Cross-posted at Bugs and Cranks..
Here's an AL Preview, attempting to compare every team with a polticial candidate.
American League East
1. Boston Red Sox:
Political Figure: Senator Barack Obama
Both were once well-regarded underdogs, now overwhelming favorites. Both hope to incorporate youth movements to propel them to another victory this fall. Both Obama and Red Sox Nation sport an absurdly devoted and vocal fan base, to the point that detractors refer to them as cultists. Both the Obama campaign and Red Sox management have a predilection to hire extremely organized numbers geeks. In all likelihood, thankfully, Jimmy Fallon will not star in any movie concerning the Obama campaign.
2. New York Yankees:
Political Figure: President George W. Bush.
Both the product of a decades-long dynasty, with the current incarnate lacking the class and success than previous generations. Also both are boorish and have a sense of entitlement they haven't earned since the early years of this decade. The Yankees, like this Administration, are suffering from the ramifications of decisions that were popular at the time, but in retrospect were strategic mistakes and an utter waste of resources resulting from potentially illegal and certainly misleading conduct. (Iraq, Jason Giambi). Both Bush and the Steinbrenner Yankees spend money like drunken sailors and are prone to ostentatious, coerced displays of patriotism.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
Political Figure: Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Plucky but completely overmatched. Fans of both bitch that we don't pay attention, but call us when they appear in the fall. Female Blue Jay supporters presumably bathe in something other than petulie and shave their armpits. I think.
4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Political Figure: Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Both hang out in Florida, hoping that transplanted New Yorkers turnout in huge numbers. It never occurs.
5. Baltimore Orioles
Political Figure: Sen. Hillary Clinton
Last truly relevant in the 1990s, but ultimately thwarted by unfair tactics that kept them from victory (Harry & Louise, Jeffrey Maier). Like Peter Angelos, Hillary's campaign spends tons of money on overvalued and useless employees (Mark Penn for Hillary, Albert Belle's $65million, 5 year contract for the O's). Both have frequent turnover in senior management and change strategies on a frequent basis. Orioles fans ignore the standings. Hillary's supporters cover their ears when "delegate counts" are mentioned.
American League Central
1. Cleveland Indians
Political Figure: Sen. John Edwards
Both are talented and young and have everything going for them. On paper, should win every time and yet have a legacy of disappointment to their previous efforts. It is like there is a curse or something.</span><span> </span>
2. Detroit Tigers
Political Figure: Sen. John McCain
The Tigers, like McCain, sport a long and distinguished history. In the last year, frustrated by previous failures, both radically changed their strategy in a last-ditch effort to achieve victory. Detroit's trade for Cabrera and Willis, however, makes more sense that McCain's recent flirtations with Pat Robertson and the Religious Right. Also, McCain hopes Hillary and Obama attack each other forever, while the Tigers hope that the Red Sox and Yankees pay more attention to each other while Detroit sneaks into the Wild Card.
3. Chicago White Sox
Political Figure: Sen. Fred Thompson
Incredibly hyped, but ultimately fail due to a lackadaisical approach and age. In his defense, Fred Thompson does not say nearly as many stupid things as Ozzie Guillen.
4. Kansas City Royals
Political Figure: Gov. Mike Huckabee
Both Huckabee and the Royals are not competing to win this year, but are hoping for a distant, theoretical future. Royals fans look for a future where KC can produce and retain talented players; Huckabee's supporters await the End Times envisioned in the Book of Revelations. Huckabee prefers miracles to math; the Royals' roster is evidence that they need a miracle with their pitching staff.
5. Minnesota Twins
Political Figure: Gov. Mitt Romney
The Twins play on plastic. Mitt Romney is plastic. Both abruptly ceased competing this year in an effort to save money. Both are looking forward to becoming league leaders in coming years and building on this year's campaign.
American League West
1. Los Angeles Angels
Political Figure: Gov. Bill Richardson
The Angels' owner is the first Latino to run a Major League Team, while Bill Richardson is the first major Latino presidential candidate. On paper, both should succeed and compete for victory: Richardson has a vaunted resume, while the Angels are loaded with talent. Both ultimately fail in the end and are surprisingly uncharismatic.
2. Seattle Mariners
Political Figure: Sen. Joe Biden
Significant international experience. Boring. No one ever pays attention to them.
3. Texas Rangers
Political Figure: Sen. Mike Gravel
Only reminded of the existence of either when they inexplicably appear on my television.
4. Oakland Athletics
Political Figure: Rep. Ron Paul
Both team's supporters have a vocal cadre of supporters that are often more interested in theoretical concepts than actual results. A's supporters are active on line but this does not translate into attendance in Oakland, while Ron Paul's Internet support does not translate into things like "votes."
Well, I'm finished. Hope you enjoyed it. Join me in October, when I compare each playoff team to a member of the G-7.