Friday, September 07, 2007

The Politics of AL East Baseball

You want to look away, but you can't

By Matthew Taylor

These are tough times for Charm City baseball fans. And for tried and true fans there’s little escaping the frustration. You still have to check the score even though you know it’s not going to be good. You still flip back to MASN to see if the bullpen has blown the late-game lead. You still allow yourself to get mad about the obnoxious cheers from visiting fans at Camden Yards.

It’s September, all potential marks of optimism are erased, yet still we watch. It’s about time I used that “car wreck” analogy, isn’t it? You want to look away, but you can't.

Much like the O’s August swoon there’s seemingly no turning away from the 2008 presidential race. But in this case it’s not because you’re a fan. Just try watching a news program without hearing some reference to the campaign, I dare you.

Heck, it seems you can’t even catch a good comedy without things getting political. I did a comedy movie double-header earlier this summer and both flicks – “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” and “The Simpsons Movie” – referenced at least one of the candidates. The horses are running extra lengths in ’08 because the race has gotten longer.

Well, we might as well give in. With apologies to the non-political, we ask the question, “Which 2008 presidential candidates are most like the teams in the AL East?”

New York Yankees –Hillary Clinton

Seemingly endless resources and a willingness to spend big make them a favorite out of the gate. Freed from any kind of cap on spending they use their financial advantage to overwhelm their competitors in ruthless pursuit of victory. The organization’s obsessive flirtation with attractive free agents suggests that relationships within the team are a marriage of convenience. Supporters, known for their arrogance, believe that victory is inevitable. Should it happen we’ll be forced to live with dynasty talk.

Boston Red Sox –Barack Obama

Considered a rock star, the sexy alternative to the frontrunner also has significant resources, drawing support from throughout the Nation, but is relatively inexperienced in the highest levels of the game. Even when leading they’re pre-occupied with the presumed favorite. Claim there are great differences between themselves and the frontrunner and work hard to highlight those distinctions. In the end, though, many suspect that only the packaging is different.

Toronto Blue Jays –Al Gore

You never really know if they’re going to be in the race, but there’s always a chance for it to happen. Had glory days that included back-to-back victories, but those days are behind them. It’s time for them to make a name for themselves. It’s an “Assault on Reason” to believe they’ll contend once you consider the “Inconvenient Truth” that their division rivals have too much firepower.

Baltimore Orioles – John McCain

Campaign that started with such optimism has crashed and burned. Continue to stick with an unsuccessful game plan, one that has squandered both resources and good will. Recent talk of a comeback can’t match the tough talk of the old days. Supporters still dream of the days when the campaign was associated with a short, fiery leader who put a scare into the competition.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays –Mike Gravel

No chance in hell of winning; probably shouldn't have entered the race. Nevertheless, keep things interesting, especially when it comes to angry demonstrations. Previous outbursts suggest that you should expect the unexpected, anything from flying bats to threatening voice mails.

1 comment:

The Halls said...

Brilliant, as always!