Sorry for not getting the recaps out today. Thought about doing it now, but figured there wasn’t much point in doing it this late in the day. I was out all day today on Long Island and didn’t have internet access. I plan to do a more lengthy recap tomorrow analyzing the season’s final day.
A commenter to a previous post has caused me to spend some time this evening thinking about what “good” means. Which teams are “good”? Being located in NY and having to endure decades of Yankee propaganda, it’s tempting to view success narrowly. Either you win it all, or you are not successful. If you’re not successful, you are not good. Only teams that win it all are good. Is that fair? Can a team be “good” and not win simultaneously?
To some extent, every player who puts on a major league uniform is “good” aren’t they? They’re “great” actually–in relation to the millions of other professional players “not” on major league rosters. So even a last place team like the Nats has lots of “good” (even “great”) ballplayers. But they came in last place, so in relation to other major league players, they’re not good.
Is that fair?
Yes, I think it is. As far as it goes. It’s sometimes easy to forget that these 750 or so players at the major league level are as great as they are, but still, this is a subset of an incredibly large number of other professional players…which in turn is another subset of another incredibly large number of players who do not play professionally. I’m reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who..and how this elephant found an entire world on a speck of dust. And what if a person on the speck of dust in turn found another speck of dust with another world on it? I think it’s called infinite regression. Whatever.
My point is that on one level, it’s not fair to say that the Nats for example are “bad”. They’re not. They’re amazing. In relation to the millions of other players not wearing major league uniforms. But we’re major league baseball fans. Our universe is closed. What we see is what we get. When we talk about the Nats as they relate to the other major leaguers, it’s entirely fair to say they are “bad”…as in…”not good”. They consistently lose the most games in the league. Every year.
So what is a “good” major league team? Are the Yankee fans right? Do you have to win it all to be good? Have you failed and are you a “bad” team because you didn’t win a championship? Surely you’re pretty good if you “merely” win a pennant, right? Maybe not. I think the point is that as fans, we all are entitled to think about this any way we want. We pays our money and we takes our chances. If my team gets close, maybe they are “good”, even though someone else doesn’t agree. They’re good “to me”.
Subjectivity, pure and simple. Which is what makes all this blogging business as good a time as it is. We don’t have to be right. We just have to care.
There’s a quote out there that says something like “don’t let perfection be the enemy of good”…and I think it’s entirely appropriate to this discussion. Perfection is not attainable, so don’t hold out for it and in so doing reject lots of stuff that’s entirely “good”. Â There’s lots of “good” stuff out there that’s totally acceptable. Enviable, in fact, by those whose own stuff isn’t quite as good. So grab it. Don’t let some dream of an ideal (which by definition, you’ll never have anyway) prevent you from realizing happiness.
Or something like that.
I have no idea if the Marlins are “good”. To me, they’re not. They’re OKÂ (Mr. Nolasco’s gem the other night notwithstanding). But maybe that’s me holding out for perfection. Too long in the shadow of Yankeeland, I guess. If you want the Marlins to be good, who am I to tell you otherwise.