Lawmakers trash-talk Yankees' big win

Not every House lawmaker is ready and willing to congratulate the New York Yankees for their tough, 27th World Series win.



When the chamber took up a measure to praise the team for finishing off the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, 17 lawmakers voted against the resolution, while 11 merely voted "present" and 19 did not vote at all.



That got us thinking: Why all the Yankees hate?



Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) was baffled by the ill will against his home team.

"Being from New York, I have always considered myself to be a winner," King told The Hill. "So it is very difficult for me to understand the 'begrudgery' and thought process of those who come from unimportant cities and states."

For some, the "no" vote was cast out of allegiance to their home team and last year's champions, the Phillies.

ADVERTISEMENT
Among that group was Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D), who represents a district that covers part of Philadelphia. According to Tali Israeli, her press secretary, the congresswoman is "a dedicated Phillies fan, and she's just not over the loss ..."



"She looks forward to the 2010 season," Israeli added, but said only of the team's chances next year: "We are always hopeful."

One Pennsylvanian who voted in favor of the resolution was Rep. Joe Sestak (D), who is running in the Keystone State's Democratic primary against Sen. Arlen Specter, a devout Phillies fan. 

"I'll honor any champion — as long as its not the Mets," Sestak said in explanation of his 'yes' vote. "I look forward to my colleagues voting to honor another Philly series win in 2010."

Similarly, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), who represents part of the Philly suburbs, chose not to vote at all. We asked for an explanation, but the congressman's office did not immediately return our call.

Rep. Bruce Braley's (D-Iowa) spokesperson said the Congressman's liberal ideals motivated his "no" vote.

“As chairman of the Populist Caucus, and a former pitcher for the Brooklyn (Iowa) Dodgers, Congressman Braley simply could not vote in good conscience for a resolution honoring the moneyed interests of the Wall Street Yankees," the spokesperson said.

But the reason for Rep. Bill Delahunt's (D-Mass.) "no" vote was perhaps the most common: He's a devout Boston Red Sox fan.

"I'm usually rational but when it comes to the Yankees, I take a hard-line position," he told The Hill. "For those of us in Red Sox nation, it was a sad, sad day (when they won). It tells you something about the corrosive nature of money in sports and politics."

Joining Delahunt was Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who also cast his vote Friday as a show of allegiance with the Sox, who beat the Yankees in the ALCS in 2004. 

“As a lifelong diehard Sox fan, I have too many scars from Bucky Dent to Aaron Boone to add another from casting a vote to congratulate the Yankees for winning this year’s World Series," Murphy said.

Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.), meanwhile, voted against the New York team out of revenge, as they knocked out the Angels in the American League Championship Series. "He stands up for California whenever he can," his spokesman said.

But Rep. Jose Serrano, who sponsored the resolution congratulating his home team, said his colleagues' angst was understandable, given the strong feelings the Yankees engender in some baseball fans.

"There are some people who just won't get over it," Serrano said, adding that he'd have no problem congratulating the Red Sox if they'd won the series.

The Bronx Democrat, who features a photo of the team's new stadium on his website, said he was surprised by how worried some of his colleagues were about the vote, especially with weightier matters on the horizon.

"They thought they just couldn't explain it back home. And I said, 'You have healthcare this weekend. That might take up some of your explaining time.' "