Alex Massie

Order is Restored

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The peerless Mariano Rivera. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

After eight long, gruelling years the Curse of Bush is finally lifted and the universe is once more on an even keel: the New York Yankees are World Series champions again. For the 27th* time. Hurrah!

Fans of other teams may bridle at the notion that nine years without a championship constitutes a famine. But life in Yankee-land is different. In Yankee-years nine titleless years equals half a century of failure by other, lesser, teams.

More than any other American pastime, baseball is unipolar. The Yankees 27 World Series victories eclipse all other contenders: no other team has more than 10. Perhaps understandably, many Americans view the Yankees as a rogue franchise that presumes, with the insouciance that customarily comes with hegemony, the World Series to be their birthright.

Like the United States, the Yanks are gluttonous, impatient, immensely rich, accustomed to getting their own way, suspicious of those who do not share their point of view, and not always especially diplomatic in dealing with their friends and rivals alike. Their attitude towards other teams' players - if we want him, we'll take him - smacks of a certain high-handedness that could even be construed as arrogance.

In other words, the Yankees are the United States. Those Americans puzzled by the ambivalence, to put it gently, with which US leadership in the world is met might consider their own love-hate relationship with New York's finest. The parallels run deep and true.

Anyway, this New York revival is a reminder that, like baseball, the world could still do with Yankee leadership. Some things never change.

*Oddly, the Yankees fare poorly when the GOP controls the White House. Eisenhower was the last Republican president to preside over a Yankees triumph in the Fall Classic. In all, 20 of their 27 titles have come under Democratic presidents.

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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