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God, politicians drive me absolutely freakin' nuts

Aug 10, 2010, 2:04 PM EDT

This post will be important to the six Ohio readers out there who choose their politicians based on their baseball opinions.

OK, this is about politicians, but (a) it’s non-partisan; and (b) it’s also about baseball. It’s also a rant, so if you’re not into that sort of thing I’m sure Aaron will have something coming online in a few minutes that is calm and sober and reasoned and everything. With that out of the way . . .

I live in Ohio, and it’s a gubernatorial election year here. The incumbent is Ted Strickland, a Democrat. The challenger is John Kasich, a Republican. While they obviously differ on policies in the ways you might expect, we have a rare situation in this race in that both of these guys are generally thought of as nice, reasoned, educated, and decent men. Unlike the increasingly popular political style of the day, they tend to spend their time in the arena of facts and logic and policy and stuff and don’t let emotion or craven careerism dictate their positions. It’s kind of refreshing!

Except I’ll be damned if they aren’t both out to lunch when it comes to choosing the best baseball player of all time. Which they did in one of those silly little polls newspapers run from time to time about what a candidate’s favorite ice cream is and such.  Strickland’s answer to the “who was the best baseball player ever” question: Cal Ripken Jr. Kasich’s: Roberto Clemente. Which is so obviously nuts I don’t even have to explain why it’s nuts.

And I’d let it go if I didn’t suspect that something other than baseball ignorance was afoot. No, I smell calculation.  I smell Strickland trying to message the concept of perseverance, of keeping going no matter what faces you in the Ripken choice, thinking that it’s a smart move for a guy trying to keep his job despite a budget crunch and the state’s economy being in the toilet.  I smell Kasich going with Clemente as a means of messaging “charity” and — maybe — diversity, which would be useful for a guy who needs to move a bit towards the middle in order to secure the election.

Am I reading too much into this? Possibly! I’ve been doing it all day!  But man, I’ve met and talked to both Kasich and Strickland and I find it hard to believe that if you asked them point blank, either of them would say Ripken or Clemente. Even if they were total baseball ignoramuses I’d figure they’d say Babe Ruth or Willie Mays or something because — setting aside the fact that those would both be great answers — they’re way more well-known names.  Ignorance actually helps you with this question! And if they know a little about baseball then they know that the answers they actually gave are dumb.

And you know what else? Even if this is political calculation, it’s dumb political calculation!  Kasich is a Republican, and Republicans have a hard damn time getting votes in northeast Ohio. Go with Bob Feller or Rocky Colaovito! They’re just as bad an answer as Clemente, but at least there’s a percentage in it! People in Cleveland hate Pittsburgh! Likewise for Strickland, who will be hard pressed to get votes in southwest Ohio: Go with Pete Rose! They love Pete down there! You might push someone into voting for you!  If you’re going to be political animal at least do it right!  And people wonder why I left state government!

Now, will the three of you who haven’t stopped reading because I’m a freakin’ moonbat please direct me to my medication?  Thanks.

  1. Jonny5 - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    The teleprompter thought it would be funny. The teleprompter was correct.

  2. aleskel - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    you know, if the party affiliations were reversed it would make a lot more sense: the Democrat courting the minority vote and the Republican going for the lunch-pail, blue-collar, show-up-every-day-and-work-with-my-daddy angle

  3. woodsmeister - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Hello, Cleveland! We’re Freakin’ Moonbat and we’re here to rock you!

  4. Simon DelMonte - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Wait. Your headline says “God, politicians drive me nuts.” I read all about the politicians. But you don’t say how God drives you nuts. Is the Lord playing favorites to the Phils again? Or are you just tired of rainouts?

  5. birdmancometh - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Nice article. I’ll let the other two complain about politics.

  6. The Real Shuxion - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    He isn’t playing for the Phils, but the fans threw batteries at him during God Appreciation Night.

  7. Ace2000 - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Come on. Everyone knows the correct answer is “Omar Visquel.”

  8. Matt S. - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Politicians make me think there IS no God.

  9. El Bravo - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Is the moonbat what Sosa was caught with awhile ago?

  10. Woe is Mets - Aug 10, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    man, Craig. i got so happy for half a second when i thought this post was about how ‘God’ and ‘politicians’ drive you nuts. almost made me forget about every little snippet you harp on about the Mets’ players, front office, lack, or proliferation, of cash, etc. then i realized it was just an interjection. remember when Gleeman was all over this blog? lofty times, as Peter King might say.

  11. tiger prez - Aug 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    It’s worth noting that Kasich is originally from Pittsburgh and grew up during the Clemente era. That probably explains his choice more than anything.

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