There was a time, not too long ago, when it looked like real change was possible. Exciting new faces took center stage, traditional powers were on the ropes, and the transition to something fundamentally new seemed not only possible but even inevitable. And then, as the struggle ground on, it all fell apart. The rising forces for change could not sustain themselves, while the old guard absorbed the early blows and slowly, inexorably crushed the life out of their challengers. By the end, all that was left was a choice between equally unpalatable pillars of the old status quo.. and the tattered dreams of what might have been.
Yeah, the National League's wildly entertaining 2014 has ended with nothing to show for it but the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. The National League will be represented in the World Series by a team which has won the pennant two of the last four years.
It didn't have to be like this. We could all be cheering on my beloved, unexpected, thrilling, overachieving Milwaukee Brewers: the redemption of Ryan Braun, the unpredictability of Carlos Gomez, the steady brilliance of Jonathan Lucroy, the exasperating closing of K-Rod. But there's no overcoming losing 13 out of 14 games in the stretch drive, or the Cardinals. We could be anticipating a Beltway series with the Washington Nationals: that wonderful starting rotation, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, and all that. But there's no overcoming the manager's decision to pull Jordan Zimmerman in Game 2 or the offense's collective October nap. Heck, everyone would have jumped on a bandwagon for the brilliant Andrew McCutcheon and the once-hot Pirates. But no, all that excitement, and nothing changes.
At least the junior circuit did better, with the despicable payroll monstrosities in New York and Boston long since put out to pasture. But what does it say when the hopes for meaningful change are literally being placed in a team called "the Royals"?
Any resemblance between baseball's failed hopes and the failures of the Arab Uprisings are purely coincidental. What do you think this is, a Foreign Policy column?