I often go to Dodger playoff games, or at least I did until my political break up. I was always a Yankee fan, but as they say, “When in Rome…” I found it fascinating how focused the Dodgers were on their past. As if it was still the summer of ’63 and the summer of ’88, with Sandy and Tommy being treated as immortals, Larry King still breathing in his seat, and endless pregame montages of yesteryear. I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t had a champion in close to thirty years. You chase ghosts. You create new kings out of mortals. But can you ever truly get out of the past until you accept that it’s the past? And while it was an oh so awesome past, it’s time to create an oh so awesome present and future.
Hey, the Yankees chased those same ghosts for most of my childhood. Every game was like old timers’ day, all players included. One bad trade and signing after another, no foundation, no structure, just an exquisite stadium, filled with mediocre talent. Always saying “this year is the year,” but knowing in your heart that it wasn’t. Knowing it was, at best, a long shot, and at worst, there was fifth place. The fans never left, even though their hopes and talents had.
It’s easy to lose hope when you know there will be no change. For almost thirty years, Republicans, conservatives, and most in the middle have been chasing a ghost. Yes, they have been chasing the Casper of ghosts, but a ghost nonetheless. Every year there was promise of a new season, along with a promise of new talent. Only, in our hearts we knew that, at best, it was a long shot, and at worst fifth place. Suckered with every speech-giving homage, and reference, to that shiny “City on a Hill,” they preyed upon us with those words, knowing the emotions it would evoke. It was like a memory of Joltin’ Joe flying across the outfield, only to find out it wasn’t Joltin’ Joe, but Joe Pepitone.
Sure there was sporadic talent like Newt and a few other players. But, like all bad Yankee teams of my youth, there was Mattingly, surrounded by players who had lost their promise. They were structurally damaged teams and players, always trying to regroup, and never trying to rebuild. Then the miracle happened, “The Boss” got banned, and the Core Four was built. No longer was it the highlight of the game if you picked the right train to win the subway race. Fans once again had hope. Call it divine intervention, or call it what you want, but we had hope, because there was real and actual change.
A friend of mine often says that “in all great stories, the hero walks into the unknown.” It would not really be much of a story if the hero didn’t do that. He does that, my friend says, because the known stinks so badly that he is willing to walk into the unknown, becoming the hero of his own story. This year, 62 million people, for a myriad of reasons, decided to become the heroes of their own story. They decided that since the known had become too darn painful, filled with too much deceit and treachery, they would board an unknown train.
Now, of course, as in any rebuilding you have some players on long-term guaranteed contracts. Senators Graham and McCain, disgruntled, have now been relegated to the 9th spot at best. We also get that some of you are finding it a tad hard to acclimate to the new system. That’s normal, but acclimate or become Eric Cantor. But make no mistakes, Senators, we have a deep rotation, we have our Core Four, and a farm system flush with talent. We are no longer chasing a ghost, and neither should you.
No longer will Republicans have to reference and pay homage to the “City on the Hill.” When President Trump stated, “I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and believe in yourselves, believe in your future and believe, once more, in America,” he was intimating that the “new city” is being built and is under construction and will shine “big league.” This doesn’t mean we don’t respect the past, and, hey, who doesn’t love old timers’ day. But no longer do we just have to watch montages of the greats, and only look forward to what train came in first! That’s because our train came in first. Yes, it might often be a bumpy ride on this magnificent train, but we finally have the change needed to get us to our final destination. “How about that!”