The Big Picture

     As a nation, we have officially lost all context. Whatever is happening at this point in time is GOING TO LAST FOREVER, until next week when the complete opposite occurs. Then, at that point in time what happened now will be thoroughly ignored.
     I first noticed this disturbing trend following the mid-term elections in 2002. Republicans began acting like we would have GOP presidents and a right-leaning majority for decades to come simply because a Republican called Pennsylvania Avenue home and Congress was stuffed to the rafters with representatives jockeying for a Rush Limbaugh interview.
     It was as if no Republican would acknowledge that politics is cyclical. It wasn’t the smug demeanor that irritated me then, it was a willful denial of reality. Even if Republicans had managed to control the government for ten years, at some point in time they would lose control. It was inevitable.
     The same can be said today, about baseball of all topics. Last night the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in St. Louis. The American League won the game, again (full disclosure: I’m a diehard National League fan; the designated hitter rule is lame beyond belief). Today, sportswriters across America are pointing out that the National League hasn’t won an All-Star Game since 1996.
     Consequently, these writers are acting as if the American League is a far dominant league based on one exhibition game. This is where losing context comes into play.
     Despite the recent trend, the AL is not the better league. Yes, it’s won 12 of the last 13 All-Star games. But the NL still leads the overall series, 40-38. More importantly, there was a time when the NL won 19 of 20, between the years 1963 and 1982. The results of the All-Star game tend to be streaky, with one league usually winning at least a couple in a row.
     These same writers will gloss over the fact or not even mention that this is one game. It’s not a coincidence that baseball has, by far, the longest season in professional sports, and teams play each other two, three, or four times in a row during the year. Or that the playoffs are always best of series. It’s difficult to claim any one team is better than another based on the results of one game.
     Point out that the AL hasn’t lost an All-Star game since 1996. Or that it’s won every one since 2003, the year that home field advantage in the World Series began being determined by the All-Star game result (another lame idea).
     But please, somewhere, point out that even with all their recent success the NL still holds a two game edge in the series. Point out that the NL is due for some success, soon. Point out that the last four games have been decided by one run, or five of the last seven games have been decided by one run. One run games don’t indicate dominance. Be intellectually honest.
     Things will not always be like they are today, with whatever is being discussed. The All-Star game, politics, the economy. Things change. But you wouldn’t know that in today’s hyper-intensive media-fueled hysteria. Because whatever just happened couldn’t possibly change.
     Until next week.

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