Baseball eschatology

A reader writes:

“NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! Chicago is a wonderful baseball town that hasn’t had a team in the Series since 1959. The Red Sox, of course, won it all just last year. It’s Chicago’s turn.”

Chicago???!!! Let me explain. Baseball is a great ongoing drama in which a cast of minor players provide background for action among a single villainous gang and two heroic and righteous armies. The heroes have azure hats (royal and navy respectively) with the noble device B (argent, and gules with a border argent, respectively) on the front. The villains wear striped suits like convicts, or vicious extortionate oppressive bloodsucking plutocrat bankers, pant pant pant, but I digress. [The White Sox, who are among the minor characters, wear striped suits like a mattress, no taint of evil about them. They are in the ALCS only because they played a lot better than the Red Sox for three straight games, but that has no larger moral significance.]

The heroes with the royal blue hats disappeared completely and without a trace between the 1957 and 1958 seasons, two years after their 1955 apotheosis, and it’s not known where they abide. Perhaps they sailed with the elves, perhaps they are with The Angels. Great was the woe and rending of garments and cries of the faithful at the time, let me tell you, a whole generation disillusioned and blighted, very dark days.

So it’s possible that baseball will finally come to an end in a sort of Götterdämmerung after next season, two years after the red-B heroes’ triumph over the evil spell “w..t t.ll n.xt y..r” with the more powerful magic “…bunch of idiots”. It’s likely we will see the departure from our world of the remaining good guys, leaving only bit players wandering around engaged in trivial games, certainly not baseball. Alternatively, the departed white-B heroes might return from whatever alternate reality they have occupied for almost fifty years, and usher in a new age of greatness.

Either way, prepare for awesome days of great events.

You read it here first.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.