With baseball’s postseason rapidly approaching, it is time once again to bemoan the greatest evil in America’s greatest game.
Although squads like the Twins & Rays have had fabulous years, they will enter into the crapshoot quest for a World Series at a distinct disadvantage. That disadvantage takes the form of the number 206 million, 333 thousand, 389. That is the payroll of the New York Yankees. It’s more than twice that of the Minnesota Twins, and nearly three times that of the Tampa Bay Rays. New York isn’t just using those money bags on staplers and stationary – it’s giving them a massive advantage on acquiring big name free agent hurlers and sluggers.
This clear inequity gave rise to the observation that this situation is eerily like another. It was a wise Bostonian who first dubbed these Yankees “The Evil Empire”, and he was precisely correct. If you are a Yankee fan, you are essentially cheering for the Soviet Union to win the Cold War.
“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! YOU IGNORAMUS!” Well let’s just go ahead and look at what the Soviet Union & the Yankees have / had in common shall we?…
1. A Ruthless Leader Who Would Stop at Nothing
Joseph Stalin demanded every red cent from his downtrodden peasants to support his misguided military adventures. He attempted to make friends with Adolf Hitler. George Steinbrenner exacted every penny possible from his fans with outlandish ticket prices, and used their hard earned cash to acquire morally bankrupt mercenaries like Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi & Alex Rodriguez.
2. Apparently Limitless Resources
In 1991, before Ronald Reagan and George Bush the Elder finally brought the Marxists down – the Red Soviets had corralled 8,649,538 square miles of the world’s land area and held sway over 293,047,571 people. They were lording it over the Kazakhs, the Ukrainians, the Poles…. Meanwhile, the Evil Empire in New York City has boasted MLB’s largest payroll for 17 of the past 25 years. They occupy the nation’s largest media market by far at over 7 million households, an advantage that feeds into their ravenous over-spending. The blasted pin-stripes have even been known to convert weak-hearted denizens of Omaha and Rochester into their fans.
3. Hordes of Really Unhappy People Left in Their Wake
Communism sounds like a swell idea until you’re told that the socialist utopia is achieved by forcing folks to give the government all their stuff so they bequeath it to the people who need it. And often this often turns into the government big whigs just keeping all the stuff anyway. Add to that situation the fact that the Soviets often invaded other lands wholesale… and had a tendency to kill their own people. There’s a lot of displeasure that ensues.
The Yankees claim that they’re America’s team, and that their success somehow unifies us all into a great circle of Kumbaya chanting joy. But what about the 1996 (and 1999) Braves, huh? What about the the 2009 (and 2003… AND 2004) Twins? AND THEIR FANS? There is no joy in Mudville tonight, my friends.
4. A Sworn Enemy the Rest of the World Cheers for
As point 3 explains, when there’s an Evil Empire out there trouncing on people’s rights and happiness – they become significantly unpopular. This was the case for the Soviet Union in much of the world during it’s reign of terror. And just as evil has good, the Red Empire had the United States and Western Europe. America and the Brits pushed back at the Soviets across the globe. Back in those days, the USA could win popularity polls pretty much everywhere. Except in France. Some things never change.
In perfect symmetry, the Yankees’ vile reign has at its opposite pole a sworn enemy. The Boston Red Sox, having many a time felt the particular sting of New York’s success, rose up in the last decade. They turned the tables on the barons of the Bronx and captured two world series in the 2000s. A glimmer of hope to those who yearn to breathe the free air of a baseball world devoid of the relentless tentacles of its Evil Empire.
5. Celebrity Adherents
Hollywood’s dalliance with the political left is the stuff of legend. There are no quicker brutes to lampoon capitalism, the Right, and all that is good and worthy in our society and history than actors and their kind. This phenomenon is responsible for the shock you feel every time you hear that an actress or director is actually a Republican. The trend continues on the baseball field. The Yankees garner more celebrity lemmings than any other ball club. If Rudy Giuliani can be excused – than surely Jay Z, LeBron, and Christina Aguilera cannot. The Evil Empires collide once more.
So before you make your cheering choice this October, remember, your country needs you. The Western World needs you. Stand against the Evil Empire.