I thought I had escaped the worst of it by flying 3,000 miles to Los Angeles last week, but no: As I waited in the hotel lobby, in walked a braying jerk from New York wearing a Yankees pinstriped jersey and a look of smug self-satisfaction, both of which, I believe, can be purchased in the team’s merchandise stores. The final inning of the final game of the World Series was blaring from the TV in the bar. When the last out was recorded, and the $300 million third baseman, the $180 million first baseman, and the rest of the imported mercenaries swarmed the pitcher’s mound to celebrate, Mr. Yankee Fan hooted and thrust his fist in the air. What a display of character and courage, I thought, to root for the Yankees. Have I mentioned that my team is the Mets, the Hindenburg of baseball?
But let me put my bitterness aside for a moment. It’s actually quite fitting that the Yankees are, at this miserable juncture in history, once again baseball’s champions. This is, after all, an era in which AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and General Motors were bailed out with hundreds of billions in taxpayer money, because these behemoths had grown too big to suffer the consequences of their own stupidity. It’s the era of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, not the local bookstore; Wal-Mart, not Mom and Pop; the Yankees, not the Kansas City Royals. Is any of this fair? Is the playing field ever level? Silly questions. Those of us who aren’t Yankees fans—and who aren’t getting $700,000 bonuses this Christmas—can attempt to console ourselves with our superior virtue, but in truth, we have only one viable option: to just get over it.
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