Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Take Their Ball and Go Home

Digby: Playing By The Rules

Republican style...

Amid all the partisan rancor of congressional politics, the softball league has for 37 years been a rare case of bipartisan civility, an opportunity for Democratic and Republican aides to sneak out of work a bit early and take the field in the name of the lawmaker, committee or federal agency they work for.

This year, the league will be missing something: a lot of the Republicans.

During the off-season, a group of Republican teams seceded from the league after accusing its Democratic commissioner, Gary Caruso, of running a socialist year-end playoff system that gives below-average teams an unfair chance to win the championship.

The league "is all about Softball Welfare -- aiding the weak by punishing the strong," the pitcher of one Republican team told Mr. Caruso in an email. "The commissioner has a long-standing policy of punishing success and rewarding failure. He's a Democrat. Waddya' expect?" read another email, from Gary Mahmoud, the coach of BoehnerLand, a team from the office of Republican Majority Leader John Boehner.

Is every Republican in Washington the emotional age of seven? The rules require that some of the lesser teams get a chance to participate in the "playoffs" so the manly he-men who have shed their blood and sweat throughout the grueling season are angry that it denies them their rightful place atop congressional softball Olympus. After all, they deserve the glory:

The congressional league is a relaxed affair: No umpires call balls and strikes, so batters don't have to swing until they get a pitch they like. Fields are open to the public, so most teams dispatch an intern or junior aide to reserve a field several hours before game time.

Can someone tell me why these awesome GOP athletes aren't in Iraq instead of measuring their dicks in a slow-pitch softball league that a junior high girls team could easily dominate? Could it be because they are a bunch of pathetic, bedwetting chickenshits? I thought so.

As a collegiate athlete and former ringer member of the Yellow Journalists, the press entry into the Congressional Softball League, I must take issue with Digby's accusation that "a junior high girls team could easily dominate?" Number one, IT IS NOT AN INSULT TO COMPARE AN ATHLETE TO A GIRL. I'm a girl. I throw like a girl. I've given men bruises on their hands in a game of catch that got a little competitive. Stop insulting all women by insinuating that female athletes aren't good athletes. Just stop. Now. Just say they could have beaten a junior high softball team. Don't add gender as an insult. It's not, and you just show your pre-Title IX mentality.

Second, the quality of play in the league was definitely high school, not junior high. I was an old creaker of 30 when I played. I was living with my brother and sister in DC while I did an internship with a DC firm. My brother and sister were also ringers, having been recruited in the parking lot outside a bar by the Yellow Journalist's manager, who saw two six-foot former college athletes and appraised their athletic potential quickly enough to hand them uniforms out of the trunk of his car. My sister was the stealth third baseman. Guys would see her come to the plate and come in close, and she'd slam the ball over their heads. Happened every time, they never learned.

So anyway, it's sad to hear that the Rethugs, who have turned everything they've touched in DC in the last 5 years to shit, have also fucked up the Congressional Softball League. I spent many happy nights in dugouts with stressed out aides finally having some fun, and even happier nights at the post-game parties.

Another reason to vote the bums out in November.

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