Who We Are As A Nation Hangs In The MLB Postseason Balance
My fellow Americans,
The day has come, the time is nigh. The month of reckoning is upon us.
It has come to pass that, this October, our nation is at a perilous crossroads, one that is fraught with danger and Joe Buck’s smug face. For this October, throughout the course of the Major League Baseball playoffs, we decide who we are as a nation.
Every so often in our collective history, a momentous occasion comes about that requires our fellow citizens to choose to take a stand, answer the call, and come together to affirmatively decide the fate of this great nation — The Battle of Lexington, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and the Season 2 Finale of American Idol come to mind, to name but a few. This is one of them.
Our options are clear. On the one hand, battling for the National League Pennant, are the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals and everything those two teams and cities represent. The favorites, the perennial winners, those with a claim to a revered history and tradition and PED allegations — these are the defining traits of the two clubhouses. But worse, think of what their cities and their respective citizenry represent: America’s stark institutional division of race and wealth, the hubris of a seemingly endless technology bubble, and being insufferable fans to boot. Their shadows of evil and World Series rings loom dark and troubling on the horizon.
But fear not, because two challengers rise in the American League, a pair of scrappy and fearless and small-market teams from two urban centers that make you look around and think “now that’s a city that knows how to neglect its crumbling industrial economy.” With hearts of fire and motley rosters as unpretentious as their loyal adherents, the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles have come to remind us how thrillingly beautiful the sport of baseball, our original national sport, can truly be. To remind us of the power of faith and love and diligent work. To give us a cause that requires us to come together and reaffirm the collective tenants of what makes this nation great, namely the proposition that tireless effort, genuine camaraderie, advanced sabermetrics, and just the slightest bit of luck will collectively raise our fellow citizens up together.
It’s the haves versus the have-nots. The staid, ingrained ruling class versus the rebellious misfits. Overpaid stars versus technically proficient and exciting-as-hell blue collar baseball teams. Collectively, the Cardinals, Giants, Royals, and Orioles represent who we have been, who we are, and who we might become as a nation.
A man far greater than Yadier Molina could ever dream to be once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves and let the fucking Giants win another goddamn championship ring.” That man was Abraham Lincoln, and you can bet our nation’s freedom fry glory he’d jump on the Royals bandwagon with the rest of us.
The stakes are high, our chance of error and misguidance even worse. But I have faith in my fellow man and middle-relief pitcher to rise to the occasion. As a country we are strong, as a nation where a down-on-their-luck team can rise by their bootstraps from the cellar of the American League Central to championship contention we are stronger.
The choice is yours, America. Let’s play ball.