Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fear Strikes Out

You can always count on baseball metaphors during political season. The elections and the playoffs both happen in the fall, and you gotta do something to try and find common ground with people, so why not baseball? I haven't been keeping track, but I'm sure McCain and Obama have both trotted out a ton of comparisons to various teams and events on the diamond depending on where they happen to be speaking on a given day.

This year, however, the comparisons (a) aren't limited to the campaign trail; and (b) aren't limited to the current playoff race. Get Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank during a press conference about the bailout negotiations on Friday:

"Before McCain came in, we thought we were working," Frank says. "McCain comes in, it gets screwed up, now McCain leaves -- I dunno, it's like Jimmy Piersall."

A reporter in the back starts to interrupt with an unrelated question, but another one, perhaps more familiar with the rhetorical stylings of the Massachusetts congressman, shushes him with a flapping hand. Everyone wants to hear about Jimmy Piersall, including those who have no idea who he is. Frank's metaphors can be quite snarky and delightful. This one is about Piersall's years as an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox in the '50s and how he would cure his own boredom by waiting until the very last second to snag fly balls -- which is kind of like McCain, Frank says, swooping in with drama at the very end.
Maybe that's a reach, but if McCain walks up to the podium backwards while wearing a little league batting helmet for the next debate, I'll start to believe that Frank is on to something.

8 comments:

Ron Rollins said...

I wonder if we can get a law passed that prevent politicians from using baseball references.

The game has enough problems without those bozo's getting involved.

Oh, wait, too late.

Ron Rollins said...

I wonder if we can get a law passed that prevent politicians from using baseball references.

The game has enough problems without those bozo's getting involved.

Oh, wait, too late.

Richard Dansky said...

Only if we can call McCain's "suspension" of his campaign Operation Shutdown...

Saramerica K said...

Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well Obama is like - like Adam Dunn, that's who he's like! And Biden is Bobby Valentine! Whaddaya liberal freedom-haters think of that, huh???

Paul Buschmann said...

Without casting aspersions on either party, all of whom have alot of really bad baggage on this issue, Barney Frank should have compared our congress, all of them in both houses on this bailout issue to Bill Buckner. They have failed to stop the routine grounder between their legs for years on our behalf. Don't besmirch baseball with this stuff. I also want to stand up for Jimmy. He did make the plays most of the time. The same can't be said for Barney and his useless cronies.

mooseinohio said...

Please stop the Buckner references as he never should have been in the game at that point. All season long Dave Stapleton was brought in late for defensive purposes and the manager is to blame for not doing so that evening. Also - Calvin Shiraldi and Bob Stanley had a little to do with the lose as they blew the save and lead. I hate the fact that such a great career has been tarnished for one losuy play that did not cost the Red Sox the World Series.

Plus a more appropriate analogy would probably be the relationship between the players union and ownership/Selig as despite the apparent recent successes of baseball, many coming despite their actions/inactions, the game is not doing as well as it may seem and could crumble like a financial house of cards.

Chris Simonds said...

Piersall was a good player, just a little funny in the head. I think McCain is also a little funny in the head, and way more erratic in his game than Piersall was in his. I think Barney Frank owes an apology to the shade of Jimmy Piersall.

Osmodious said...

Craig, I have a slight disagreement...Dennis Kucinich gets to use baseball whenever he wants, because he is a true fan. Yes, the McCains and the Guiliani's of the world have shown up at stadia around the country when it suits their political agenda, but Kucinich carries a Rocky Colavito card in his wallet...that's kind of cool, you know?