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Baseball and Politics

By       Message Daniel Tilson       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 11/10/09

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Call me a crazy, still delirious Yankee/Obama fan, but did you notice how Baseball & Politics converged last night? Not for nothing, as some say in the Bronx, but the New York Yankees won the World Series on November 4th, 2009, the one-year anniversary of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

The Yanks are Champions - excuse me, but, Hooray! - for the first time since winning the 2000 "Subway Series" against cross-town rivals, the New York Mets, on October 26th, 2000 - just days before the dark dawn of the Bush-Cheney era in American presidential-political history.

And to bring the non-baseball fans among us up to speed - The Bronx Bombers' incredible "Glory Days" run of four championships in five years occurred from 1996-2000 - the last half of the Clinton-Gore era in American presidential-political history.

Just to swat this goofy point right out of the park, prior to the 1990's run of titles, the Yankees won two in a row in 1977 and 1978. Right. Jimmy Carter was President, however briefly. And how can you ignore the fact that before those consecutive championships, came two in the early 1960's, yes, during JFK's Camelot turn in the Oval Office.

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My "theory" here is all too clear by now. The Yankees - at least for the last 50 years or so, feel and play better when a Democrat is in the White House - and really, don't we all, or most of us anyway?

And so, following the "stealection" (my nostalgic little label for the 2000 Florida fiasco) that put W in office and turned our democracy upside down for eight brutal years, the good guys in American Baseball, the New York Yankees, couldn't win another World Series until the good guy in American Politics had chased the Bush-Cheney team off the field once and for all - in 2009.

Follow me for another minute or so. And forgive me if the characterization of the Yanks as good guys makes you sick or angry or both. Baseball Purists, I know they've used their money to try and dominate the game. But from 2000-2009, it didn't work. Political Purists, I know that in the middle of the twentieth century the Yanks were way too slow in integrating their major league roster. But that didn't work either.

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So it struck me in the midst of celebrating both this latest World Series title - and the anniversary of the Obama presidential victory a year ago - that during the GW Bush years, coincidence or not, the Yankees had strayed from the "We Are Family" all-for-one-and-one-for-all path they'd had such success with for years.

Foregoing team character as a guiding principle, management reverted to signing up assorted veteran sluggers and power-hitters to put fans in the seats and keep the Yanks near the top - without ever achieving the kind of team chemistry so necessary to get them over the top.

Then, in the off-season leading into this one, following the election and inauguration of Barack Obama as President, a light switch suddenly seemed thrown back on in the Yankee brain trust. They went out and won another World Series after signing new ballplayers of great character and grit to complement the "core four" from the late 90's - Mo Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettite, and of course the Team Captain, Derek Jeter.

For a final taste of synchronicity - or call it coincidence - how about the fact that Jeter, the cool, calm, collected, talented and tenacious leader of the Yankees, is, as our President is, the son of an interracial marriage?

Congratulations to Jeter and his team, and to Obama and his. May they all enjoy at least another seven years of success and accomplishment, rooted in team chemistry.

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Daniel Tilson was born and raised in New York City, a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, and New York University's Film and Television School, with a double major in Film/TV Production & Broadcast Journalism. Tilson established his own first (more...)

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