This season the Oakland A's baseball club spent most of the season wildly outperforming everyone's expectations. Their payroll was comparable to that of an insurance office or a mid-sized In N Out, but they just kept winning games. Until it got towards the end of the season and they got tired and then they just lost and lost. The Oakland A's bumped up against the glass ceiling. They were the true, gritty American story of pulling yourself out of poverty and rising in the company only to stall out because you didn't go to Harvard.
In the end, they had to play one more game, just for the right to play in the postseason. They played against the Kansas City Royals. The Kansas City Royals have been down so long they don't know what up is. They haven't been to the playoffs since Kurt Cobain was 18 years old. The Royals are Wal-Mart employees who can never get benefits because they keep getting scheduled for 37 hours a week. They are hoping for a raise to $8.50.
This game the A's and Royals played was exciting but sad because you desperately wanted both very sad teams to win. At the beginning the A's were ahead a lot and then the Royals came back and then it was tied for a long time and then the Royals won. The A's will never make vice president. They will be Regional Sales Manager forever. Meanwhile, the Royals just won a free trip to Disneyland but no one has told them that the Angels are waiting to mug them at Disneyland and take their Nikon CoolPix and their iPad and they will go back to the Kansas City Wal-Mart with nothing.
The San Francisco Giants come from money and have been given every chance to succeed and succeed they have. They won the yacht race in 2010 and 2012 and everything looked good this year until they tripped over their wife's Gucci crocodile shoulder bag and hurt themselves. Things got dicey the rest of the year and wouldn't you know it, they had to play one game just to get to go on too. Just like the A's!
The Giants would be playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the Pittsburgh of baseball teams. They had good years in the past but then everything went to shit for a long time but no maybe there's some kind of renaissance going on? Hipsters are moving downtown? Is there a pedestrian mall? Yes, there's a pedestrian mall. The Pirates were in the playoffs last year while the Giants played golf on the Big Island.
Poor Pittsburgh thought this was going to be part of the Pittsburghaissance but no. Madison Bumgarner is a coolly efficient killing machine and he destroyed their plans. He foreclosed on the pedestrian mall and shut down the radical art space and then burned the historic meeting hall just for the fuck of it. He celebrated like the Romans did after they leveled Carthage and sowed the soil with salt so nothing would ever grow there again.
Baseball is life. Most of the time, you lose. If you're lucky and rich you might win. It also helps not to get hurt.
I was going to close by saying that the Giants, despite their wealth and power, have zero chance against the Washington Nationals, a frightening team loaded with hitting and pitching and other good baseball things, but, just as in life, never underestimate the ability of rich people to get what they want in Washington.