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State Of The State
My NFBC teams are still doing poorly. There’s a glimmer of hope for a couple — Josh Jung and Miguel Vargas are hitting, Fernando Tatis is back and Justin Verlander is due back today. I don’t know if it will be enough — especially after some of the streamer shellings my teams have taken, but it’s only May 4. The experiment will play out, and I will document it even if looking at the morning standings causes me to flinch.
The worst parts of it are the ERA and WHIP. Those beatings you take in April and May go on your permanent record and are the hardest from which to recover. But hopefully there’s more of that going around generally this year, and mine just came early at a disproportionate rate.
I wish I could say I washed my hands of care now that I don’t have the indigity of fixing the mess, but it’s not the case. I am not enlightened. I still suffer over the fate of these teams.
. . .
That said, my NFBKC playoff hoops team, the one I did with Sasha, and for which I was (rightly, it turns out) excoriated for taking Nic Claxton over Mikal Bridges is moving up, thanks to having James Harden (instead of Joel Embiid) at 2x. We were in 249th out of 250th, and now take a look!
Of course, the first two rounds mean little, and it depends what happens in the conference finals (3x scoring) and finals (4x), but we’re in it. Sasha has a magic touch of sorts, winning us money in a Sweet-16 NCAA pool for which she picked the teams. She expects to win, which kind of reminds me of myself, especially when I was younger. I just naively thought all my teams would win before I learned how to be savvy and think like a professional.
There’s something valuable lost when you fall too deeply into a probabilistic-thinking mode. Yes, you don’t want to be caught up in illogic or magical thinking, but the naif doesn’t overthink it and doesn’t despair when the odds get long. The confidence of innocence is underrated. In fact, if I had to describe what made Tom Brady more successful than the far more physically talented Josh Allen or Aaron Rodgers, it’s that. He was like a child, believing he could win seven Super Bowls when the math shows it’s actually not possible.
It reminds me the famous quote from Shunryu Suzuki:
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.