"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Field of Dreamers~Position Is Everything

If You Build It They Will Come
"Baseball is our national pastime,
 that is if you discount political campaigning."
-Ronald Reagan

"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something."
~Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame Pitcher
There is no crying in politics!

Baseball is said to be America's Pastime. However I am inclined to agree with Ronald Reagan, once every four years America's dialogue is heated up by politics.

American Baseball and American Politics share many similarities, they are part of our American culture. Both are filled with legends of great American heroes, filled with stories of individuals overcoming tremendous odds to rise to excellence. 

Both have a tiered protocol to the top.  Baseball starting with T-Ball, Youth leagues, Middle School and High School Leagues, College and University Leagues. And baseball has a series of divisions, from AA Leagues to Triple AAA Leagues ending with the two Divisions of Major League Professional Baseball, The American League and the National League.

Politics, too. has a tiered protocol to the top.  Most politicians rise from School Board elections, local community, county, and state elections from council members to Governors, right up to elected seats of governance to the big "show" of federally elected positions of United States Congress, United States Senate and President.

It is indeed rare when a private citizen rises to hold the office of President of the United States.  It is a big hurdle to rise to President from the Congress.  Senators have become President, but the vast majority of Presidents have come from the ranks of Governors of United States.

This very minute America needs great heroes, for inspiration like Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan Ernie Banks, Jackie Robinson, Cal Ripkin and Joe DiMaggio, who aspired to excellence  and courageous Patriots leaders who believe in the limite role of government, to lead us.  Men like Patrick Henry, Audie Murphy, and our founders, George Washington, the signers of the Declaration who risked everything for our freedoms.

"Baseball serves as a good model for democracy in action: Every player is equally important and each has a chance to be a hero."  ~Edward Abbey

One of my all time favorite comedy routines is the 'Who's On First' routine by Abbot and Costello.

"Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!  Abbott: What?  Costello: I said I don't give a darn!  Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop."

On Tuesday I came up with a clever idea for this particular blog. I love allegories and there are many wonderful allegorical uses with baseball as a theme and unending analogies. I have been at bat writing this blog 3 times, and have lost it twice after it was completed, and once midway through because I was not paying attention, I was distracted.  "Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem." ~Saul Steinberg

I have given myself the position of Manager of this imaginary, but real team of candidates, who have announced a campaign to seek the Presidency of the United States..  I have assigned their various positions on this baseball team.  "The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided."  ~Casey Stengel  I am in this instance the soul arbiter of management and commentary.

There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.
~Tommy Lasorda

Introducing the 2011-2012 All-Star Republican Presidential Primary Team Line-up

Starting at Right Field: Rick Santorum
Current Position:  Private Citizen, former Senator from Pennsylvania
Manager's Assessment:  If ever was a manager's dream for a Right Fielder it is Rick Santorum.  He is perhaps the most devout social conservative in this years primaries.  Rick quickly defends Conservative postions.  When he is at bat he hits a line drive hard over the first base line.  If he hits a homer it is always delivered to the right field, porch or bleachers. Even his fouls go down the right field land.  Rick is having trouble making a connection with the fans who vote for allstars, and that shows in his low polling average.  Rick is going to have to find a way to make his message resonate in this crowded field. The shift in the early primary schedule could be his new best friend.  "No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." ~Paul Gallico

Starting at Center Field:  Mitt Romney
Current Position:  Private Citizen, former Governor of Massachusetts
Manager's Assessment:  Mitt Romney sure looks good in a baseball uniform. The problem with how good he looks in a uniform is that home fans are never sure if he is wearing the home team's uniform, or the away team's uniform from the other league. His earned run error ratio is higher than average, a result of his varing positions on gun control, global warming, cap and trade, amnesty, and health care.  Romney is a good fielder, and he is a competent hitter who can hit the ball to either field. He is the current polling favorite, but it remains to be seen if he can be the firm Conservative we will need to lead this nation back to limited government.  "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."  ~Yogi Berra

Starting at Left Field:  Ron Paul
Current Position:  United States Congressman, 14th Congressional District
Manager's Assessment:  Ron Paul, is an originalist, he would not approve of the 'pinch hitter', he is a tradionalist, and likes our founding documents as they were written.  He does not believe in instant replay.  But when it comes to foreign policy it is hard to decide whether he has bunted or fouled out.  Paul's stance that it is acceptable for Iran to have nukes, is the same as saying the other team can have  field brawls and not have the manager and offensive players removed from the game.  It will be interesting to see if he will bow out gracefully and support the final Republican MVP, or look for employment on another team  and run as a Libertarian.  Whatever Ron Paul decides, I am certain that his fans will follow him.  You would have to throw a medicine ball to get some of his followers to see the forest for the trees.
"Stubborness is usually considered a negative, but I think that trait has bee a positive for me"  ~Cal Ripkin

Starting at First Base:  Gary Johnson
Current Position:  Private Citizen, Former Governor of New Mexico
Current Polling Statistics as of October 7th, 2011 Gary Johnson is currently not showing any polling data.
Manager's Assessment:  Gary Johnson arrived on the team after spring training began.  While he is an able ball player and dedicated to sound fiscal policy, one has to wonder if he will even make it to first base.  He has no polling statistics and he may have money problems if his campaign does not begin to resonate with voters.  His quote at the September 22, 2011 Debate in Orlando, "“My Neighbor's Dog has created more 'Shovel-Ready' jobs than Barack Obama” may well be the most memorable quote from this Governor who was amongst the strongest fiscal hawks in New Mexico history.  If Ron Paul departs is Gary Johnson his natural choice for VP? " I still feel like I can play defense at first base at a very high level."  ~Rafael Palmeiro 

