The Yankees are in the World Series and there's a Democrat in the White House. There can only be one outcome.
You might think that the Bronx Bombers and the GOP go together like hot dogs and mustard. With their enormous payroll and glittering new stadium, money is never an object. They woo superstars with huge salaries and the luxury tax they pay for doing so helps subsidize the poorer teams. If ever there was a sports team that behaved like a stereotypical rich Republican, it's the Yankees.
But that doesn't mean Yankee fans should long for the days when Republicans occupied thhe White House. In a criminally- overlooked article six years ago, the New York Observer's Jonathan Rosenthal pointed out that, since George Steinbrenner became principal owner of the Bronx Bombers in 1973, they've never won the World Series with a Republican in the White House.
The Yankees won the American League pennant in 1976, when Gerald Ford was president, only to get swept by the Reds. They won the next two fall classics while Jimmy Carter was thhe commander-in-chief. They made it back in '81 (Ronald Reagan) -- only to lose to the Dodgers.
The Yankees wouldn't return to the World Series for a decade and a half -- which included a dozen years of GOP rule. In '96 (Clinton), they won and proceeded to win three more times over Clinton's second term. They made it back in 2001, but oops! George W. Bush was now in office, and the Yankees lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Rosenthal called this strange pattern "the curse of Nixon," pointing to Steinbrenner being suspended from baseball in 1974 because of illegal contributions to Nixon's re-election campaign.
When Rosenthal's article appeared in 2003, the Yanks had just concluded their sixth Series appearance in eight years. Surely, they would win at least one Series in the Bush years -- especially if he won re-election, right?
Nope. In the next four years, the Yankees wouldn't even make it to the league championship series -- and completely missed the playoffs in 2008. Now, in Barack Obama's first year in the White House, the Yankees are back and the political stars are aligned.
For the Republican Yankee fan, this is a true dilemma. A loss at the polls last November still stings, but does one take solace in knowing that there is a Democrat president around to act as a good luck charm for the most storied franchise in history? And, goodness knows, there's at least three -- and possibly,
-- more years when this horrible conflict could raise its infernal head!!!
Oh, the horror!!!