When I went to bed last night, the Twins were up seven to three.
I know what you’re thinking – how early does he go to bed? I have to get up early so I go to bed early.
Anyway, the whole game turned into a Schrödinger’s cat kind of thing. Overly simplified, Schrödinger posed an interesting dilemma. First, theoretically, someone could place a cat in a box with a radioactive particle. Then, a radiation detector would be connected to a hammer. The hammer would be poised over a container of poison. If the radiation detector senses radiation, the hammer drops, the container of poison breaks, and the cat dies. Since all of this happens in a box, the observer would have no idea if the cat was alive or dead. Therefore, as I understand it, the cat is both alive and dead until the box is opened. This is quantum mechanics thing, and I won’t pretend to fully understand it, but there you go.
When I was asleep, the Twins both won and lost the game. A lot of us fans have to live with that duality. Whether we’re asleep, away from electronics, or just tuned into something else, we live our lives while holding both possibilities in our heads. The Twins won. The Twins lost. Both true until the box is opened.
Cynically, I expected the Twins had lost. After all, it was the Yankees. And we had a lot of innings to sneak our relievers through without giving up runs. We lay down and show our bellies to the Yankees like a Golden Lab puppy at an eight-year-old’s birthday party. Four runs were a decent cushion, but it didn’t seem like enough.
Optimistically, the Twins could have won. A four-run lead meant it wasn’t even a save situation. We creamed the Yankees the night before, so it could be done.
When I woke up, I checked my phone and opened the box. The cat was dead – the Twins blew it. I had my answer.
Not knowing is the yellow light of baseball. If I can’t get green-lit with a victory, I’ll take a yellow light as opposed to the full stop of a loss. Last year, I even stopped checking the scores. All I did was come into work and ask my Twins fan coworker if they won or lost. I lived in the ambiguity because it was better to hold on to a theoretical victory than risk crashing into a confirmed loss. Baseball becomes so painful that paying attention is punishment.
With as many runs as the Twins are giving up these days, it's easy to get pessimistic. We need better pitching. Quickly. Or we'll all just leave the box shut and go on with our lives.