Going, Going, Gone!

Nolan Ryan pitching in the 1969 World Series for the New York Mets

You are wondering, “uh-oh, where’s he going with that title?” Fair enough. Well, this is the best weekend of the year in my book. Baseball season starts, and that means every fan of every team has 162 games to live, eat, drink, and sleep thinking about their team. You see, I may live in a football state, but baseball is the American game. Baseball is our melting pot. Nothing beats the boys of summer. Do you follow me? Watch this video of the 1951 Dodgers-Giants playoff game, (won in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th) and tell me you still don’t get it.(Click here for the video.)

Then in an world short of miracles (of the earthly kind) there was the 1969 New York Mets. No one, and I mean no one, predicted this perennial cellar-dweller to be anything but bottom feeding once again as the 1969 season began, and indeed as it progressed into August. But never discount providence! This rag tag group of grizzled veterans, lackluster journeymen, and a very young, talented pitching staff (my Houston friends will recall Nolan Ryan pitching on this team) overcame all odds (and the Chicago Cubs) to win the National League pennant and then they vanquished the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Perhaps no one personifies what can happen in a single moment in time more than Al Weis, a utility infielder who spent four years with the Mets and batted .191 over that span, amassing a total of 4 home runs. Suffice to say, he was not feared by opposing pitchers when he stepped into the box. But in the 1969 World Series, well, click here to see for yourself.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and over the next nearly 50 years we have seen our share of player strikes, the horrible stain on the game (and some of its best players) caused by steroids, and the big money era which led players to relegate (not blaming them here!) loyalty to team (and fans) to a distant second place as pursuit of personal wealth was the first priority.

But baseball has continued to provide dramatic moments. Who can forget the best championship game ever played? Already you are wondering, right? There was even a book written about it. (Click here for the link to the book on Amazon) It was a heartbreaking loss for Houston Astros fans, but in 16 wild innings it epitomized most of that which is great about baseball.

As mentioned in the opening, baseball has also evolved into a game where star players  hail not just from the United States, from Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, among other nations.

If only our political disagreements could be settled on the diamond! I can’t quite get over the Republican disfunction exhibited during the Obamacare debacle. We have a Texas Congressman who personifies our problems. He is a member of the Freedom Caucus, and he is unbending in his approach to government. Don’t get me wrong. I favor most of what Louis Gohmert believes in, but his intransigence and unwillingness to compromise is jeopardizing our ability to process the Conservative agenda.  (click here for an example)

To be fair and balanced, I think Ted Cruz, (whose intellect I admire, but whose diplomatic skills I question) does an outstanding job explaining why the Conservative right did not support the House replacement bill. (Click here to see this interview.)

I don’t believe we can fix all these ills at one time. And a step in the right direction is better than the slow-motion train wreck we are now witnessing.

Tax reform is now on the docket. The GOP should be more united on this front, and should be able to do some great things for our economy. The left will employ its throw down redistributionist drivel about the 1% and the rich getting richer. It is all so boring and condescending to  Americans of myriad socio-economic backgrounds who believe in upward mobility. Listen to this clip of DNC chair speaking to his party faithful. He actually says, “Donald Trump, you didn’t win this election.” (Click here) The dems are living in cloud cuckoo-land denial. They are looking under every rock for excuses for their loss, and are either oblivious or choosing to ignore that fact that their candidate was flawed, and their message(s) did not resonate.

Alas, I digress. Because folks, it is baseball season once again, and it is time for hope to spring eternal. Here’s to hoping your team broadcasters will be uttering these words many times about balls hit and not the GOP’s legislative agenda; “And that one is going, going, gone!”