Well, the Yankees play on, but Mad Men, the finest television show in recorded history, ended its fourth season last night. Perhaps it has been due to a steady diet of playoff baseball and Mad Men denouement, but I see the following parallels between Mad Men characters and the crew over at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce:
1. Don Draper/Derek Jeter: Both enjoy matinee-idol looks, are considered the public face of the franchise. They are adored by women, while each has a flaw that threatens to overtake all the greatness they've brought to the table- in Don's case, his identity, in Jeter's case, his defense. Don Draper's unorthodox thinking on the Glo-Coat ad is matched perfectly by Jeter's flip during Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS against the A's.
2. Pete Campbell/Alex Rodriguez: Both are indispensable, yet seem to fully lack the confidence and understanding that this is so. They are well-known for strange exclamations ("Christ on a cracker!"/"Ha!") A relatively distant misunderstanding between Draper/Jeter leads to constant feelings of resentment/inferiority. And yet, both are tremendous at what they do (bringing in new clients/playing baseball) and have grudgingly won the respect of their peers.
3. Lane Pryce/Joe Girardi: Both are tightly-wound, with their heads often buried in a spreadsheet, tirelessly driven to particular goals (solvency/28th championship). Both are surprisingly vulnerable to criticism, and both were hired away from organizations that didn't properly value their talents (British company that took over Sterling Cooper in Season 3/Florida Marlins).
4. Sally Draper/Joba Chamberlain: Both are consistently abused, with their tremendous talents overlooked and their roles constantly changing. Sally is shifted from her mother to her father as often as Joba gets moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation and back. And Sally is destined to remind Betty of the life she once had with Don forever, just as Joba will remind Yankee fans forever of what they once had with Mariano Rivera when he leaves them.
5. Joan Harris/CC Sabathia: Both combine singular talents absent from the rest of the roster (organizational skills/starting pitching) with a lovely hourglass figure.
Honorable mention: Betty Draper/A.J. Burnett, Roger Sterling/Andy Pettitte, Ted Chaough/Cliff Lee, Duck Phillips/the Minnesota Twins.