“Baseball. If there’s a more beautiful word in the English language, I
have yet to hear it… baseball has served as such a powerful link
between Dad and me, and later between me and my son.”
— Tim Russert (1950-2008)
Rare are the journalists who represent both the passions and worldviews of their audience to the extent that they stop at nothing to capture and highlight that fermented, weathered, collective voice. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune comes to mind… Bob Costas has his moments… and in a wayward, selfish context, I believe Tim Kurkjian fits that role by feeding my insatiable taste for quirky, useless baseball tidbits plucked down from the ether of madness. Still, in my opinion, when it comes to the elite of the elite, no one even came close to Tim Russert.
This weekend marks the anniversary of Tim’s death and while I still succumb to shock every time I turn on Meet the Press and realize he is no longer moderating the debate, I like to think that some of that knowledge, that swagger, that desire Tim portrayed all those years, lives on through me. Not to get overly emotional or anything, but I always felt some sort of transcending connection to Russert; I still feel it today.
Now I know why: Tim Russert was a baseball guy.
Just like me.
And though we shared similar political views and put great value on our relationships with our fathers, in the end, baseball was and always has been the glue — that thing, that commonality, that mutual bond. You cannot make up that kind of understanding, cannot create that kind of unity. It just happens.
Baseball. If there’s a more beautiful word in the English language, I have yet to hear it…
Baseball people get baseball people.
And Tim Russert was baseball people.
(Image courtesy of TIME)
A smile, a wink and a good old fashioned Chicago roundhouse to the face and everyone seems to have forgotten that Rod Blagojevich is the scum of the earth who not only embarrassed the millions of people who chose him to lead but also tainted the already highly critiqued political machine known as the City of Broad Shoulders. And let me tell ya: it’s really friggin’ hard to embarrass a city known to root for those lovable bastions of disappointment: the Chicago Cubs.
Indeed, after a brilliant array of surreptitious spin-doctoring, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President-Elect Barack Obama swiveled from one extreme to the other and now favor seating Blago-appointee and Chicago granddaddy of patronage, Roland Burris, to the US senate. To quote Jack Buck, “Excuse me while I stand and applaud.”
(*clap, clap, clap)
Yes, dear readers, Rod Blagojevich may appear to be a complete idiot, but his sinisterly savvy move of handpicking Burris to take Obama’s place (accented by the potentially trumping race card) just proves that he’s way smarter than anyone ever thought. In fact…
Dude is wicked smah’t.
Meanwhile, many of you may see my flippant ferments to dispel equally corrupt John Mozeliak from the Cardinals’ helm as mere exercise in futile hyperbole, but believe me when I declare my absolute sincerity — that my dissatisfaction stems from a sound place: my undying loyalty to preserve the winning spirit of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Whether you like it or not, Mozeliak is corrupt. Anyone who thinks he can throw around pretentiousness disguised as frugality in the Cardinals’ front office is corrupt. Anyone who squashes the fans’ perennial hopes for a pennant (before the season even starts) while the hated Cubbies build and build and build only to get better, is corrupt. Anyone who “rebuilds” a severely damaged bullpen by signing the likes of a lukewarm lefty named Trever Miller or Royce Ring — mere band-aids on a gaping, gushing head-wound — is corrupt.
Yeah, sure, Tony LaRussa is extremely intelligent — so much so that he hid Mozeliak’s ineptitude for most of the 2008 season. With Dave Duncan at his side, it’s no secret that LaRussa has fixed many a troubled bargain-bin pitcher — whatever riff-raff Mozeliak (and Jocketty before him) could dig up and throw his way. But how long can we expect TLR’s elite level of intelligence to conceal the GM’s corruption?
One of these days (probably sooner than later) LaRussa and Dunc are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and walk away.
One of these days (probably sooner than later) the Illinois legislature (and the Democrats as a whole) are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and send Blago on his way.
At least, I hope as much.
Intelligence can’t hide the scandalous scars of corruption forever.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.