One of my hotter overall sports takes is that parity is boring. I would take a handful of great teams, a handful of awful teams, and a few average teams over 30 average teams any day. Great teams make good stories, bad teams makes good stories, but average teams are just boring.
Without dynasties and teams that constantly dominate, we lose out on those awesome David vs. Goliath matchups, or teams truly coming out of nowhere to win it all. Just look at the current landscape of the NFL — when you have a bunch of boring teams, you get a bunch of boring matchups.
Lack of true parity can be dreadful for an organization like the Cleveland Indians, who cannot constantly restock their team with expensive free agents. But lack of true parity also creates scenarios like what the American League currently sees in the ALCS. Two teams who have not been in the World Series for the better part of two decades, now on the cusp of bringing a parade to their respective cities.
The Toronto Blue Jays were at the doorstep of the World Series last year before their elimination at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Prior to that, though, they had not been in the World Series, or even the playoffs, since they won it all back-to-back in 1992 and 1993.
We all know the Indians’ struggles already. They last appeared in a World Series in 1997; their last win all the way back in 1948.
The baseball world at large — or fans without a team left in the playoffs, at least — seems to be rooting for the Chicago Cubs and Indians to meet in the World Series. And who can blame them? Seeing new faces in the big finale of a season is always fun. Last season it was the Kansas City Royals for the second-straight time, and a popular team from New York. Nothing really fresh there.
For that dream matchup to happen, the Cubs will have to overcome some other drought-heavy teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers have not been in the World Series since winning it in 1988, while the Washington Nationals have never appeared in a World Series, even when they were the Montreal Expos.
The San Francisco Giants, on the other hand, will act as this year’s Goliath, having won three World Series in the last six years. The Cubs have them on ropes, though, with the former champs trailing 2-1 in the NLDS.
But, in the American League, it doesn’t matter who makes it. We are going to see someone new. The Indians eliminated the Boston Red Sox, although we will probably see them deep in the postseason for the better part of a decade with the type of core and front office they currently have. The Blue Jays knocked out another recent World Series attendee, the Texas Rangers, with a sweep of their own.
There will be no repeat for the Royals. There will be no more magical run for the Red Sox. Some city that hasn’t had the chance to cheer for their baseball team in a long time is probably going to cheer in November. Let’s just hope it’s Cleveland.