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Buck Showalter leaked as candidate for not actually open Phillies managerial job

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The quantum physicist Erwin Schrödinger famously wrote that if you placed a cat and some automatically-released — or maybe not released! — poison in a box and sealed it, you would not know if the cat was dead or alive until you opened the box. As such, until you actually opened the box the cat was, in a theoretical sense, simultaneously dead and alive.

Which brings us to Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Kapler is currently the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. He is under contract for 2020 and has not been fired. Like that cat, he’s in that box, totally alive. Yet we read from Matt Gelb in The Athletic this morning that the Phillies and Buck Showalter “have mutual interest” in Showalter taking over the Phillies manager job. The job that is not, actually, vacant.

Which is to say: Gabe Kapler is, in a sense, both fired and not fired.

Now that I think about it, I actually think Schrödinger’s point with his little thought experiment was that the whole idea of quantum superposition — the idea that something can be in two states at once — was ridiculous as applied to anything larger than subatomic particles. He used the cat example to illustrate how silly it is when applied to something bigger because a cat, obviously, cannot be both alive and dead at the same time. It’s one or the other.

Since Kapler is bigger than a cat it means that, according to quantum theory, he’s either a goner as the Phillies manager or not and cannot be both fired and not fired. Hmmm. Is there any way we can determine which of those things he is? Maybe Gelb’s article can help us:

The Gabe Kapler decision is [Phillies owner John] Middleton’s decision and most inside the organization have attempted to broadcast that when possible . . . It’s not a matter of internal debate nor a power struggle.

Know what? Buck Showalter is a guy an owner calls directly. He’s not the guy a modern front office — the sort of which identified Gabe Kapler as their top candidate the last time around — goes for, I don’t think. He’s always had a great deal of power in any manager job he’s held and, I suspect, anything less than totally confident and seasoned GM would be a bit wary of bringing on a guy like Showalter if he could help it. As such, if there’s “mutual interest” between Showalter and the Phillies, I’m gonna bet the engagement is at Middleton’s level and that it’s been sought out because Middleton wants to kick Kapler to the curb, at least as long as he can get the guy he likes.

Which is to say, if I were a betting man, I’d say that Kapler is one dead cat.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.