The World Series: A ‘tale of two cities’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Before the Reagan coalition began fraying, it was not uncommon to hear conservatives mock FDR’s Democratic coalition, noting that they could never meet in the same room.

After all, the Auto union member and the hippie/feminist/gay rights activist (take your pick) would kill one another — if they ever met.

This year, representatives of that patchwork coalition of Democratic voters just might bump into one another — while buying a beer or hotdog — as the Detroit Tigers play the San Francisco Giants in the autumn classic.

As the World Series moves to MoTown tonight, it would be hard to script a more clearly contrasted clash of two cities. Detroit is a gritty rust belt city of former glory, while the Bay Area is home to a thriving technology scene.

“The Giants have carefully nurtured their connection to the tech community…pioneering tech-savvy touches like free Wi-Fi during games and emphasizing the park’s proximity to the South of Market start-up scene,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

In some ways, the teams reflect the values and image of these disparate cities. The Giants’ players boast a sort of alternative look that rubs some people the wrong way. “I’m offended by the beards,” joked David Brooks on “PBS Newshour.”

I don’t mind the beards, but the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy inadvertently does a good job summing up why every traditional conservative ought to be rooting for MoTown to make a comeback:

Detroit has real people who work hard for their money and cherish their jobs. Detroit loves hockey. Detroit loves to buy American. Detroiters like their boats and their beers. You do not ask to see the wine list in the bars around Comerica Park. Pabst Blue Ribbon, please. Tall boys.


I love the Tigers. Best uniforms in the sport. They have Al Kaline and Willie Horton sitting in the dugout before games. They have a 67-year-old manager who smokes Marlboro Reds in the dugout and wears cleats when he puts his feet up on his desk in his office.


[Detroit manager] Jim Leyland is from Perrysburg, Ohio. He reminds his players that they need to run out ground balls because a fan in the stands might be trying to feed a family of five and worrying about job security.

Sure, as a city, San Fran might be more entrepreneurial these days, but Detroit is more culturally conservative and traditional. And it would be an understatement to say they haven’t been through some hard times of late.

Come to think of it, unless you’re from the Bay Area, it’s really hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t be rooting for the Tigers this year.

Matt K. Lewis