What Do the Yankees and Obama Have in Common?

Friday, 23 Apr 2010 10:31 AM

By Jon Friedman

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It's amazing how the tide has turned in favor of the White House lately. Press secretary Robert Gibbs has appeared in seemingly every media outlet except maybe Popular Mechanics — a surefire sign that the administration believes that it is getting its second wind following a very rocky first year at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

On Monday, something interesting is going to take place. President Obama is scheduled to greet the defending world champion New York Yankees at the White House during the team's day off before it plays in Camden Yards in Baltimore.

It shapes up as a meeting of two big, haughty winners. What do you reckon that the president will tell the baseball champs? What will they tell him in return?

Will anyone remind the president that George W. Bush threw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium? It was the first World Series game that was played in New York City following 9/11, so the symbolism was everywhere.

And will the Bronx Bombers — a team that is off and running early on in the 2010 baseball season, by the way — again extend an invitation to a commander in chief to throw out a ceremonial first pitch if the team makes it to the World Series this fall? President Obama has had ample experience by now, having tossed the ceremonial pitch at the All-Star Game in St. Louis, as well as on Opening Day.

I suspect that the two parties could have plenty to talk about. Yankee manager Joe Girardi, first of all, went to Northwestern University, a stone's throw from the president's stomping grounds in the city of Chicago — and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner once helped coach the Northwestern football team.

Further, can you imagine two entities — the Yankees and Barack Obama — who are more disliked universally for their winning, their smugness and their rabid followers. True, the Cubs have rabid followers, but they don't win. The Yankees win. Obama wins, too.

And lots of Americans really hate them for it.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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