Clearly established is the fact that perhaps nothing is what it seems these days. From Alex Rodriguez gallivanting around the Dominican streets with his cousin scoring steroid sauce because he was “young and stupid” to Larry Craig simply taking a timeout in an airport restroom because he needed to “relax”, we, as US Americans, would be doing ourselves and our country a great disservice by not postulating the underlying motives and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that make up our anti-apotheoses of leadership.
Guilty until proven innocent?
Why not? This is America after all. We do what we want, when we want (see Iraq, Guantanamo, “W” for more information).
Baseball, democracy, Erin Andrews being all hot and sexy… these are as astutely American as a Paris Hilton reality television show; so it should be no surprise when they eventually fall victim to our insatiable desire for dirt.
So why not celebrate the fecundity of our backpage headliners… bring them together, assemble a stellar nine to barnstorm the backwoods, villages and small towns of this great nation?
Well, I have thought about it and I am all for it and I am doing something about it, damnit.
Marion Barry — CF
At the top of the lineup we need speed; and who better to give us speed than a bonafide crackhead? Believe me, folks, Barry will get on base — perhaps even manage to free-base — all the while giving pitchers (and Washingtonians) nightmares better fit for an episode of The Wire.
Eliot Spitzer — 2B
He’s scrappy, he’s fast, he leaves his socks on. With a name like Spitzer (see Roberto Alomar), Eliot’s the guy I want at second base. As patient in the number two hole (wink, wink) as he was hypocritical during his gubernatorial reign, Eliot is a surefire shot taker whom I definitely want on my team because he knows where to buy all the hot chicks.
Kwame Kilpatrick — 1B
The bigger, the fatter, the sloppier the man, the better the first baseman. Well, at least that is how they do things in Detroit. And Kwame, though once a sharp dresser, now looks a bit haggard after those 99 days in jail. The fact is, defensively liable players often end up at first base. On the plus side, Kwame is a big target and he has the agile hands of a 14 year-old text messaging champion.
Bill Clinton — 3B
No one knows his way around third base better than Slick Willy. Besides, this position requires a bit of flash peppered with a sprig of charm… not to mention an oh-so-faint cheating character. Of course, there are doubts that Clinton could handle the duties of a clean-up man (refer to the stained blue dress) but if we know anything, we know that Bubba is always full of surprises.
John Edwards — SS
Protect a cheater with a cheater: enter John Edwards.
Rod Blagojevich — DH
Now here’s a guy who comes to play, pays to play, forces others to pay to play, whatever; he’s a player. Widely known as a bit of a primper, Blago manages to fill the flashy DH role better than most. His only drawback: if you take him out of the game he will continue to run his idiot mouth.
Roland Burris — RF
Admittedly, the only reason Roland has a spot on this squad is because he’s in tight with the DH; but by now we all know it didn’t take long for Burris to wield his own personal bat of corruption and make a stately name for himself. And let’s face it: Burris has quick feet, able to change his story faster than you can say Chicago Democratic Machine.
George Ryan — LF
Bringing up the rear of our team’s famed corrupt Illinois politician trifecta (CITP) is the always forlorn oft uninteresting George Ryan. He’s fat. He’s slow. He’s a left fielder. But the man knows how to sell contracts, licenses and leases on behalf of his team, so it’s always good to have a guy who can get things when you’re on the road half the season.
Dick Cheney — C
The scowling shot-caller. The calloused captain. The man who hides behind a mask. With the entire field in front of him and myriad opportunities to talk s*** behind people’s backs, it is quite evident that Cheney was born to catch. More fierce than a misguided, misled, mishandled bombardier, he’ll chat the opposing hitter up as much as possible, flashing his hunting rifle from time to time to gain a psychological edge. Arrrrggghhh.
Larry Craig — P
Bringing up the rear, ahem, Larry Craig is one of those subversive anomalies of the baseball-politico reality. Sure, he can pitch; but he can catch too, which makes him all the more valuable to a team going long and far down that dirt road called destiny.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Let me try to understand this hifalutin statement:
“When it comes down to it, sports exist to entertain the masses and it
is the masses that decide what they want. This leads to inevitable
conflict between the strict constructionists (people like you) and the reformers (people who wear pink hats).”
–Allen Krause, The Filibuster, May 4, 2008
When Allen says, “people like you”, he’s referring to people like me — smart, charming, extremely good-looking, etc. Apparently, I must remind everyone that I am the brains of Red State Blue State, strict constructionist or not, and this statement is just the sort of blatant, pretentious animosity that gets slung around Washington in order to hide an individual’s own errant shortcomings.
Allen’s mishaps, misspeaks and misappropriations are far too many to document here; I will save you from another verbal sparring match and just inform you that, in his last post, he both favored and opposed the DH rule, thus proving his inability to lead and his tendency to flip-flop. It’s not the first time this has happened. Click here to see when he became a Nats fan and click here to read my story of how he was once a Cubs fan.
