Prior to delving into this curious topic, allow me to set the record straight: My voters registration card clearly states "No Party Affiliation." I proudly voted Nov. 4, and my vote was not for the new president-elect. However, I went into the voting booth with all intentions of giving him my vote.
As far as my intentions go, this will not be a political article, but if you would like to construe it as such, feel free.
Barack Obama is good for Major League Baseball. There, I said it.
Barack Obama is good for Major League Baseball, not because his inauguration will clear the path for George W. Bush to chase his dream of following Bud Selig as the Commissioner, but because of what he represents.
Bush as MLB Commissioner would be a catastrophe worse than the Marlins trying out Misty May-Treanor as part of the battery with husband catcher Matt. Mark my words, the writers of Saturday Night Live could not have come up with a line to make the front office on Park Ave. in New York City laugh harder.
Obama is good for MLB not because he may solve the Expos' (errr, Nationals') hole at second base, but because he inspires the people around him. Nov. 4, 2008 showcased democracy in the United States of America like we have never seen before: record turn outs, swarms of new voter registration, people believing their vote counts like never before.
How does this election parlay into baseball? For 20 years, the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program has been inspiring the youth of America to get out and play, to chase that unreachable dream of getting out of the slums and into the Major League Baseball Players Union.
In 1988, 180 children participated in L.A. Today, more than 120,000 children participate in a program that gave rise to Dontrelle Willis and Coco Crisp.
If the 170 RBI Alumni who have been drafted by professional clubs is not inspiration enough to participants who think chasing their dreams is dumb, then seeing the first African American President, who chased his dreams from Hawaii all the way to Washington, D.C. should be.
To see that a man raised by his grandmother could triumph over adversity and play such a pivotal role in society is considered inspiration by many.
To see that a man who sank a three-pointer in front of troops in the Middle East can take the reigns of his own future (and this country's) and steer it in whatever direction he chooses is considered inspirational.
Again, Obama is good for MLB not because he is willing to pick up the bar tab at the posh resort in Dana Point where the GMs are staying, but because of his race; after all, he is African American.
In 2006, MLB reported an all-time low in regards to the African American participation in the player's union (8.4 percent). In 2006, C.C. Sabathia was the only African American on the Indian's 25-man roster. A little math quickly shows you 8.4 percent is less than one percent of the black population in America.
Starting in 2007, MLB pumped life into its marketing efforts towards young minorities. Increased marketing, they hope, will result in increased participation. Increased participation will lead to increased proportions of minorities to whites on rosters, in Babe Ruth Leagues to the Major Leagues.
You see, until last night at approximately 11:00 pm EST, the proportion of minorities to whites on a chart of Presidents of the United States, past and present, was 0:43. Today, it is 1:44.
You have to start somewhere, and if that is not free advertising that offers hope to millions of youth, I do not know what is.
Obama is good for baseball not because MLB owners supported his campaign (they in fact, did not), but because if he follows his plan, more people will have the money to play baseball.
John McCain raised over 500 percent more than Obama from team owners in the four major sports. Sure, the term "socialism" was thrown around in Obama's ideals; "redistribution is evil," suggested the Republican party. (Reminder: for whom I voted.)
Swallow this pill of perspective, though. Lower taxes or higher refunds leads to more money in families' pockets. More money in families' pockets leads to more discretionary spending.
Find one mother or father who does not put more of their discretionary spending towards their children than themselves (maybe not amount wise, but item wise). What do children want? Toys and sports. What do parents want? To give their children the tools to succeed and be healthy. What does Obama say he is going to give them? The ability to provide that.
Not into pills? Here is a liquid solution. The economy sucks and who did every pundit, republican or democrat, say is the best to deal with it? Your current President-elect.
It takes the same digestive tract as above. Improved economy leads us out of recession, equaling cheaper prices and more money in the pockets of parents and players alike. If you don't see where that is going, re-read the above paragraph.
If none of these arguments work for you, well, I thank you for reading my bipartisan article. In four years, we will know whether I am right or not. Until then, please accept that I did not knowingly lie to you. And please accept that Barack Obama is good for Major League Baseball, just because he is.