NOW THAT the Phils have achieved what so many hardly dared to hope for, Phillies euphoria has taken hold and for the next few days - if not weeks - every topic covered by the local media will be viewed through the lens of the victory.
So, jumping right onto that bandwagon, here are some completely ridiculous comparisons between the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies and The One:
1. Change You Can Believe In: Most long-suffering Phillies fans couldn't believe the change until they saw it, but these 2008 Phils have achieved tangible change after 15 years without a league pennant and 28 years since their last world championship.
Barack Obama supporters can only hope that an Obama administration can handle Iraq, Afghanistan, the housing crisis, health care and the global economic meltdown as handily as the Phils handled the Brewers, Dodgers and Rays. (That is, should he first succeed in getting himself elected.)
2. The Audacity of Hope: The Phillies have endured long stretches of struggle. In fact, as fans are often reminded (sorry to bring this up again), the Phils have lost more games than any other team in major-league history and, until now, had won only one world championship, back in 1980.
In a city that had gone 25 years between major championships (the Sixers won in 1983), even daring to hope that the Phils could engineer this win seemed pretty audacious - about as audacious as a biracial freshman senator from Illinois with a Muslim middle name thinking he could be president of the U.S.
3. The Hawaii Connection: The DNC has its Tryin' Hawaiian Barack Obama and the Phils have Flyin' Hawaiian Shane Victorino. Hawaii, never known as a hotbed of baseball or politics, may be in for its biggest and best season ever.
4. '90s Connection with Shaggy-Haired Anti-Establishment Characters: Obama has been questioned about his association in the 1990s with former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. In '93, the Phils were led by a scraggly bunch of scratching, spitting, rough and rowdy characters- Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Mitch Williams. (OK, OK! I'm not implying that these guys were terrorists or making light of Ayers' history, I'm just sayin' . . .)
5. Big-City Connection: Obama and the Phils are both based in big, tough-minded Democratic cities long plagued by machine politics, while the Rays hail from pleasant, sunny Tampa/St. Pete, a place so nice it may even be one of those "pro-America" areas of the U.S. of A. where "real Americans" live.
6. Battling Wall Street: Not to disparage the Rays or imply that they played any part in the current economic crisis and credit crunch (that would reek of a smear campaign) - BUT Rays owner Stuart Sternberg was a partner at Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2002.
So the Phils can make the stretch and say the series was sort of a Broad Street vs. Wall Street event instead of the usual Main Street vs. Wall Street.
Obama promises to reform Wall Street and criticizes John McCain's proposed tax cuts for the "wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations." I just hope Obama doesn't appoint the World Series umpiring crew to provide oversight of the country's financial institutions.
7. Celebrity Status: The Phillies averaged 42,254 paid attendees a game in 2008 for a total regular-season attendance at Citizens Bank of 3,422,583. Obama routinely draws big crowds of 10,000-plus and notably attracted 100,000 in Denver last weekend, as well as 200,000 in Berlin this past summer, although no averages or season totals are forthcoming from the Obama campaign. Meanwhile, the Rays averaged 22,370 a game for a total of 1,811,986 (12th of 14 in the AL).
These guys are no Paris Hilton!
8. Superstition: As the World Series loomed, the Phils and fans asked Mayor Nutter to refrain from festooning William Penn, high atop City Hall, with the usual giant cap or team jersey, fearing that such a hubristic gesture might bring about bad luck.
Obama noted recently that he was superstitious and changed a "When I am president" phrase into "If I am president" instead.
It worked for the Phils. Will it work for The One? *
Philly native Mary Mann now lives in New Jersey, where she roots for the Phillies and Obama.