chance to leave the park was because the Rays lowered the wall in the leftfield corner from nine feet to five feet in 2007?
They did it to give Crawford a chance to make home run-robbing catches.
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As I pondered this item, I wondered how we are supposed to interpret it. Is it a poignant coincidence, a la Ken Burns?
Or was the action taken in 2007 on the order of a real plot twist that made all the rest happen, a la O. Henry?
–I also could not help but notice that on this day of gloom, it is grey and drizzly here in Boston. So, in the great tradition of over-intellectualizing about the Red Sox, I thought this would be a good time to brush up on the pathetic fallacy as we reflect on such Big Ideas as causality and fate.
Turns out, most people outside New England don’t care — and nature doesn’t care either. Cruel world, eh? (But then, isn’t that the purpose of the Red Sox — to remind us of that fact periodically?)