Short months ago, the first real taste of warm weather blew gently across the Northeast and the sight of blossoming trees with their explosions of brilliant color provided a great remedy for the winter blues. This glorious tableau was only tarnished by three days of watching my New York Yankees getting trashed by the Boston Red Sox up in Fenway Park. More misery was to follow as the Yanks would also lose the next five games at the hands of the dreaded Beantowners.
But just as Spring is the harbinger of good things to come, so does Fall sometimes usher in great days for some fortunate baseball fans. The Yanks won nine out of the next ten tilts with the Sox and in doing so, clinched the AL East on Sunday as well as the best record in baseball. So you’d think that everything would be bliss for Yankee fans, right? Well, maybe it is for some, but not for this one.
When you’re a conservative columnist, bad vibes are a part of the territory. You tend to grow a thick skin and brush the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals off your back; and believe me, last week brought a bunch of them. But when your favorite team makes the postseason, all should be happiness and light; except, that is, if you’re a Yankee fan. I mention these two things together because I have noticed that some of the gripes about conservatives advanced by those on the left have a great deal in common with those who suffer from an irrational hatred of the Yankees, or Bomberphobia as I like to call it.
In the course of their long history, the Yankees have been despised by various large groups of people; most notably fans of the teams who have suffered at the hands of their mighty batsmen. But in the last few decades or so, because they have so outspent their rivals in putting their profits into their farm system and acquiring the best players available, they have become the target of liberals everywhere.
This of course is understandable as liberals, particularly rich ones, often lecture us as to the evils of wealth. But what about you conservatives? Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone on the right should be a Bronx Bomber fan, but stop and consider what some of you have in common with the opposition in hating the Yanks.
Let’s take stock here. You’re a good conservative. You are a capitalist; one who believes that excellence should be rewarded, that a man should be able to earn whatever the market will pay. If you are a true conservative you despise socialism; the idea that in a country like America, some should support others who are perfectly capable of doing it themselves. You are sick of government bailouts and the welfare state.
Yet, many of you secretly applaud baseball’s version of socialism, euphemistically called the Competitive Balance Tax, which has resulted in the Yanks paying out over $150 million in the last six years to their direct competitors. Meanwhile, Robert Nutting, the dastardly owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates who pocketed $40 million in revenue-sharing alone last year, saw fit to reduce his 2009 payroll to $20 million by selling off the few good players he had. Such doings make those who cooked up the Oil for Food program look like pikers.
Yet some who disdain the concept of the redistribution of wealth as an economic and political system, see nothing wrong with the same idea in baseball. Those who champion parity in competitive sports remind me of Madeleine Albright and those of her ilk who bemoan the fact that it’s not fair that the U.S. is the world’s only remaining superpower.
As a conservative, you believe in fair play and the rule of law; that once the game has begun, the rules should not change because someone doesn’t like the outcome à la Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and friends. Yet Bomberphobes everywhere rejoiced when traitor Lee MacPhail, then president of the American League, overturned the unanimous decision of all four umpires in the infamous “pine tar game.” Talk about your recounts!
And, keeping in mind the fact that many became Bomberphobes when it was revealed that George Steinbrenner gave illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon, and there you have it: irrefutable evidence that those who harbor an irrational hatred for the Yanks must be closet liberals.
Now, before my mailbox gets flooded with angry missives, be advised that this column is mainly directed at some of my personal friends and colleagues who become twisted with Yankee hatred most Octobers, and is meant to be taken tongue in cheek; sort of. So come on my fellow conservatives, there’s still time to get in the game and root for America’s team.