Baseball has now officially begun its season, and with the new season comes one certain thing: uncertainty. And that’s wonderful.
Who’s going to win the World Series this year? Who knows? I don’t know, and you don’t either. That is the great strength of baseball: the conclusion is never foregone. Even when a two time championship team like the Giants won it last year, it was still something of a surprise. Another recent contender may win it this season, such as the Tigers or Cardinals or Red Sox, or it could be the Mariners or Pirates or Brewers–who knows?
Compare that state of affairs with the other sports: the Seahawks were presumptive Super Bowl entrants from day one, and nobody should have been surprised that the Patriots ultimately won the championship.
The NBA never sees more than three or four teams with a legitimate shot at the crown; even with this year’s seemingly wide open Western Conference, there’s still lockstep predictability in the east, where it will take a major upset to reroute the Cavaliers from the Finals.
Hockey remains its usual quirky self, but don’t be surprised if the last four teams standing are the Rangers, Canadiens, Blackhawks, and Kings–just like last year. (Assuming L.A. makes it in to the playoffs; it’s touch and go as of this writing.)
Unless there’s an injury, the major championships in tennis will undoubtedly see some combination Djokovic, Nadal, or Murray on the court, with only the occasional interloper pulling an upset here and there.
Golf, of course, should be reveling in its current uncertainty, but the sport remains firmly under the sway of idolatry. (Move along, guys; nothing to see here.)
But baseball? All those cliches of hope springing eternal and all that are just true enough to make baseball the best, most competitive sport there is. Welcome back, boys.