The New York Times today alerted its readers to the urgent political news that Bill de Blasio, the current maybe co-front-runner for the Democratic mayoral nomination, identifies as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. According to the paper, tradition appears to require that the city's chief executive be a fan of the Yankees. Javier C. Hernandez writes:
For generations, the New York Yankees have had a lock on City Hall, fawned over by mayors in navy jackets and trotted out as heroes at ticker-tape parades.
This is why the Bronx, home of all the mayors' beloved Yankees, is the shiniest jewel of the five boroughs. Although the ticker-tape parades are, strictly speaking, not so much a gesture of mayoral favor as standard procedure for whichever New York baseball team wins a World Series (which is more often the Yankees).
The conceit of the piece is also a little strained by the fact that the current three-term mayor, Michael Bloomberg, a Massachusetts native who now lives in Bermuda, was a Red Sox fan when he first ran for mayor of New York. (He was also a proponent of term limits.) But after being elected, Bloomberg publicly removed the little-used "Red Sox Fan" chip from his Human Emulator Module and replaced it with a "Yankee Fan" chip.
"Make no mistake about it: I'm a Yankee fan," the mayor said, after his system had rebooted.
De Blasio, for now, says that his support for the Red Sox will not change; the extent of his pandering was to tell the Times, "I appreciate the Yankees and Mets, but I know where my loyalties lie," which is just the sort of Ken Burns-y sententious thing that the fustier sort of Red Sox fan would say, under pressure. Red Sox fans have worked very hard to be almost as horrible as Yankee fans. Almost.
But the Times posed the baseball question to the other candidates, too, and posted the video. What are their fan identities?
John Liu: "Mets. I'm a Flushing boy." Correct, concise.
Bill Thompson: "My grandfather was a Met fan, and I used to watch games on TV with him." Correct, sentimental.
Anthony Weiner: "Mets, and anyone playing the Yankees." Correct, aggro.
Joe Lhota: "Yankees ... I was born in the Bronx." This is the one defensible reason for being a Yankee fan.
John Catsimatidis: "I've been a Yankee fan all my life." You want points for not flipping to the Mets in the '80s?
Christine Quinn: "I grew up on Long Island, so I was a Mets fan..." And then her future wife ordered her to switch to the Yankees, so "I jettisoned the Mets for love." Aww. Traitor.
John Liu should be the next mayor of New York.
[Photo via Getty]