And while these bouncy sentiments are disturbing, nothing is more disturbing than Mr. Krause’s hinting that a game requiring more thinking skills and more management fineness (ie NL style baseball) would be less entertaining than the alternative: a slimy attempt to make more money (ie AL style baseball). In defending his argument, Allen used the analogy of basketball by contemplating how boring it would be if it hadn’t changed from Dr. Naismith’s original rules (which did not include a shot-clock, three pointers, etc.).
Well, Al, I don’t know. Are you belittling the intelligence of the masses by saying we can’t appreciate a thinking man’s sport? That we have to see non-stop scoring throughout to be entertained, to be drawn in, to be a fan?
Let’s analyze this from the point of view of the world’s most popular sport: soccer (football for you non-US Americans). Do you think soccer has suffered much from being a low scoring, highly intellectualized sport of refined athletic ability? Though I can’t call myself a huge soccer fan, I can attest to being extremely entertained and very involved even during nil-nil matches. And the masses seem to be liking it just fine the way it is. In fact, the masses would sooner beat you to do death than allow you to instigate a Designated Striker rule: every time the regular striker crosses midfield, the well-rested Designated Striker sprints in and attacks without abandon, thus creating a better chance to score. Yeah, I’d like to see you try it.
And don’t forget, the masses had nothing to do with implementing the DH rule in the first place. No, it was a decision made by 8 crusty, old rich men (spearheaded by Charlie O. Finley) who wanted to put more money in their pockets. Well, they did, and in the process they also took away a fundamental right of all baseball players — the right to hit. If you ever want to know how devastating that decision was on American League pitchers, read Spaceman Bill Lee’s book. It forced him to do drugs and get traded to Montreal, which was so bad that he had to do more drugs until he just settled for barnstorming the globe… and doing drugs.
Is the American League more entertaining than the National League? Calculating for my natural bias, the answer is still no. It’s not. It’s a different game and I don’t like it as much as I do the alternative, purer form.
But what do I know? According to you, Al, I’m just a “strict constructionist”, which would either make me a supreme court justice or just a simple legal philosopher. I’m not quite sure which of those career paths suits me best, but I know one thing for sure: you shouldn’t be a spelling teacher:
“If you aren’t convinced, maybe you should take a look at what Scalia,
Cheney and their merry band of strict constructionists have done to the
Consitution.” [my emphasis]
–Allen Krause, The Filibuster, May 4, 2008
As a liberal, free-thinking man with myriad bounties, it’s hard for me to swallow you comparing me to the Milo Minderbinder of our time, Dick Cheney, but it’s even harder for me to accept that you don’t know how to spell “constitution”.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
PS, Don’t hate me cuz I was right in my Cardinals/Cubs prediction either. Better get used to it.
“As much as you dislike the National League, its purer rules have provided an abundance of drama this week as pitchers have been coming through at the plate: Micah Owings’ game-tying homerun versus the Astros, Carlos Zambrano’s opposite field shot at Wrigley and the Cincinnati Reds couldn’t get former pitcher Rick Ankiel out to save their lives. It’s late in the game, your bench is empty, but you need a clutch at-bat from one of your pitchers. Who do you send to the dish and why?”
I actually think that this is a great question and it’s something I was thinking about earlier this week while I was looking at the recap of Owings’ heroics. As much as I talk about the American League being superior to the NL, I do like the analytical aspect of having the pitcher bat. It makes the role of the manager much more important and allows for more creativity.
However, I think this question also leads to some other interesting facets of the game because it’s interesting to see how pitchers react when they switch leagues. For instance, Johan Santana is not someone you think of as a hitter but that’s because he’s spent his entire career until now in the AL. But, when you look at his numbers in the few games he played interleague, he didn’t acquit himself all that terribly. So, the Mets, in addition to getting one of the best pitchers in the game, also picked up a guy who’s not a total liability in the nine-hole. That’s a huge advantage to any team.
Now, I’m not saying that I’d send Santana up to bat at the end of the game when I need some clutch hitting but it’s nice to get a little more than you bargained for. And let’s be honest here, at this point in the season, I’d say it’s a pretty easy decision that
the guy you’d love to have available is Micah Owings. I mean, the guy
is just a hell of a good hitter no matter how you look at it. Zambrano
has his upsides and Rick Ankiel is a good story but Ankiel is a
position player now so he doesn’t really count. And I’d say that
Zambrano and Owings are the only two pitchers I’d ever feel comfortable
sending to the plate when I really need to get something going.
Having said all that, I have to take exception to your initial premise that the NL is more pure. Like all sports, baseball has evolved over time and the DH is merely one more step in that evolution. You could easily argue that basketball is much less pure because they introduced the three point line and the shot clock. I mean, if it was still the same way Naismith wanted it, games would end 12-6 and you’d be bored out of your head. When it comes down to it, sports exist to entertain the masses and it is the masses that decide what they want. This leads to inevitable conflict between the strict constructionists (people like you) and the reformers (people who wear pink hats). So, perhaps “pure” is the correct term after all but pure does not always equate to “better.” If you aren’t convinced, maybe you should take a look at what Scalia, Cheney and their merry band of strict constructionists have done to the Consitution.