DALLAS - Even here, where George W. Bush can't even get Republican judges elected, they remind you it was baseball that started to put this President on the map, as much as his last name. They remind you that this President was nothing more than a failed oilman 20 years ago when he came up with the money to become an investor in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Not only did he become a partner with the Rangers, he became the point man for a classic land grab of modern American sports around the building of The Ballpark in Arlington, Tex., promising development around that ballpark that they are still waiting for in Arlington.Ouch. Maybe Mike needs a blog or a DKos diary or something...
Oh, you should go back and read about what Bush and his partners were going to do for their fans and for the community. There were going to be theme parks and the tourists were going to flock there like armies and of course none of it happened. Even then, he was capable of saying anything.
George W. Bush put up $600,000 for the Rangers and when the team was sold a few years later he walked away with $15 million and all of a sudden he wasn't the kind of Thanks, Dad son that someone like James Dolan is at Madison Square Garden, he was the "former owner of the Texas Rangers," on a fast track to being the governor of Texas. Now he is the lame-duck President of the United States, a President the country tried to vote right out of office last Tuesday.
Now it is almost impossible to remember that moment five years ago when he stood on the mound at Yankee Stadium before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series and threw out the first pitch and didn't just make the Stadium cheer, but made the country cheer.
What ballpark would cheer him that way now?
And as much as any swing of the bat made that week by Scott Brosius or Tino Martinez or Derek Jeter, whom the headlines would call Mr. November, the President of the United States provided as much of a moment as any of them by standing on the mound in a jacket that hid the bulletproof vest underneath it, and delivering a perfect strike to a backup Yankee catcher named Todd Greene.
...[T]he country was still afraid about what might happen next. This President chose baseball, where it all really started for him, to stand on the pitcher's mound, out in the open despite how the place was crawling with Secret Service and the NYPD that night, to say, here I am, and here we are.
Five years later, just five, on a week when a midterm election was covered and over-covered the way we cover and over-cover sports events in this country, where it seemed to have everything except Chris (Boomer) Berman of ESPN, here was that same President, beginning to move toward the door now, sounding like some general manager in sports trying to save himself the way they all do, by firing his manager.
Or some college president trying to cover up a scandal that has occurred on his or her watch by firing the football coach.
Here was that same president, the one who made the country cheer at that World Series talking about a "thumping" and acting as if it had happened to somebody else. It turns out he is no better at running this country, six years into this, than he has been at anything else in his life. At least he made himself money as a baseball owner. As a President, he has spent over $300 billion on his war in Iraq alone.
Now his policies and his failures in his office and the lightweights with which he has surrounded himself have produced an election as historic as the country has seen. This election was a referendum on him, on a war that has left more than 2,000 Americans dead and 10,000 wounded and nothing else. His response to all that? It comes right from sports, the kind of desperate, obvious response we get in sports all the time. Bush threw one of his top managers, Donald Rumsfeld, under the nearest D.C. bus. The President who fired that strike five years ago at a ballpark, another dramatic photo op from him, then did what George Steinbrenner used to do at the Stadium in the old days, when the Yankees couldn't do anything right and he was about as popular with Yankee fans as the President of the United States was with the country this week:
He fired somebody else when the one he should have been firing was himself.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
When You've Lost The Sportswriters...
Every once in a while, the NY Daily News' star sportswriter, Mike Lupica, dips into politics. And he does not like George W. Bush one little bit, nosiree: