Anna Lee, on the other hand, was played many times live as long as Derek was in. Then it was probably put aside since, as clearly stated by MP on the liner notes of the FII Demos, it was mainly Derek's and James's both musically and lyrically.
I don't know why you tried to rebut this, considering this totally proves my point. Anna Lee has always been considered Derek's song. Not because the lyrics were written by him, but that the song featured him heavily and, like you said, became "Derek's song". A Change of Seasons, musically, was a full-band effort, yes, but Portnoy penned very personal lyrics for it. What you are effectively trying to argue is that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Why is it OK to put aside Anna Lee because it's Derek's song, while A Change of Seasons doesn't get the same treatment for Mike? I think you're letting your hopeful nature get in the way of looking at this realistically.
Don't get me wrong, seeing A Change of Seasons would indeed be awesome, but look at it from the band's perspective:
2)They got a new drummer
3)Mike wanted back in and they said "no"
4)Mike got into somewhat of a war of words with James
5)Mike moved on to other projects
Does it really look good for the band, who is now currently on less-than-remarkable terms with Portnoy, to go and play one of his most personal songs?
And your Afterlife point makes no sense. The lyrics were never personal to Chris, nor Charlie. A Change of Seasons is a totally different story. IT'S A SONG ABOUT THE DEATH OF PORTNOY'S MOM for fuck's sake!
I can't see how you could possibly think that they will play A Change of Seasons so soon...
Oh wait...I forgot the main point of your argument. It's because...
That would be overly stupid.Right. Good call dude.