Friday, June 30, 2006

There's no crying in baseball

From WSJ's Washington Wire Blog:

As usual, Republicans easily won last night’s annual congressional baseball game between Republican and Democratic members of Congress. The Democrats’ pitching woes continued as Rep. Joe Baca of California, a former semi-pro player, threw more than 100 pitches in his debut on the mound. Things didn’t get better when Baca was replaced by Rep. Mel Watt of North Carolina, who gave up several Republican runs before recording his first out. By the halfway point in the game, Republicans had built a 10-ru lead. Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat facing corruption allegations, played a few innings at first base as a bench player.

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania played 3rd base as a reserve for the Republicans and was the night’s most controversial player. Both Republican and Democratic fans were on their feet when Santorum walked to the plate for the first time with two outs and runners in scoring position. Surprised by the cheers and jeers, Santorum stepped out of the batter’s box to compose himself before the first pitch. Santorum went down 0-2 quickly on two awkward swings. Then he tucked the 3rd pitch just inside the 3rd base for a stand up double knocking in Republican runs.

Republicans cheered loudly. But the damage wasn’t done for Santorum, who is considered the Senate Republican’s most vulnerable member in the fall’s mid-tem elections. When the next Republican got a hit, Santorum was heading for home plate. Democrats had trouble fielding the ball, so Santorum was clear to score easily. But Rep. Tim Holden — the Democrats’ catcher and fellow member of the Pennsylvania delegation — was standing on home plate awaiting a throw that would never come. With a full head of steam, Santorum lowered his shoulder and leveled Holder. Republicans cheered in delight. Holden, on his rear, yelled at Santorum. Democratic managers ran on to the field to complain, but to no avail. But the umps let it go.

To anyone familiar with the commonly accepted definition of Santorum, the depiction of the play at home described above evinces particularly unpleasant mental images. At least it does for me.

Most baseball fans would agree that the play at the plate is "baseball the way it should be played." A similar play by the White Sox's AJ Pierzinski against the Cubs' Michael Barrett a few weeks ago provoked more then Rep. Holden's "yelling" - Barrett slugged AJ, and got fined and suspended for it. The umps were right to ignore the Dems' complaints.

This apparent "tradition" is further evidence of our unhealthy entrenchment in a two-party system. Say a Green gets elected, and he's got a great curveball - whose team does he play for?


Blogger mkchicago said...

A few thoughts -
Greens are actually "watermelons" - green on the outside, red on the inside. Therefore they would play for the Dems.

In a friendly recreational softball game you really shouldn't be leveling the catcher "with a full head of steam". On the other hand if I am a catcher "awaiting a throw that would never come" then it really is incumbent upon me to get the fuck out of the way. Since there was no play at the plate I don't think the Pierzinski / Barrett play is really the same. (N.B. Barrett was totally in the wrong).

On the other hand (that's 3 hands if your counting) I'm not willing to categorize anything between these guys as "friendly" or "recreational". So both Santorum's shoulder dipping charge and Holden's failure to yield can be viewed as normal healthy competition as usual in our great National Experiment. In that vein I say - Viva Santorum!

Please don't attach any alternate meanings to that last sentence (or quote me on it).

2:49 PM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

I guess the Repubs didn't need him, but did Jim Bunning play? He actually pitched a perfect game in the Majors.

2:52 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

So Santorum kicked a little ass on his way out?

He's going down hard to Casey Jr. (the people of Pennsylvania are proving to be easily fooled), the least he can do is take out a catcher who insists on standing in his way.

10:56 AM  

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