Bob Franken


October 3, 2007
The Ballgame (Bob Franken)
@ 10:39 am

If you’re a baseball fan, you know what a “Subway Series” is. That’s a World Series played by two teams from New York. If the Mets had not utterly collapsed this year, they might have been playing the Yankees.

Well. If the leading presidential campaigns haven’t collapsed, next year’s championship game, meaning the election, could be that Subway Series — the Hillaries vs. the Rudies.

I’m not through torturing this analogy. This would definitely be hardball. The candidates would be accused of making their pitches underhanded.

Each, of course, would come from a different league. Although one of the sides would claim to have come from a “League of Their Own,” the team leaders would have won the Democratic and Republican playoffs.

This would be a much different game. Unlike baseball, this is a brutal contact sport. And there’s the Democrats’ heaviest hitter, Bill Clinton. He would not be the star player, although some might think so. In fact, he would be a she. This team will need separate locker rooms.

On the Republican side, the champion the last two times around will seem to disappear. George W. Bush can’t be in the lineup, of course, but we’ll find out if they’ll even want him to be seen rooting for his old team.

And there’s the question of the home-field crowds. Will people of color be allowed in GOP stadium? Rudy Giuliani is one of the candidates who failed to show up when they were the bulk of the crowd during a recent spring training game — that recent preseason debate.

Both sides will have plenty of money, God knows, since it doesn’t seem to really matter who contributes it.

And they’ll need it, because TV and the Web are where most will be watching, as always. But in this contest, the teams pay, not the other way around

And this time the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, will be advertising their wild pitches, hoping to master their own version of the Swift Boat beanball so effective the last time around against John Kerry. He’s the Dems’ version of the GOP’s Bush the Second, the one they’re trying to ignore.

And in this all-New York Series, both organizations might have the same rallying cry: “You talkin’ to ME?!!!!” As usual, the people of the entire country will decide which side is most talking to them.

Of course, some might argue Hillary is not really a New Yorker. She’s played in a lot of places: Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas, Washington and now New York. Baseball teams trade players from city to city. In politics, the players can trade cities.

The first job for the Democrats will be to convince the crowd this Subway Series battle is being waged in November 2008, not back on Sept. 11, 2001. Republicans will be arguing their opponents aren’t really tough enough for all the struggles ahead.

I could go on and on, but it’s time for relief (as I said, I could go on and on). Anyway, people who don’t follow baseball probably have no idea what the hell I’ve been talking about.

But I wanted to write this before George Will did.

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