Patriots unite! Root for the Yankees

This is going to be about baseball. If you’re still reading this column, then there’s a good chance you’re not from Utah. It seems that Utah greets baseball with as much apathy as Colorado shows toward deep-sea fishing.

But if you are one of the few natives who keeps your fingers on the pulse of Major League Baseball, then I salute your patriotism because any patriot worth his salt keeps tabs on our national pastime.

That’s right-good Americans watch baseball, and it has come to my attention, via the abundance of American flag paraphernalia, that many Utahns pride themselves on being good Americans. So it comes as a surprise to me that a devoted people would allow for such a glaring hole in their national pride.

If you’re one of these people, now aware of the chink in your patriotic armor, and you find yourself scrambling around in haste to fix it, just relax.

The solution is very simple: root for America’s team-the New York Yankees.

The similarities between our nation and Yankee Nation are startling at the very least. The roster composition, public policy, foreign policy, economic policy, all from the same mold, just for two different stages.

So keeping up with the Yankees will seem more and more like keeping up with the affairs of our beloved government.

For example: as many baseball fans know, the Yankees have the biggest payroll in baseball this year, at roughly $200 million. That’s roughly $70 million more than the next richest team, the Boston Red Sox. For a point of reference, 18 of the 30 major league teams have a payroll of less than $70 million, and only three teams have a payroll of more than half of the Yankees’ payroll.

That disparity of wealth has earned the Yankees a lot of criticism from around the league. But to me, that sounds like a bunch of anti-patriotic rhetoric.

Much like the Yankees, the USA has a huge income advantage over every other nation in the world. In fact, the most current statistics show that the USA has a Gross National Income of $9.78 trillion, which is more than twice the GNI of its closest rival, Japan ($4.52 trillion).

Japan is actually the only country that can claim a GNI greater than one-fifth of the United State’s.

You get what you pay for: successful corporations or successful ballplayers. Either way the saying rings true.

But economic similarity is just the beginning. When you see how the two juggernauts spend their money, that will blow you away.

Ask any patriot who has the most powerful military in the history of the world and they’ll tell you without missing a beat that it’s the United States.

Similarly, this year’s Yankee lineup is being touted as the best of all time and with good reason: It’s replete with power.

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada are just the power hitters in the lineup. They are the nuclear arsenal of Major League Baseball. Don’t get me wrong, other teams have power hitters, but not in abundance like the Yankees.

In fact, the Yankees employ an often overt containment policy to prevent other teams from getting any of the best players. El Duque, Jose Contreras and Jose Canseco were all acquired to prevent other playoff teams from getting them, rather than simply to bolster the Yankee squad.

Any good patriot would recognize where this plan originated, and it seems that the Yankees got a few more ideas from Uncle Sam.

Yankee owner and unquestioned leader George (coincidence?) Steinbrenner has spent more money on salaries than any owner in the history of sports to ensure that his team will safely remain among the most powerful teams in baseball.

U.S. President and unquestioned (errr…) leader George W. Bush has also spent more money than any other president in the history of our great nation, also to ensure that our country will remain among the most powerful in the world.

These men obviously understand each other-just look at their policies regarding natural resources.

Bush has often taken a soft stance on seeking out sources of sustainable energy, and one of the concerns among U.S. citizens is that Bush’s policies will do nothing but deplete U.S. national resources.

Bush’s solution: Get the resources from elsewhere.

Steinbrenner, who could once claim the best minor league system in professional sports, has depleted his rich farm system by trading his young talent off to other teams in exchange for players of greater immediate worth.

You gotta love a leader who flat out gets what he wants at all costs, people!

And you do, patriots of this state, patriots of this country. You’re so patriotic, statistics show that a majority of you would sacrifice some of your constitutional rights just to support a law that had the word “patriot” in the title.

That sounds a lot like Yankee players who sacrifice their right to grow facial hair, even sideburns, just to play for the Yankees.

No, the similarities don’t end there: Both Bush and Steinbrenner have been called Satan by certain factions within their respective forums-Bush by radical Muslims, Steinbrenner by radical Red Sox fans.

I could go on, but the laws of journalistic brevity prevent me from doing so.

All of this should be enough to safely supply all of you Utah patriots out there with a complete repertoire of respectable beliefs and affiliations.

If you’re still not convinced, however, that the Yankees are America’s team, then consider this: Like almost all things American, they’re extremely popular in Japan.

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