Alex Massie

Is Barack Obama good for baseball?

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By which I mean, now that Opening Day is finally here, is he good for the New York Yankees? The evidence suggests he might be. True, Megan McArdle - herself a Yankee in fine standing - warns one to be sceptical about the apparent ease with which a causal relationship may be deduced from a brace of strongly correlated variables but has she considered the startling fact that the last time the Yankees haven't won a World Series title under a Republican president since the Eisenhower administration.

In fact fully 19 of the Bronx Bombers' 26 championships have been claimed while a Democratic president sat in power in Washington. George W Bush's tenure in office* coincided with a pretty miserable streak for the Pinstripers. Not only were no championships won, the Boston Red Sox put an end to more than 80 years of hilarity and won a pair of World Series titles (the sole upside of which was the entirely predictable revelation that Boston fans are as tiresome in victory as they were tedious in defeat).

So, if Obama really is all about that change we can believe in stuff then reversing this and bringing a new era of on-field prosperity to the Bronx is something he'll want to address pretty sharpish. Granted, he'll be helped in this by CC Sabathia and Mark Texeira but Obama needs to step up to the plate himself. To hell with General Motors, what's good for the Yankees is good for America and all that.

As for my other team, the San Francisco Giants? Well, a year of modest progress may have to suffice. No titles since they moved west and there's nothing that can be done about that. Though at least they're still by the Bay and not relocated to St Petersburg, Florida...

Still, one looks forward to seeing noted Red Sox fan Ross Douthat address these - and other! - weighty issues, from his new perch at the (shamefully Boston-supporting) New York Times. Meanwhile, if the Sox fail, Dan Drezner will have to worry that it may have been because the team followed his advice...

*I've written about the Curse of Bush before - here.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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