John Stuart Mill wrote Utilitarianism in 1861, originally in a series of articles for Fraser's Magazine; it is one of his famous writings along with On Liberty. In Utilitarianism, Mill argues that utility, or the 'Greatest Happiness Principle,' should be the main basis for the construction of our society. It rapidly gets complicated, as 100-word sentences and in-depth discussions about questions such as the definition of happiness arise and obfuscate, to our 21st century eyes, what is a pretty interesting topic. However, in a rare moment of simplicity, Mill lays out this quote in a passage about our capacity for enjoyment:
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question.
In the real world, it means that the painful loss of a loved one is more worthwhile than to have never known a worthwhile companion, or that the frustration of not being able to play Shostakovich perfectly is better than never comprehending that music exists. It it applicable in the sports world, too, though in a slightly different form; the pain of losing a World Series game 7 is more valuable than having a good season and not making it there.
The Colorado Rockies of Denver play in Coors Field, a charming downtown stadium with a beautiful vista just beyond the outfield bleachers. The Rockies are in their fourth straight losing season, and have only been to the playoffs three times in their 22 year history, never winning a World Series.
Two and a half miles away lies a different stadium. Mile High, as it is referred to, is a cathedral of sports excellence. The Denver Broncos of Colorado have been an outstanding National Football League team for three decades; in that time they have been to the playoffs 17 times, with two Super Bowl wins and four other Super Bowl appearances. Indeed, last year an amazing Broncos squad went to New York. The Broncos are my second favorite NFL team; I lived in Cleveland when there was no Browns team (although some say the Browns don't exist even today), and my grandparents lived in the Denver area and were huge Colorado sports fans. I eagerly turned on the TV and watched to see if my team could a championship, the first of my teams to do so in my adult life.
The Broncos chose that moment to play the worst game of the season. I turned the game off after Percy Harvin's brilliant opening kickoff return in the second half and went downstairs to finish The Last of Us, whose grim subject matter was inexplicably more cheery than the slaughter being conducted miles away.
Then, there are the Kansas City Royals. Either the fool or the pig in Mill's scenario. I don't see why they can't be both.
Tonight, Danny Duffy faces former Royal Jorge De La Rosa in the two-game series finale and the 2014 series finale. Duffy hopes to continue his excellent season, aided by his superb fielders but betrayed by his less-than-superb hitters, against a sagging Rockies club. Ned Yost is going with offense tonight, as Josh Willingham will play right field in the thin air.
New KC lineup: Colon-3B; Infante-2B; Butler-1B; Willingham-RF; Gordon-LF; Kratz-C; Cain-CF; Escobar-SS; Duffy-SP #Royals— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 20, 2014
With no Nori Aoki, Yost is opting to put in rookie Christian Colon in as leadoff. Furthermore, Erik Kratz replaces Salvador Perez, a late scratch due to a nagging knee injury. Andy McCullough reports this as a precautionary measure, though we've all heard that tune before and the ending does not end with a Picardy third.
Be Royal, Kansas City. Let's sweep it up.