Root for the Yankees, or else

If a Bronx Bomber victory saved us from a second Great Depression, would their 27th World Series win be OK?

Published November 2, 2009 11:03PM (EST)

Trust the Wall Street Journal for the really important number crunching.

Since 1930, the Yankees -- who would clinch their 27th World Series trophy with a win tonight -- have been a harbinger of average 5 percent GDP growth in years following a series victory.

Meanwhile, as documented by Gary Weckselblatt of the Bucks County Courier Times, when a team from Philadelphia wins the Series, we all suffer horribly.

Last year needs no embellishment. In 1980, writes Weckselblatt, "interest rates were above 20 percent, and unemployment remained at high levels (about 7.5 percent) through the end of 1981."

But the last time Philadelphia won two straight World Series? The A's, in 1929-1930. And we all remember what happened then.

Say what you will about small sample sizes and correlation-is-not-causation, but based on this analysis, it's hard to argue with the data: the unlikely event of a Philadelphia victory would all but ensure a vicious double-dip recession. For the sake of the children, we should be rooting for the Yankees to close this thing out, preferably tonight.

And yet, much as I care about the welfare of my country, I find I hate the Yankees even more. Remember: GDP growth does not necessarily translate into happiness, and the pall of gloom that would descend over the national psyche should the Yankees win again might be more devastating in its long-term psychological impact than even a second Great Depression. Right?

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Baseball Great Recession How The World Works U.s. Economy