We Americans enjoy declaring war. However, we only tend to make the declaration when the battle must be fought against an abstraction. Declare war on Sudan for its genocide in Darfur? Nah, too many bureaucratic hurdles. Declare war on terrorism, as ill-defined as that term may be? Sure thing. Same goes for the war on drugs, still going strong after three decades. Now aside from the fact that what is and isn’t classified a drug happens to be random at best, the whole idea bears some serious scrutiny since the rate of drug use has actually increased during this “war” according to the government’s own statistics.
What’s even more worrisome is the knock-on effects this abstract war has had on parts of American society. No, I’m not talking about our abysmal rate of incarceration (although it is disgraceful). I’m talking about something much more important, much more fundamental. Something that should have been enshrined as an inalienable right in the Bill of Rights. Beer-league softball.
Apparently over the past six years, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the office responsible for waging the “War on Drugs,” has played in the same Congressional Softball League as a team made up of players from drug policy reform groups. And each season the ONDCP team has somehow managed to avoid playing the reform team, even when the schedule pitted the two teams head-to-head.
That’s right people, the drug war is slowly ruining our recreational softball leagues. Luckily, there is a solution. Declare war on the war on drugs.
George W. Bush may be the president with the most direct link to baseball but Obama appears ready to give W a run for the money, especially through his Supreme Court nominees. We all know about Justice Sotomayor’s role in ending the 1995 MLB strike and we also know that the president stands by his White Sox, even while halfway across the country. But now we find out that new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, has an appreciation for sport in her past as well. However, it hasn’t come without controversy.
Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal had an old photo of Kagan playing softball on the front page which immediately led to public outcry. Outcry? Why, because that implies that she drinks or something?
Nope. Instead it turns out that all female softball players are gay, a fact I wish I had been made aware of before. Now I’m always going to wonder about that softball player I hooked up with in college. Did she know that she was a lesbian?
Either way, we face an important moment. No, I don’t mean the nomination of the first gay Supreme Court Justice. Clarence Thomas already covered that. What I mean is, what can we tell about Kagan and her policies from this picture?
Well, the first thing we notice is that she’s a righty. I guess she could be a switch-hitter but we don’t even want to open that can of worms. She also has a decent stance and she’s choking up on the bat a little to shorten the swing. All in all, I’d say it looks like she knows what she’s doing.
Which is good news because it means Obama also knows what he’s getting into. If Reagan had known about Robert Bork’s infamous balk that lost his team the circuit court softball league championship in the summer of ’87, he might have thought twice about nominating him to the court so fresh on the heels of such disaster. The bad blood from that alone probably cost him the votes of a couple senators who had money (and more) riding on the game.*
*Although possible, RSBS has no proof of Bork’s softball shenanigans. Or Ted Kennedy losing his man-ginity to Jesse Helms as a result of that balk. However, we can assure you that Bork most certainly was not ratified by the senate and never sat on the Supreme Court. Although who knows what happened in an alternate universe……?
A couple years ago I started playing softball regularly. We played 7-inning slow pitch games once a week and there was always one thing I could count on. The next day I would be too sore to do much of anything. Now, I’m not as weak as that sounds but when you’re out there, you want to go 100% on every play and it takes a toll.
So I can’t even imagine how the UT-Austin and BC teams felt this past Sunday after playing 25 innings the previous day. That’s almost three full games with no rest. And if that wasn’t enough, one Texas pitcher went 12.1 innings. I’m not sure how his arm is still attached after that.
A performance like this once again calls into question the work ethic of a lot of big leaguers who regularly jog out infield grounders and lollygag around the outfield. I understand that it’s a long season but these unpaid kids are running out every play during an insanely long game while major leaguers making many times over the league minimum of $390k curse as they power walk down to first. I may not be the traditionalist that my friend Mr. Lung is but you learn on day one in Little League that you run out every hit and even I take that as gospel.
However, it’s also possible to take the idea of running everything out to a somewhat fanatical extreme. Don’t believe me? Check this out and you might change your mind.
-Video via The Daily Dish