It is quite possible that my father would disown me if he were to ever hear me utter these words, but I want the Yankees to win the World Series this year.
Am I some sort of closet Yankees fan? No.
Have I been seduced by A. Rod's inexplicable ability to succesfully play baseball for eight (!) consecutive games that happen to be in October? No. Well, yes, but that's not why.
My biggest problem with baseball currently is not umpiring/instant replay, it is not the use of PEDs by players, or the stats/scouts [false] dichotomy. My biggest problem with baseball currently is its inherently disadvantageous economic structures. If that is the case, why in the world would I root for the Yankees?
I am rooting for the Yankees this specific October because their economic behavior is borderline self-satire. After spending their way to the playoffs for a decade straight, the almighty Yankees missed out on the playoffs completely last year. To add insult to injury, they lost the division to a team with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
What was the Yankees' answer? To spend almost half a billion dollars on free agents. The result? Not only do the Yankees win the division, racking up the best record in baseball along the way, they do so by leapfrogging that same low payroll team that previously beat them out.
I am obviously frustrated by this economic injustice. However, I think the Yankees failing to win the world series would actually harm the movement towards a more equal economic playing field in baseball. "See, the Yankees spent a ton of money and still couldn't win the World Series! Nothing's wrong with baseball at all!"
Whereas if the Yankees, immediately following the first year in over ten years that they fail to make the playoffs (but still win a number of games that would make any Royals fan truly trust the Process), spend half a billion dollars on free agents and effectively buy a world series, I think that might cause enough outrage to build some momentum towards changing baseball's economic structures.
Obviously, a Yankee victory in the World Series will not be followed by the immediate instution of a salary cap, I'm not THAT idealistic.. But rather, in all of those offseason stories about the Yankees victory, how does their recent team additions/payroll NOT become a massive part of the story, if not THE story? I think the Yankees spending half a billion dollars to buy a World Series immediately following the year in which they do not make the playoffs will make people think long and hard about baseball's economics. Should the Yankees lose, it's all the ammunition that the apologists for baseball's economic structure need.
...or more likely, this is an intellectualized way of assuaging my fury at a seemingly imminent Yankees victory.