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Deep thoughts: The Brewers are Nixon, the Cardinals are McGovern

Aug 24, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

Nixon

Buster Olney said this this morning: “Is the NL Central race over? Well, it’s not literally over. But if this were the 1972 presidential election, the Cardinals would be McGovern and the Brewers would be Richard Nixon.”

I guess that makes the Reds Hubert Humphrey, the Pirates Edmund Muskie, the Cubs Shirley Chisholm and the Astros George Wallace.

And it makes Tony La Russa Thomas Eagleton, which would explain a hell of a lot. Not that La Russa is totally crazy.  He suspected the Brewers of cheating not too long ago and, as history shows us, Nixon did, in fact, cheat.

Now, which Cardinals beat writer shall we cast in the Hunter S. Thompson role for “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail?”  I’m gonna go with Matthew Leach of MLB.com.  I think he could pull it off. I saw him wearing a tropical print shirt at the Winter Meetings last year. At least I think I did. It was late and there was a lot of beer.

OK, all of you readers who are either (a) under 50; or (b) not fixated on random Baby Boomer-era history like I am can resume reading the blog now.

  1. thefalcon123 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    So the Cardinals are the plucky, lovable losers who stick to their ideals no matter how much it harm them? This team?

    Nah, I’d say the Cardinals are Nixon if Nixon had managed lost horribly.

    • tolbuck - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      Use the 1962 California governor’s race as the example where Nixon lost horribly. Cardinals=Nixon and Brewers=Pat Brown.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        If that’s the scenario, can the postseason be the 1966 race and the Phillies be Ronald Reagan?

    • paperlions - Aug 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      But the Cardinals are sticking to their beliefs despite all of the evidence that such things are hurting them and lead to losing baseball.

      Opting to play gritty veteran players instead of players that are good at baseball.

      Opting to use left handed pitchers instead of good pitchers…it doesn’t matter which arm you use if you can’t throw strikes or miss bats.

      Railing against young inconsistent players while ignoring inconsistent performance in veterans.

      Making double switches that simultaneously weaken the offense and defense.

      …and so on.

  2. southofheaven81 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Craig, does this make you Hunter Thompson?

    • cur68 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Not crazy enough IMO. I think Craig’s Deep Throat. Olney can be Liddy.

      • kopy - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        Would Tony La Russa be Deep Throat? He’s the informant working for MLB to uncover all of the Brewers’ home field shenanigans.

      • cur68 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        TLR = either Woodward or Bernstein. Probably Woodward. Craig’s feeding him info.

    • thehollar - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      @TrippingOlney has to be Thompson.

  3. Jonny 5 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    That works for me. McGovern = A lost cause and, poopie pants. Nixon = crook, winner.

  4. yankeesfanlen - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Do you REALLY want to get me started?
    The analogy of Cubs and Astros is reversed. Wallace was familiar from ’68 and well-financed, Chisholm, the unknown nationally. Then it gets fuzzy, TLR was tin-foil-hat Nixon, but in baseball in ’11 the conspiracy worked. The McGovern for the Cards doesn’t work, he had no chance, only had one and blew it.
    Maybe Woodward and Bernstein were the Brewers. Or Henry Kissinger.
    Maybe this is a stupid exercise.

  5. hk62 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Think back to 2006, the NLC race is not over. Putting together a Sept like thier amazing August will be very difficult for MIL –

    Excellent attempt at connecting this race to that political one though! Have a hard time connecting the Cardinals with a closed and simple mind though (lol).

  6. koufaxmitzvah - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    The Brewers will go down in history as more liberal than President Obama….

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      A pretty simple feat to achieve, considering that Obama governs like a Rockefeller Republican.

  7. fearlessleader - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Cards fan here, and this analogy makes me feel a lot better about the NL Central.

    Do we really need to characterize Tom Eagleton as “crazy,” though? He had an illness; he sought treatment for it; and he went on to represent Missouri with a great deal more conscience and integrity than most of the politicians my home state has elected since. Mental illness is stigmatized enough without otherwise awesome sites like HBT helping out.

    (Oh, and he loved dogs—that’s a better point of commonality with La Russa!)

  8. The Rabbit - Aug 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I really wish you had written this yesterday.
    Had dinner last night here in the Ozarks with local Cardinal fans. We discussed the Cardinals, TLR and his use of three relievers from the prior night’s game, sympathy for Carpenter, the Phillies, the Brewers, NL first basemen, this blog, the Cold War’s influence on popular culture and serious writers, 70’s politics, and why New Zealand might be a nice place to live depending on future election results.
    This would have been the perfect addition to the conversation.

    • cur68 - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      I’ve spent time in Auckland, Rabbit, and I agree; it’s really nice in New Zealand, if Auckland is anything to go by; people, weather, environment, everything. The funny thing about Auckland is how often Kiwi’s diss the city unless they are from there. It’s sort of the New York of New Zealand.

      Alternatively, if future elections go awry, there is also Canada, though, if I were you I’d fluff out the winter coat before heading this way. And get a snowmobile. And a dog sled. And learn to make ice huts. And to ice fish…better yet, New Zealand is the way to go.

      The burning question in the Nixon/McGovern /MLB analogy IMO is if Craig is Woodward, Bernstein, HST, or the future Deep Throat. As far as I’m concerned I’ve settled on TLR as Nixon. No one else would have the credibility to say “you’re not gonna have to kick around anymore” with just the right tone and combination of hauteur and injured pride.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

        Ha! You are EXACTLY right Cur. Auckland are the big bad city slickers. The city represents 1/3 or the population of the entire country, so things are a bit skewed. Different mentality, attitude…large city stereotypes etc etc. It’s a mini Sydney, which the rest of the country detests.

        If you didn’t fare well in the recent earthquake, I don’t suggest relocating. Christchurch residents wouldn’t bother get up off the couch for a 5.9

        Rabbit is correct regarding the elections. The way things are looking, higher income earners(80K+/65K US) will be pillaged and gouged, if the new camp takes over. Which will only increase the exodus of professionals/anyone to Australia to earn twice the salary and a stronger currency.

  9. The Rabbit - Aug 24, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Hi cur,

    I have not visited New Zealand, yet, but look forward to the opportunity.

    One of last night’s dinner companions is Canadian. Her family is still in Vancouver. Canada was definitely discussed.
    I have traveled by motorcycle to every province of Canada and love it. I did find that Toronto was NYC of Canada, particularly in the western provinces….even more so than Quebec. Wasn’t sure why.
    Re: Weather-I lived in the Massachusetts snow belt and the weather was often worse than southern Ontario. I own a heavy winter coat, mukluks, and have thought about getting a samoyed. Is that close enough for Canadian winter survival?

    Back to the topic: TLR as Nixon actually makes a lot of sense. There are parts of Nixon’s Checkers speech that also fit TLR’s persona. BTW, If you haven’t seen it, there is an early 1970’s film called Millhouse-A White Comedy . It strings together Nixon’s speeches. It was hilarious. Not sure if it’s available to view today, though. Obviously, it wasn’t produced for financial motives.

    • cur68 - Aug 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM

      Sounds like you’re ready for the Great White North Rabbit, but keep KiwiLand in mind all the same. We breed mosquitos the size of helicopters up here.

  10. leftywildcat - Aug 25, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Phillies must be Ronald Reagan.

    Bud Selig as Oblabba?

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