Starting at Second Base:  John Huntsman
Current Position  Private Citizen, former Ambassador to China, for Obama Administration, Governor of Utah 
Manager's Assessment:  It may well be that Jon Huntsman has more than a uniform issue but a league issue, Jon Huntsman resigned in the middle of his second term as Utah Governor to serve in the Obama administration. This may be the main reason why voters appear uninterested in his platform.  Huntsman decided to forego an exploratory committee in  his decision making process in determining his candidacy for President.  His league probem has him high in the earned error ratio.  He may hang on indefinitely on the podium since he is funding his campaign with his own money.  His stances on global warming are troubling another of his earned errors in the eyes of Conservative voters.  "A ball player's got to be kept hungry to become a big-leaguer. That's why no boy from a rich family ever made the big leagues." ~Joe DiMaggio

Starting at Third Base: Michelle Bachmann
Current Position  Congressional Representative from MN 6th District
Managers Assessment:  Michelle Bachmann is a Tea Party favorite, and with Sarah Palin determining that she will not enter the race to seek the nomination of the Republican Party, Bachmann's polling may improve.  Bachman has done herself no favors in her attacks of the men she is running against. While she certainly knows which team she is on, she seems to have trouble with her at bats.  Her speaking engagements are rife with mistated facts and errors.  Of all that are running for office Bachmann's resume is perhaps the thinnest.  She has a solid 250 batting average, and hits a lot of singles.  She has yet to hit a home run with voters.  She has had trouble with her campaign managment, and needs to step up her game and be focused on policy and not sniping her teammates.  "Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player." ~Author Unknown

Starting at Shortstop: Herman Cain
Current Position Private Citizen, Broadcast Radio Personality Former CEO, Chairman of  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,
Managers Assessment:  Herman Cain is a likeable person.  That may be his biggest strong suit.  Herman Cain aslo has no league or uniform problems. Can he be the one to carry our team across the finish line in 2012?  Cain entered the 2000 Presidental Race only to drop out quickly and become an advisor for the 2000 Dole Kemp Campaign.  Cain also has never won an election, he did not get past the 2004 GA Senate race to fill Dem. Senator Zel Miller and lost by a greater than 25% margin to now Senator Johnny Isakson.  I must admit I was very dismayed by Cain's quick conclusion jumping and his comments about the now storied rock on the Perry families leased dear hunting facilities.  Cain has said that he would not have room for a Conservative Governor from a big  Red State based on a questionable unsubstantieated story about nonsensical rock.  Cain was a natural choice for shortstop, as he despite his earned error, he has a solid batting average and is proving to be a good base runner, the question is can he be a good team player?  "There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all" ~Lou Gehrig

Starting at Pitcher:  Newt Gingrich
Current  Position Private Citizen, 58th Speaker of the House served GA 6th Congressional District
Managers Assessment:  Gingrich is a team player in his last years still looking to get the player of the year award.  At every debate Gingrich's unflinching resolve and flaming fast balls have zinged through the strike zone with each answer.  Newt has the carriage of a hall of fame player certain of his e.r.a. and wins and losses. An argument could be made that Gingrich would wipe our Democratice encumbents backside from here to next week in a Presidential debate. Newt loves the sport and has a historians and stat maker's reservoir of facts at ready command.  What Gingrich does not have is much of an organization or financing.  He could be out of the race by the middle of January, on the disabled list.  "As soon as I got out there I felt a strange relationship with the pitcher's mound. It was as if I'd been born out there. Pitching just felt like the most natural thing in the world. Striking out batters was easy." ~Babe Ruth

Starting at Catcher: Rick Perry
Current Position  Governor of the State of Texas, Leiutenant Governor of Texas
Managers Assessment:  Rick is the only choice to catcher as he has caught most of the hit pieces from not only his teammates competing for the nomination but from the MSM.  At this point he needs to stop hitting fouls and pop ups and firing off all most of his toes with his debate performances. Rick Perry missed the first two debates of the primary season.  Perry has spent the last two debates catching flack from not only the various moderators, but his fellow teammates, who resented his entrance polling numbers. He has had the race card thrown at him, by Herman Cain.  If Perry had shown any signs of  prejudice after 11 years as Governor Texans and the rest of the nation would know about it. His at bats need to be more of the line drive triples and home runs he has in his arsenal.  His team must do a better job of preparing him for the debates.  His away appearances are killling him.  There is not one candidate on the stage that can match Rick Perry's experience as an elected Executive. Perry was also chair of the RNG, during his tenure he helped the Republican Party increase it's on Governorships to 29 Red States. Perry's biggest foe at this point are his own gaffes."If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands." ~Bob Feller

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. 
You may have the greatest bunch of individuals stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.
~Babe Ruth

1 comment:

  1. Uniquely Creative. This is an excellent primer on the current GOP Field and their current standing, with assessment on strengths and weaknesses.

    Right on the money with your Mitt/uniform analogy. Same with Perry, but he has the money to "go the distance", in his field of dreams. Romney still has his primary target as Perry as this latest attack in the WashTimes illustrates: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2011/oct/6/romney-dings-perrys-jobs-plan/

    Nice job on Cain too. He will have to transition into a more national campaign and attempt a front runner strategy now.

    RB Miller