Don’t bet on it!
Unless you have been having a Rip Van Winkle experience for the last 20 years, you might have noticed that betting on sporting events has changed from a social no-no to a major income source for some rather large corporations. There are even television shows given over to announcing odds for every known sporting event world wide and not for just that old stand-by, horse racing.
I believe that bettors believe that the universe operates on regular, knowable rules and that getting a handle on all the known variables can predict the future well enough to cash in on all that knowledge. Horse feathers!
The sporting universe is even more irregular and unknowable than the cosmos we live in and struggle to get even a rudimentary understanding of. There is more dark energy in an ordinary baseball game than can be found in your every day galaxy; and anyone who has looked at Jacob deGrom’s 90-plus mph slider can tell you all about dark matter. You can’t see it, and you sure as the stars above can’t hit it.
Want further proof? Take the grand slam home run hit recently by David Camarena of the San Diego Padres. This young San Diego native had spent nine years in the minors trying to learn how to pitch well enough to make the big club. He gets the call and even gets to bat (remember, this is the National League), and on his first at bat, hits a grand salami in front of all his friends and family.
OK bleacher trivia fans, to cement my case, who is Bill Duggleby? Answer: He was the last pitcher to hit a grand slam in his first at bat. When was that? How about 1898!
In other words, David Camarena was the first pitcher to hit a grand slam in his first at bat in 123 years! Now figure the odds on that one!
If the universe and not just quantum mechanics is something other than an entirely random event, the rules have to be such that they allow for David Camarena and his grand tater. And that is why I don’t bet on horse races or anything else: Whatever rules there are in this bleacher world of ours, it is far beyond my ability to comprehend them, and I sure am not ready to put my money on something I seem to know so little about.
And that’s why going to the game never gets old. You never can know exactly what you are going to see there. Just don’t bet on it.
Millerton resident Theodore Kneeland is a former teacher and coach — and athlete.