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In which the Yankees are the Austrian Habsburgs

Jan 28, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Ferdinand III

This is for the true history geeks among you. And I’m not talking Civil War buffs or French Revolution experts, because you guys are a dime a dozen. I’m talking about those of you who know a bit about 17th Century nation-states and the Holy Roman Empire and stuff and are able to chuckle at analogies between current baseball teams and the continental powers of the age:

Baltimore Orioles: Poland

Once a strong, powerful, and proud team/nation that won three World Series/dominated Eastern Europe and formed a shield against onrushing hordes from Central Asia, the Orioles/Poland have fallen on hard times. With a governing structure that makes adaptation and serious reform all but impossible, the GM/king all but falls into figurehead status at times. These internal forces prevented the productive use of the team’s/country’s bounty of resources, leaving a wide-open path for unproductive interference from Peter Angelos/France and Saxony. Eventually the Orioles/Poland fell into such disarray that it was simply devoured by the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays/Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

And yeah, it kind of goes on like that.  I think I got about 1/3 of the analogies, and that was with some help from Wikipedia.  I’m guessing there are some humanities majors among you who will get a few more yuks from it all.

I now expect Wezen-Ball to raise this guy by doing a comparison between Cy Young Award winners of the 1960s and their counterparts in the Abstract Expressionist art movement.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Looks kinda like Johnny Damon, resigned by the Yankees in 2018, to replace beep-beep.

  2. Brian Murphy - Jan 28, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    I started reading this to feel smart. Then I realized how much of it I don’t understand and went back to feeling dumb.

  3. bigcatasroma - Jan 28, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    The only problem I see with this is that he is short some of the Italian states – the Papal Sates or Piedmont/Savoy have not been represented. Granted, they were peanuts at the time, Savoy was a relatively-new county (maybe duchy by that time?) in an ascendancy to mid-to-high mediocrity (Marlins – though the Marlins had their time in the late 1990s) and the Papal States were once dominate, even if a small market, from Europe’s inception (that’s a really good one for the Pirates).

  4. mellow13 - Jan 29, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    This is wonderful, Craig. Keep it up.

    I do have a problem with the Orioles as Poland ,however for the reason that prior to the Napoleonic war against the Third Coalition ( Russia, Habsburg Empire/Austria, Britain, Sweden and other minor players ), the NL East perhaps, Poland ceased to exist having been swallowed up by Austria ( Emperor Francis II ) and Russia ( Tsarina Catherine the Great ) in The Third Partition of Poland in 1795. Are you suggesting that the Orioles will be “partitioned” out of existence by teams comparable to 18th Century Austria and Russia, Cinncinati and Philadelphia perhaps?

    Also, a large part of middle and southern Italy at this time was the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Chicago Cubs and White Sox perhaps. This kingdom was grabbed off back and forth by various Euopean power brokers. Hmm?

    The European rulers, generals, prime ministers and major ambassadors , who all were extremely busy plotting strategy, negotiating treaties, concordates, and post war reparation deals, are prime models for recent and present team owners, union biggies, and managers. Investigation of the dealings and personalities of Austria’s Francis II, Archduke Charles, Gen Mack, Cobenzl, Tallyrand, Metternich, Prussia’s Frederick William and Frederick the Great, Russia’s Czar Alexander, Vorontoz, and William Pitt ( Britain’s George III was busy smelling the roses like several current GMs) will reveal surprising similarities with various front offices and field generals.

    Of course, one must not forget the catalyst of so much European activity on and off the field: Napoleon Bonaparte, a great recruiter, negotiator, and administrator. Does the name Steinbrenner strike a note here? Does this make the Yankees the doppleganger of the French Empire?

    If we make the argument that Napoleon sought to make himself the second Charlemagne, after all he crowned himself Emperor of France, King of Italy, and assumed the Iron Crown of Saxony, how much of a stretch is it to acknowledge the decades long attempts by the Yankees to spare no expense or action to gain total domination over their world ( baseball and media ) to be a designed second coming of a Holy Roman Empire. Now, who will assume the crown of Charlemagne?

  5. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    I’m surprised he didn’t compare the moves to the west coast of the Dodgers and Giants to the breakup of Pangea.

    • spudchukar - Jan 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

      Careful Gator, in this scenario the two Florida franchises, struggling to keep their collective heads above water, would face some serious “High Tides”.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        Not that I want to upset the right wingnuts who occasionally infest this blog, but some of my pet tortoises are still old enough to remember the days of paleohistrionic radicalism when the battle cry was “Laurasia out of Gondwanaland!”

      • spudchukar - Jan 29, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        According to the latest “Palintology” reports, Laurasia is visible from Wasilla.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        It doesn’t bother me so much that that narcissistic moron can see it; it just leaves me uneasy that she thinks we need to be prepared for war with it.

      • spudchukar - Jan 29, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        Remember old knuckledragging lore has it that Caribou Barbie’s ancestors were ardently protecting their dinosaur hunting grounds from the encroaching tree-hugging homo habilis.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 30, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    I doubt if Ms Tundra Trash likes homos of any subspecies very much, despite the pronounced slope of her own brow, you know? Then again, every so often Palintologists do unearth a thought fragment. So far, though, they have never been able to find a complete thought and are unable to determine how these rare little objects fit together, if at all. So they just draw a lot of dotted lines between them.

  7. Rooster Amaro - Jan 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Little disappointed by the lack of Phillies analogue…or Braves and Marlins for that matter. Really glossed over the NL East. Beggars can’t be choosers but I wish he could’ve made a more complete list.

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