Imagine Bush as Commissioner of Baseball


It is finally clear what is going on. Everything in the whole goddamn world is turning into a replay of the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida. Think about it. First there was Florida (Louisiana without the music), where the Smirk came out of the Smoke and the Ignoramus prevailed over the Idiot, who didn’t even bother to protest the disenfranchisement of African-Americans, many of whom tried to vote at polling places that were run like sting operations. (It was easier to just blame it all on Ralph Nader.)

Then it spread to France, where they elected a guy nobody wanted, a man more than 80 per cent of the voters had already rejected only weeks earlier. (They blamed that on people who didn’t even vote.)

Next thing we knew it was affecting our corporations. They were eaten up with stupidity and disappeared like a table devoured by termites in a cartoon. (Clinton’s fault, say right-wing commentators.)

Then it was the Church, which in the midst of a horrifying pedophilia crisis offered up to the media a cardinal who described the pope as a man who is “turned on by children.”

Now we have the All-Star Game, which ended in a monumentally disastrous tie with the home-town folks throwing garbage onto the field and howling for the hide of local hero Bud Selig. Apparently these were the very fans who are to blame for the whole mess, for insisting that all the players be allowed to play.

Has baseball ever had a sadder season? People stayed up all night changing the name of Enron Field to Minute Maid Park. We lost Jack Buck and Darryl Kile. We can’t even bury Ted Williams right, and now this.

“A tie is like kissing your sister,” the old saying goes. This was more like having to kiss Marge Schotz on the morning after.

“Let them play!” screamed the fans. I don’t know what they were so upset about, beyond the fact that they had paid money to see a ball game. Everybody knows that the “achievements” of athletes pumped full of steroids are meaningless anyway. All you have to do is look at a photo of the last man to hit .400 and compare his body to almost any body in the lineup in Milwaukee. Who cares if some guy on dope hits 120 homers this year? They can’t all be on steroids, but how do we know that?

Dylan is right (again): Everything is broken.

At least when the Supreme Court ordered Florida to stop counting votes, they declared a winner. The All-Star Game didn’t even give us an MVP.

The image of Bud Selig throwing his hands up in the air after huddling with Joe Torre and Bob Brenly will linger for a long time. There was a day when decent people would hand a guy like Selig a pistol and quietly close the door behind them.

We worry about not having a real president when this country can’t even produce a real Commissioner of Baseball.

Come to think of it, maybe the total collapse of everything didn’t start in Florida. Maybe it started when former Commissioner Fay Vincent was forced out by the owners. Maybe that was the coup of historic proportions that all the historians missed.

Commissioner of Baseball was the job that George W. Bush says he originally wanted. If you think nothing could have made baseball’s current situation any worse, meditate on that.

David Vest writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He is a poet and piano-player for the Pacific Northwest’s hottest blues band, The Cannonballs.

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DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.