Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 10 , 2018, 2:05 am | Fair 51º


Mark Shields: Finally, a Unifying Theme for 2018 — Hating the Yankees

Democrats with whom I talk confess privately that despite President Trump's unpopularity and the fact that nearly all polls show their party with a lead over Republicans when it comes to the upcoming midterm elections, they are increasingly nervous about 2018.

Fueling the Democrats' anxiety is the growing perception that their party is without any overarching and unifying vision or theme. The Democratic Party too often is seen as a bizarre collection of single-cause or special-interest groups, with the whole actually being less than the sum of its parts.

You want evidence? How about your self-consciously inclusive Democratic event that features only gluten-free, vegan-friendly appetizers and especially welcomes all agnostic cross-dressers who prize sensitivity to an earnest community that remains smoke-free, salt-free and humor-free? To spare members of what long was known as the party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson (before both erstwhile Democratic heroes were expelled retroactively for not championing same-sex marriage and other policy positions unbecoming to a 21st-century liberal) from their increasingly joyless search for an elusive galvanizing idea, here is a nationally unifying theme for 2018:

Summon the will and, yes, the courage to speak up for an unsilent majority of decent and intelligent Americans without a national leader to champion their cause — those of us who despise the New York Yankees baseball team.

Think about it. Ours is a nation that admirably roots for the humble, overmatched underdog. The Yankees are now and always have been the rich and arrogant overdog. Major League Baseball has 30 teams. In the past 95 years, the Yankees have been one of the two league champion teams to play in the World Series 40 times. The Yankees have been World Series champions 27 times — or, to put this into perspective, 10 more times than their original league rivals (the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) combined. To be a Yankees fan means to root for Apple or Amazon rather than for your neighborhood mom-and-pop store.

Risk-averse Democrats will worry about alienating "all those Yankees fans." Sorry, but forget about them. Yankee Stadium, which once was called "The House That Ruth Built," was recently rebuilt at a cost to the nation's taxpayers, according to the respected Brookings Institution, of just $431 million. The Yankees' new ballpark could be more accurately called "The House That Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six-Pack Built."

With the Yankees' listed one-game price for a second-row box seat just a mere $1,538, we begin to understand how the Yankees recently were able to afford acquiring star player Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season and was given the highest salary deal in baseball history at $325 million over 13 years. Like Wall Street, identification with which their pinstriped uniforms reflect, the Yankees have no compunctions about tapping the public treasury, even if it might mean leaving the sick orphan's prescription unfilled.

The late William B. Mead, in his classic The Official New York Yankees Hater's Handbook, reminded us that the Yankees players voted against sharing any 1976 World Series money with the team's batboys. Only when it was publicly disclosed that the Cincinnati Reds players had voted to give their own batboys $6,591 each did the Yankees reconsider and give their batboys $100 each.

Democrats, dare to stand with the people against the rich and the powerful. Know that there are more Yankees haters than there are Yankees fans. The late Bill Veeck spoke for the majority: "Hating the Yankees isn't part of my act. It is one of those exquisite times when life and art are in perfect conjunction."

Mark Shields is one of the most widely recognized political commentators in the United States. The former Washington Post editorial columnist appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio. Click here to contact him, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.