With the imminent inception of the second round of baseball’s postseason, this marks our last opportunity to mourn the loss of the Cubs. Oops. That was a typo. What I meant to say was “mock the loss of the Cubs.” And for snarky mockery, there’s no better place to go than the deep, deep well that is Jon Stewart and the Daily Show.
I suppose I should feel bad for the Cubs in some way. Their loss only highlights what has become a cancer in both baseball and politics: the triumph of mediocrity.
Now, I’m not a strict constructionist when it comes to baseball and I don’t see any need for us to go back to the good ol’ days. But I do think there is something to be said for a time when the best team from each league met in the World Series. Do we really want to see the 8th best team in the NL, coming out of what is arguably the worst division in baseball, playing for a trip to the World Series? Probably not but there also weren’t many people who enjoyed watching the subpar Cardinals organization that won the World Series in 2006. Even this year’s Dodgers have one more win than that St. Louis team.
Mediocrity refuses to limit itself to our baseball stadiums, though. Recently it spilled into our political system with the rise of the charming and completely unqualified first-term governor from Alaska. Honestly, we expect these sort of shenanigans from the Democrats but the GOP? You’re the party of Lincoln, for chrissakes. Grading on a curve is fine in high school but we shouldn’t be setting the bar for a potential VP to the level where being able to complete a sentence is seen as an accomplishment.
It’s possible that I’m just a grumpy old man and really need to let this whole thing go. But as you and I both know, it’s not bloody likely. Call me an elitist, call me a snob but I think the greatest country in the world deserves to have the greatest leaders in the world. And that’s just as true on the baseball diamond as it is in the town square.