Good Versus Evil
The upcoming American League playoffs represent as clear a case of good against evil as we generally get. On the side of good, there are the Cleveland Indians. On the side of evil, there are the New York Yankees (whom the Indians will play in the first playoff series), the Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Angels. In fact, the Indians might be seen as the paleoconservatives of the postseason, with the other teams akin to the neocons or the left.
First of all, like The Rockford Institute, the Indians are thrifty, stretching the dollar far more than the other teams they will or might face. The Indians total payroll is $61,289,667, the seventh lowest in the majors. Since the Indians (along with the Red Sox) lead the American League with 96 wins, that means the Indians have spent $638,434 per win. By contrast, the Yankees' bloated payroll of $195,229,045 means that they have paid $2,079,905 per win, the Red Sox $143,123,714 payroll translates into $1,490,872 per win, and the Angels $109,251,333 payroll translates into $1,162,248 per win. The three highest paid Yankees make $72,737,096 per year, more than all the Indians put together, and the top four Red Sox make roughly what all the Indians do. In fact, the Indians' Fausto Carmona, who is second in the American League with 19 wins and a 3.06 ERA, makes a comparatively modest $387,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, the Indians roster is devoid of prima donnas or jerks.
Second, the Indians are, like The Rockford Institute, firmly entrenched in the heartland. By contrast, the Yankees hail from the home of the UN and Rudy Giuliani, the Red Sox from the land of Harvard and the Kennedys, and the Angels from the depraved precincts of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.
Third, the Indians, like all paleoconservatives, annoy the media. You can bet the TV commentators and executives will be rooting for the big market teams to win the American League, not the Tribe. Indeed, if you go to many sports websites, or even political ones like NRO, you get the impression that baseball begins and ends in New York and Boston. Certainly, baseball chatter at NRO is devoted almost exclusively to the Yankees and Red Sox, with an occasional mention of the Mets.
Finally, there's the matter of tradition. Paleoconservatives believe in tradition, and so do the Indians. The Indians rely far more on their farm system and less on pricey, arrogant free agents, as good baseball teams used to do. And they have clung to their politically incorrect nickname and mascot, despite the pressure of leftist agitators who ludicrously described Chief Wahoo, in the Michigan Daily during my law-school days, as a "snarling Native American head." So put on your Chief Wahoo cap and root for Middle America's team in October!