Baseball is America's pastime, and the Yankees are considered by many to be "America's Team."
With their history of success and a seemingly insurmountable mountain of hardware lining the organization's trophy cases, it is easy to see why this is the case.
But although they are, historically and statistically speaking, the "best" team, does that mean they are "America's" team? I propose that the Yankees personify many characteristics of America, the only problem is, they're all the wrong ones.
This is my formal proposal to Congress, Obama, whomever...that the Philadelphia Phillies should take over as the penultimate representation of the Stars and Stripes in MLB.
Does it get any more American than red, white, and blue? Don't think too hard about this one.
There is no combination of Phillies uniform that does not feature all three of the colors that we hold dear to our hearts.
Wanna talk stars and stripes? The Phils' home uniforms have got them both.
While the Yankees have pinstripes as well, their primaries are dark blue and white. Their logos do feature red, but they also feature a baseball bat wearing a very patriotic hat.
Do not be fooled. That bat killed and robbed Uncle Sam. Do you really want to support that kind of thing?
In addition, while the Phils' uniforms feature a fun, looping scrawl that eschews the rigidity of a totalitarian regime, the Yankees home uniforms are emblazoned with a single icon, which although it appears to be a combination of an N and a Y, is actually an ancient hieroglyphic that can be loosely translated to: Buyer of Shining Champion Ornament.
America was born in Philadelphia. This is where we took a stand and said "aw hell no" to British rule. We wrote the Declaration of Independence here.
Betsy Ross lived here. She created the first American flag. She may or may not have opened the first Ross Dress for Less. I'm not a historian. I can't be sure.
New York, on the other hand, is considered the Empire state. Quiz time: based on historical evidence, how tolerant were Americans of empires (namely the British)?
The answer is C: Not very.
New York was the military headquarters of the British during the Revolutionary War. Thanks a lot, guys.
"World F-ing Champions"
These three words proved it: the Phillies have character. They epitomize the American way by being brash, unpredictable, and unflinching in their efforts to let their personalities show.
Chase Utley has twice been recorded dropping the F-bomb on national television: Once during the All-Star game in response to some Mets fans, and the aforementioned example in response to...well, we're not really sure, but he sure did exercise his First Amendment rights, and that's what it's all about.
Chase also gets hit with pitches more than a little league backstop. Does he cry or complain? Is he ever hurt? No. He loves it. He leans in to them, sacrificing a nasty boo-boo just to take a base. He has a do-whatever-it-takes-to-win attitude that is the antithesis of the Yankees pay-whoever-it-takes-to-win philosophy.
Jimmy Rollins is a headline-making quote machine. Try this one on for size:
"Why tone down my aggressiveness? When I do, I get in trouble."
Hell, Phillies security guards even taser fans when they get too rowdy (which is often). You can bet that Event Staff member was thinking "Don't tread on me. Or my field" as that little 17-year old punk lay zapped on the grass.
Grit. Tobacco. Facial hair.
The Phillies players represent the rugged, rough spirit of America, who are sorely lacking in role models of this nature due to the extinction of the cowboy, and the fact that no construction workers eat their lunch precariously balanced on I-beams 500 feet above street level anymore.
Although, Utley is the archetype of the old school, dip spittin', lady killin' baseballer from he glory days. Everyone is getting in on the fun.
Jayson Werth lets his shag flow to Grizzly Adams status, regardless of what GQ says is 'in.'
Brad Lidge pays tribute to the hard-working and industrious Amish with his...whatever he's got going on there. Joe Blanton looks like he could whip up a mighty fine moonshine.
And let's not forget ol' Chollie. Phillies GM Charlie Manuel is like a stereotype for the no-nonsense, straight-talkin' country boy fresh from America's heartland.
These are the type of guys who made America what it is today.
The Phillies, although seemingly brazen and arrogant, are good guys.
Chase Utley is an active supporter of PETA.
Shane Victorino hosts an annual golf outing to support the Alzheimer's Association. (Now where did I put that five iron...)
All in all, eight Phillies have created, and are active in, charity organizations.
In a game in Colorado two years back, the Phillies players jumped onto the field and helped the grounds crew secure a protective tarp, which was being tossed around by blistering winds and proved too much for the crew to handle alone.
The only Phillie to have even been mentioned in the same sentence as steroid rumors is Raul Ibanez, whereas the Mitchell Report mentioned more Yankees than a daily box score.
Speaking of character, Ibanez bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort. Maybe he's just magic.
So fans, I beseech you: discard the Yankees as America's team. They are the tyrants that we, as a country, have been fighting against since our existence as a mere 13 colonies.
If the Yankees are the Evil Empire. The Phillies are the Luke Skywalkers, and how does that whole saga end up? Seriously, I only saw the first two.