I’m the 1962 Mets when it comes to predictions, but if you’re one of those people who thinks baseball mirrors America, you should root for me to be correct when I pick the Phillies to win the World Series in six games.
There was a nice bit of symbolism last September, when our financial system collapsed just as the Yankees were missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Finally, it seemed, we had reached a point where even the deepest of pockets could not spend their way out of trouble. It was a time of reckoning, in which the people whose recklessness led to the Great Recession had to be held accountable for their actions…as did those who signed Carl Pavano to a four-year deal worth nearly $40 million.
Finally, even in the capitalism capital of the world, restraint was no longer an option, it was a necessity. We had to realize good times would not last forever, and that it was time to build something more sustainable and conservative…that it was time to spend more time building one’s farm system than shopping for the biggest and splashiest names.
And then the Yankees went out, spent nearly half a billion dollars on the three best free agents on the market and won 103 games and the AL pennant. Doesn’t really fill you with hope that the rest of America is leaning its lesson, does it? So we need the Phillies to win, to remind those who hold our financial fate in their slimy little hands of the consequences of unrestrained and unfettered greed.
Or maybe you should just root for the Phillies because the grief and anguish of Yankee fans who think it’s their birthright to win the World Series provides sustenance for the rest of us. Either/or.