Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Assholes of the Week: Taking Your Ball and Going Home

Ok, ok, I know, we live in difficult, intensely partisan, times. But, kids, come on:

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.

Now, I tend to be a pretty competitive guy myself (see the legendary/notorious Hat Toss), so I can understand how the juices get flowing and what not, but:

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. And after games, teams often head to a bar to recap the game over chicken wings and pitchers of beer.
I wonder how the intern/junior aide puts that on the ressie. I mean if you want to talk about lack of perspective, try this:
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.
It's fleeping rec league softball. If you want to practice your hidden ball tricks and take-out slide on the 2nd baseman to break up a double play, I'm pretty sure they have more appropriate outlets. These strike me as the same jackasses who held practices for their intramural basketball teams, and pressed for 40-minutes in a co-rec league.

And if you really want to get heavily involved in all this peen-waving, might I suggest something a little more formal and dare I say classy?

(via Digby)


DJ Ninja said...

Pooh, I remember reading this article when it came out in the WSJ last week. Further proof, IMHO, that the place to be on the Mall is playing 'bee. Disagree?

Pooh said...

Yes, because NOBODY is an asshole when playing frisbee (cough)...

DJ Ninja said...


Pooh said...


(And I was actually talking about me and/or this guy)

slickdpdx said...

What a bunch of babies. Boxing would be awesome.

DJ Ninja said...

As a PS, I want to add that, as someone from Wisconsin, I object to the use of the words "nightmare" and "cheese" in the same sentence.