Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mystery of Mo

Sweeping the New York Yankees had a negative effect on our admired Detroit Tigers, whereas winning the league championship series in the seventh game had the opposite effect on the San Francisco Giants. The sweepers got swept. It was painful to watch. The process inevitably reminded me how little we know about those familiar small collectives—sports teams, theatrical companies, orchestras, and other relatively compact but complexly-related social organisms. They have mysterious ways of shining with light or sinking into pits of gloom. Humanity always knows how to name things—but naming is not knowing. Momentum we call it. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. It seems to be a kind of emotional communication—and for all I know it might be something paranormal, meaning that something is really there, probably at the biological level; something exist even if it can’t be measured. When in a series Mo suddenly appears, sometimes conspicuously, like by its absence, we’re no longer watching baseball but something more mysterious; for enjoyment, for excitement we must have Mo vs. Mo. The division and league championships were baseball this year, the World Series something else. Mo came and spoiled it for us here. The Giants moved up in the rankings to 4th place among all-time World Series winners (tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers); that sort of move doesn’t happen every year. I’ve updated last year’s chart for the record (link).

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