Are you outraged that Carl McCall, the State Comptroller, attempted to solicit employment for an elevator operator? Of course you are. As far as anybody can tell, this elevator operator is not the sort of person generally described as a “political fat cat,” which is to say that he does not regularly give thousands of dollars to his favorite political candidates. What is this world coming to, where ordinary elevator operators can get letters of recommendation from would-be governors? This is truly outrageous behavior on the Comptroller’s part, and if politicians were the members of a union-say, the International Brotherhood of Hustlers-he’d learn that there’s a price to be paid for showing up your brothers and sisters. Soliciting a job for a non-fat cat is akin to working a holiday without claiming double time.
Yes, this is the season for outrage. Bob Torricelli is outraged that we are not a forgiving people, that we havesohardened our hearts that we cannot forgive a political figure who solicits grandfather clocks and other trinkets from a certifiable fat cat. Andrew Cuomo was outraged that voters were unable to see the genius of his many messages. The Republicans and Democrats and their mouthpieces on television are outraged about something, though the cause is not entirely clear.
But of all the outrages perpetrated in recent weeks, nothing approaches the ouster of the New York Yankees from the American League playoffs. This is indeed more than outrageous; this is madness. This is a violation of the tacit agreement between Major League Baseball and the Manhattan-based sporting media that the New York Yankees, by dint of George Steinbrenner’s wallet, shall have a berth in the World Series every year in order that New Yorkers might feel superior to those hopeless yahoos in cow towns like Baltimore, Seattle, the Twin Cities and yucky Kansas City.
Oh, this is more than madness. This is an indignity-the high and mighty New York Yankees, that finely crafted brand-name team, brought low by a division of the Disney entertainment empire, the Angels of Anaheim. And so a Mickey Mouse operation will take the Yankees’ rightful place in the American League Championship Series. Oh, the pain!
Clearly, this cannot stand. While the rules of baseball would seem to prohibit a team (i.e., the lowly Twins) from dropping out of the championship series-creating an instant vacancy for a team with a better chance of winning the pennant (i.e., the Yankees)-measures must be taken to ensure that this mistake does not occur next year.
New York, as its sportswriters and commentators are fond of saying, deserves winning teams because … well, if you have to ask, you don’t understand. Suffice it to say, New York is the capital of the United States, Superpower. If this comes as news to you, then you haven’t been reading the commentary of learned New Yorkers who have announced that Washington and its denizens are but provincials, and that New Yorkers are the true rulers of the global American empire. It was in the paper the other day, so it must be true.
Such a city, then, deserves nothing less than the best baseball players money can buy. This is why Jason Giambi was brought to New York during the off-season last year, and why others like him must join him next year. It is more than a little outrageous that the likes of Curt Shilling are permitted to play for a team somewhere in Arizona, or that Scott Rolen plays third base in … St. Louis!
It is time to speak the obvious truth. First-rate baseball players are just like writers, artists, television anchor people, professional partygoers, high-end prostitutes and the other icons of our age: They yearn to reap the rewards of living in the real capital of the United States. It is time to liberate them from their supposed long-term contracts in the culture’s backwaters. Henceforth, Major League Baseball should recognize the obvious and demand that allmost-valuable-player designees, Cy Young Award winnersandhome-run champions performing such feats in the continental United States be immediately sent to Mr. Steinbrenner’s outfit, so that he might better represent the nation’s real capital.
This would be a shrewd business move. After all, as New York’s sportswriters often say (though they haven’t had much of a chance to say it recently): Who wants to watch a World Series with teams from out there in the so-called heartland? You want ratings? You want those big-time commercial charges? Get the Yankees into the World Series, where they belong. It’s in the best interests of baseball, after all.
It’s also patriotic, what with New York being the real capital of the American Empire. So let us never again repeat the humiliations of this fall. Let us learn our lesson and get the Yankees into the 2003 World Series. Mr. Steinbrenner, go forth and spend like a madman.
We deserve it.