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The end of the World Series

Thursday 11/2/23

The Texas Rangers won the World Series last night, and come this time next year, I might not remember that. I just don't think the best team won and MLB has created a gimmick system.

The Rangers got hot. They weren't a team that I looked at and said, "This is a great team" or even a very good one. I thought they had the AL MVP in Corey Seager--though he won't win it and I suspect he'd rather be the World Series MVP anyway--in a down year for candidates, but this wasn't an especially talent-laden roster. I know, they won all of those games in a row on the road, but they weren't a good regular season road team.

What's the point of the regular season now? It's never meant less. What's the point of grinding it out, clawing through the dog days of August, and then making making a strong push in the pennant drive?

There isn't anything approximating a pennant drive anymore. How can baseball be baseball without pennant drives?

Why is baseball trying to be the NBA? Baseball has the only regular season that's an everyday affair. You play almost every day. That's hard. And that really should count for a lot. Who does it day in, day out, over the course of the six months.

Baseball is being de-baseballed. It can be hard not to feel like the world and everything in it is becoming increasingly homogenized, lackluster, ephemeral.

Think of places you used to like to go to in cities. How much character they had. How distinctive they were.

What are they like now? Bland. Here in Boston, Kenmore Square is a good example. As recently as the 1990s, it was this funky spot, with used record stores and musicians and guys hawking tickets to the Red Sox game that afternoon. Now it's this kind of urban corporate blandness. But everything is that way, isn't it?

One used to be able to cite the World Series winners from year to year with ease. Say a year, and you could say who won. I don't think people can do that now. It's all gimmick, luck, flash of the moment, imbecilic Twitter posts, betting. Just disposable. No substance, no sticking power, debatable/iffy meaning.

Things don't actually need to be so shallow. People don't need to be. But we make everything that way, and we make ourselves that way. It's the design of so much now. I don't think anyone cares about any of it. I question how much anyone really cares about anything.

That's not a great world. And I see it right down to things like baseball, which should be pretty easy to get right, unless you're essentially trying to get them wrong by making them slighter and forgettable.

Baseball is also now the sport where you don't want a bye. The thing is predicated on getting hot, and it's harder to get hot if you're not playing.

It all adds up to the bastardization of what made baseball special. Which is to take nothing away from the Rangers. This is the system and they deserve their championship based upon the system in place. But I do wonder who is going to care or even remember.

Baseball should induce caring and foster long-standing memories. And if it's not doing that, it may still look like baseball, but it's not really baseball. It's more about the winnowing away of substance, and less about what has made it so special.


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