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The universe fractures just so, and gives way to a Mariners victory

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Game 162, here we come

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
This universe is MINE.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” - Muriel Rukeyser

A coin is flipped through the air. It spirals down and lands tail side up. But what if, mid-rotation, the universe split? One world where the coin lands heads, one where it lands tails.

This is the Many-worlds interpretation, in its simplest form. Theorized by Hugh Everett in the 1950s (with an earlier assist from Erwin Schrödinger and his feline), it postulates that the universe splits into parallel versions of itself when faced with quantum choice. Theoretical physicist Bryce DeWitt described it as “every quantum transition taking place in every star, in every galaxy, in every remote corner of the universe is splitting our local world on Earth into myriad copies of itself.” My grasp of quantum physics is shady at best, but I like this idea of the existence of all outcomes, with the universe fracturing infinitely to carry each out.

When it comes to baseball, the more we watch, the deeper we dig into the statistics of each player, position, scenario, and the more we begin to preemptively remove certain outcomes from the equation. Kyle Seager against lefties? Oof. Casey Sadler in relief? Runs seem unlikely. But Chaos Ball has rocked us all.

For so many years the outcome of a season, a moment, a pitch has felt almost inevitable. “Same old Mariners,” friends have sighed to each other, turning off and tuning out. But this season, after years of divergent paths and the flaps of butterfly wings, the universe has fractured just so, splintering in ways we knew existed but scarcely believed were possible.

***

Mitch Haniger steps up to the plate. A pitch is thrown and, as the ball rotates through the air, the universe splits again

and again

and again

and again

and again

and again

We’ll see what the universe holds tomorrow.