Ninemen’s Morris: New column enlivens politico-diatribe with concurrent Base-ball imbroglios!



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silas red quigley.jpg

To begin, a warm welcome, reader, you of discerning taste
and eye, to the maiden voyage of Ninemen’s Morris, a clear voice rising
above the innumerable newsman’s clanging gongs. 
Here you shall encounter cogent commentary on the politic of the day,
juxtaposed with tantalizing tid-bits from this season in the national
past-time.  In our first column, we turn
our attention to a crucial topic: this first year of a fledgling


What is this brand of nouveau dandyism practiced by the
current administration?  The cloying
pretense of free trade and thinly-veiled cronyism only further illustrates
their disconnectitude from the American main. 
I cannot abide his minced words and Nancy-boy intellectual caterwauling.  In a fearful harbinger, in June it was this
johnny-come-lately’s duty to throw out the first pitch for a clash of titans at
Griffiths Park.  Our gastropod of a new
president was seen to fling the sphere short of home plate by many a yard, all
the more length his atrophied limb would aspire! 


Taft First Pitch.jpg

This is the leader of our fair republic?  Please! 
A finer metaphor for his soft-lipped foreign policy and his craven
crumbling in the crucible of overseas conflicts I could not conceive.  Endure this so-called Dollar Diplomacy?  I would sooner have my shins sluiced by the
sharpened spikes of the Georgia Peach, Tyrus Cobb!


On the diamond, an historic battle is shaping up clearly in
this season, a pas-de-deux between the elegiac behemoth, Johanus Wagner, and
that aforementioned centerfield hit-smith. 
The Detroit man’s vitriol is well known (to quote one sporting
columnist, “he would climb a mountain to punch an echo.”)  It may well be that the echo in greatest need
of punching is that crafty and classical shortstop from Pittsburg.  A study in contrasts, these two men play in
styles so differing they could be two separate sports. 


Roosevelt Taft Cartoon.jpg

An equal contrast comes current in the governance of our new
president, as opposed to his predecessor. 
Where Roosevelt was a man of action, and given to a spiking style (does
his big stick not slightly resemble Ty Cobb’s Louisville Slugger?), Taft is a
soft, gentlemanly sort, of a disposition more to demure than vociferate.  Already his rhetoric against the Trusts
brings to mind the gentle way of the Dutchman Honus Wagner, a man far more
likely to even the playing field with a kind word than to spike the unwary
second baseman’s leg on a steal.  (Though
on pace to steal over 700 bases in his career he may well be, I query still,
where the teeth?!  Where the threat?!)


As we tread unwillingly into the end of our summertime, and
the autumnal pennant race begins its inexorable warm-up, we shall watch with
interest the progress of these titans, 
and pray for as hardy a disposition in the capital.  Though he spoke of his profession, it could
just as easily be the office of the president that Cobb referenced when heard
to say, “it is a grown up game for grown up men.  It is no pink tea.  Mollycoddles better stay out.” 


Hear you that, elephantine executive?!

– – –

Written by
Silas ‘Red’ Quigley
Editorial correspondent for the Boston Wax-Intelligencer.  Editor/Publisher of various workers rights
publications, sporting weeklies, and Ladies Garment Journals.  As a youth he was attache to Henry Chadwick (claims to be the
uncredited co-creator of the box score).

For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*



  1. juliasrants

    I have a question for you gents – maybe a filibuster – When the Catholic church complained about teams playing/opening their season on Good Friday, you guys were all over it – “reminding” us all of the separation of Church and State. So, will we also get a public reminder of that over the New York Congressman writing to Uncle Bud complaining about ESPN’s decision to move the Red Sox-Yankees game to 8pm on September 27th and the fact that it started after sundown on Yom Kippur. MLB & ESPN caved and the game will be played at 1pm and shown only on ESPN. Is one religious holiday more “holy” then another? Where is the public outcry? Inquiring minds want to know your opinion.


  2. Jonestein

    Wow, early twentieth century US American-English shenanigans…you two really are language geeks.

    Should we look forward to seeing a RSBS/Nineman’s booth at LinguistoCon ’09 in San Diego this year? I heard that the distinguished guest list will include the former Miss Teen SC speaking on Semantics, and former President GW Bush heading the break-out session on Morphology(let’s hope the North Mesopotamian Arabic Fan Club booth isn’t hiding any Donuts of Mass Consumption…they might be in trouble).

    Great stuff, btw! Looking for-ward to additional Nineman entries.

  3. Erin Kathleen

    Ah yes, 1909. When the Pirates were actually good and Detroit lost the World Series (I guess some things never change). And a President’s ability to lead could be judged by the way he threw out the first pitch at a baseball game (I guess some things never do change). Good stuff, Jeff!

  4. Jonestein

    Oops…”Ninemen’s”, not “Nineman’s”…yeah, I’ll be leading the LinguistoCon session on Orthography this year.

  5. redstatebluestate

    Jonestein — Indeed. We’ll have a booth set up… ours will be right next to that of the above Silas “Red” Quigley and (later) today’s “Alabaster” Eastman Thune. They’re a bit shy. You’ll see. But if Jenna Bush is there, believe me, they’ll come out of their shells (hubba hubba).
    Jane — Mollycoddles… just another word lost on today’s youth (and elderly).
    Erin — Yep. Nothin’ has really changed has it. Sure, technology advances, but the state of the union hasn’t really… still out to clobber everyone else.
    –Jeff (and Silas sends his regards)

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