Friday, September 26, 2008

Never, Ever, Mix Baseball and Politics

I have made a difficult decision.

Tonight, rather than watch the first televised presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, I will go to U.S. Cellular Field to watch the White Sox play the Indians.

But please, please don't use me as your exemplar of citizenship. Watch the debate. And then, immediately after Jim Lehrer says goodnight, turn the TV OFF. Don't change the channel. Don't go online. Don't turn on the radio. Do nothing until you have had a chance to think quietly by yourself or a few friends about what you just heard. Then you can turn to the news media and find out how wrong you are about everything!

For me, however, I have more important things to do. The Sox just blew their division lead by getting swept by the Minnesota Twins, and now need every break they can get going into the final weekend of the regular season. This is crunch time, ladies and gentlemen. Bring your hats.

In the meantime, however, I was thinking about how well by predictions have turned out. You see, back in March, I wrote about the strange fact that, for the past five years, the AL champ has always come from a blue state whereas the NL champ has always come from a red state. I also mentioned that during the last presidential election the Democratic nominee was a senator from Massachusetts, and, that same year, the Boston Red Sox were able to break the curse and win their first World Series in 86 years.

But, as we all know, Kerry lost. So, this year, I hypothesized, we need to reach across party lines and get the NL to send a blue-state team to the World Series, a team whose state will be represented by the Democratic nominee, and a team looking to win their first World Series in 100 years: the Cubs. (Of course, almost immediately after saying this, I started rooting for their cross-town rivals the White Sox.)

So now it's September. And so far things are looking pretty good. The Cubs have won their division, Obama is leading in the polls. But there are still many obstacles to be overcome, like fighting against voter fraud in Ohio and seeing if the Brewers get the wildcard. But, I wondered, could we use the same impeccable logic of Obama=Cubs to analyze the fortunes of the rest of Major League Baseball? Well... why the fuck not - I mean, Yes We Can!

1) New York Yankees - Everyone has been waiting for the Evil Empire to return to power. But a string of losses early in the season doomed them, despite a strong resurgence near the end. Parallel: Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

2) Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Surprising everyone, this scrappy team from the Sunshine State has won the toughest division in baseball. Will they be the ones to rain on the Cubs parade in October?
Parallel: Over 65, Jewish, and Cuban voters in Florida

3) Arizona Diamondbacks - Once the media darlings, the D-Backs may have shot themselves them in the foot by alienating immigrant hispanic voter Manny Ramirez, who now plays for the rival Dodgers.
Parallel: John McCain (R-AZ), GOP immigration policy

4) Boston Red Sox - They're old. They're rich. They have an incredible amount of power and influence, even after having surgery on their brains.
Parallel: Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

5) New York Mets - They looked so good, for so long. But a meteoric crash to Earth in September may have doomed them and all of their fans.
Parallel: The financial markets

6) Los Angeles Angels - The Halos have quietly been dominating the West. But are they waiting for bigger things to come in the future?
Parallel: Committee to Elect Schwarzenegger President, 2012

7) Minnesota Twins - Nobody gave them a chance. But this under funded group of misfits could win their division through small-ball and wit.
Parallel: Al Franken

6) Washington Nationals - They have the worst record in the NL, are regularly booed by their fans, and had their final home game of the season rained out.
Parallel: President George W. Bush

I can do this all day long, folks. But I should maybe accomplish something today. In the meantime, are there any other connections out there between baseball and politics that might you know, be a more useful way to learn about our government then watching Fox News?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you J!

I verily needed that amazing analysis.

U. B.