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Election season calls for 'dream matchup' for this World Series

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Someone once said, "In the fall, a young man's fancy turns to paying for the things he put on his credit cards from last spring's fancy." Fall also means football, hockey cross country, volleyball and ... the former American pastime, post-season baseball. Being as how this is an election fall, how about a "dream matchup" for the World Series?

Let's say that the Houston Astros (from the battleground state of Texas) will battle the Boston Red Sox (from the battleground state of Massachusetts) in storied Fenway Pawk (the house that Ruth left).

Each team could have an honorary coach ... say, George W. Bush for Houston and, say, John F. Kerry for the Bosox. Each honorary coach would be allowed to, say, address their respective teams in a sort of Locker Hall format and give their views on how each game should be played and financed and who should be allowed to attend.

Mr. Bush, for instance, might advise the 'Stros to hit to the right and, Mr. Kerry might counter by telling the Sox to hit to center (after first telling them to hit to the left).

One of the two honorary coaches would be selected to throw out the first pitch. The selection process would be by a poll of likely Series attendees. If Mr. Bush gets to throw out the first pitch, it would probably be a fastball right down the middle. Mr. Kerry might shake off a few signs from the ceremonial catcher, say Al Sharpton, and throw a nasty slider that turns into a changeup.

The ceremonial coaches would be allowed to sit in their respective teams' dugout during each game of the Series. Should Houston lose a game, Mr. Bush might urge the team to persevere over the enemy stealers of bases (and later deny that he is considering closing some of those bases down).

Should Boston lose a game, Mr. Kerry might declare that back when he played on the Navy team, he won all the big games, but that most of his former teammates broke the rules with quick pitches, hidden ball outs and the like.

The final score of each game, and indeed the Series outcome, would be irrelevant to the two men, for as Grantland Rice once wrote, "It's not whether you win or lose that counts, it's how you place the blame."

Bill Gronvold , Kenai



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