From The Windup is FanHouse's daily, extended look at a particular portion of America's pastime.
I don't know if you've been paying attention, but there are some things going on in this country right now that are far more important than whether or not the Cubs will win the World Series, or whether New York will collapse on itself should the Yankees miss the playoffs.
No, I'm not talking about the new Beverly Hills 90210 - though it's nice to see Lori Loughlin getting work - I'm talking about the upcoming election for President of the United States. Yeah, you've probably noticed in the last few weeks that all your favorite crappy sitcoms and celebrity dancing shows haven't been on in favor of a bunch of people giving speeches in front of sycophants. We call these the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
For the first time in my life, I've paid pretty close attention to both of these conventions this year. You see, even though I've never been shy about my feelings about this country of ours, and those who have been chosen to run it, I've never actually exercised my right to be a factor in the decision.
That's right, at 27 years of age, I have never voted in a single election. Not for President, not for Governor, not even for Student Council President in high school. So when November 4th rolls around in two months, I will be stepping into a voting booth for the first time, and though I'm somewhat excited about it, I still face a pretty tough question.
Just who am I voting for?
Now on the surface, it would seem pretty obvious. After all, as any of you who read FanHouse regularly are well aware of, I'm a Chicago White Sox fan. You know who else is a White Sox fan? That's right, Barack Obama. So at first glance, Barack seems like a slam dunk to get my vote.
Finally, after spending my entire life toiling in the shadow that is the Chicago Cubs and their amazing ability to not win anything, I have a chance to put a White Sox fan into the most powerful position in our country. Having Obama run the country would surely be the final step towards making the White Sox the most important baseball team in the city of Chicago. Only Barack can finish the job that the 2005 World Series started.
Barack has already started the War on Cubdom, beginning his shock and awe campaign with an opening salvo delivered at the flip-flop wearing, yuppie masses of Wrigley Field when he did an interview with ESPN's Stuart Scott.
"I'm not one of these fair weather fans," Barack said. "You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. Southside."
You tell them, Barack! It's about time somebody informed Cubs fans how pointless their existence really is. Of course, there was some concern that these statements could cost Obama the votes of more than a few Cubs fans, but Illinois is a blue state, and a few pissed off Cubs fans aren't going to change that. Instead, his comments will probably earn him a few more votes from Cardinals fans in Missouri, which could end up being an important swing state in the election (Seriously, how scary is it that a question from Stuart Scott could end up having an impact on the leader of the free world?).
So with all these reasons for a White Sox fan to vote for Obama, how does John McCain even have a chance to win my vote? Well, my fellow Americans, I'm a real White Sox fan. I don't do the wave (an epidemic has broken out at U.S. Cellular Field recently), I hate Jay Mariotti, I question every single move Kenny Williams makes because I think I'm smarter than he is (I'm not), and I love A.J. Pierzynski.
Still, there's a misconception about real White Sox fans that I'd like to clear up. The Chicago Cubs are not our arch-enemy. Though we generally don't enjoy all the attention that they get, they aren't our competition on the baseball field.
No, for the real White Sox fan, public enemy #1 is the Minnesota Twins. Real White Sox fans have a hatred for the Twins that burns hotter than a thousand suns. We despise that rag-tag group of Little League rejects (this excludes Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau) who somehow keep winning every year despite the fact that they totally suck (it's pretty obvious that Ron Gardenhire has photos of Bud Selig in a compromising position, it's the only logical explanation).
This is where John McCain comes into play.
Right now the White Sox are battling to hold off the hated Twins in the AL Central division. As of this morning, the Sox hold a one and a half game lead over Minnesota, and that's something the Sox owe McCain some credit for.
You see, over the last few weeks, the White Sox haven't been playing very well. The bullpen is an adventure every night, and since August 21st the team has gone 5-7. They've actually gained a game and a half on the Twins during that span.
Why? Because the Minnesota Twins have been off on the longest road trip in the organization's history, as they hit up the cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland, and Toronto on a 14-game trip. Their record on the trip was 5-9.
The reason the Twins were on that 14-game road trip, by the way, was due to the arrival of the previously mentioned Republican National Convention in Minnesota. The Republican candidate that everybody is there to see?
So, in a way, if it wasn't for John McCain the White Sox could find themselves three or four games behind the Twins in the standings right now. Add that to the fact that the Sox have to visit Minnesota for a three-game set later this month, where they've gone 1-5 this season (conversely, the Sox are 7-2 against Minnesota at home), and a three game deficit right now would probably be too much to overcome.
Of course, there's also the fact that McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, might be able to sway some Sox fans his way as well. With the recent news that Palin's un-wed teenage daughter is pregnant, I can think of at least two White Sox fans who will be voting for him.
But the question still is: Who am I going to vote for?
A lot could change between today and November 4th. The White Sox could clinch the division, or they could fall out of the race entirely. Hell, they could win the World Series for the second time in four years (if this happens, there's no longer any question, I'm voting for Ozzie Guillen).
Right now the edge goes to Barack Obama because if he's elected, he'll still be a White Sox fan, and he'll still be running the country. If McCain wins, I don't think he'll be even remotely concerned about the state of the White Sox.
Of course, as I said earlier, I'm a real White Sox fan. So if it's pretty apparent that Obama isn't going to win by the time election day rolls around, I won't even show up at the voting booth. Supporting a loser has always been more of a north side thing.