Thursday, September 3, 2009
Senator Schilling? Don't Make Me Laugh
Alex Rodriguez hit his 577th career home run tonight, a screaming line drive down the left-field line at the Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome. It was much like the one Joe Carter hit to win the 1993 World Series for the Jays against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Remember? Mitch Williams has totally lost his control, and in the Phils' dugout, there's a pitcher hiding his eyes because he doesn't trust his teammate. His name? Curt Schilling.
"Curt is a horse every fifth day," said Ed Wade, then general manager of the Phils. "The other four days, he's a horse's ass."
Curt has thrown many a teammate -- or even Manny, a teammate -- overboard. (Or "under the bus," as you kids are saying these days.) It's always about Curt Schilling, and if the team didn't win, it was the other players, or the manager, or management, never his fault.
Few great players in sports history have alienated their own organizations as much as he has.
Now, he says he wants to run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, held for 47 years by a guy named Ted something.
Kennedy. Yeah, that's it.
Ted Kennedy was a big Red Sox fan. Well, everybody's got their flaws...
Maybe Ted was talking about the Red Sox when he said, "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die!"
Well, due to the steroid use of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez -- and somebody test the blood on Schilling's sock! -- we now know that the work was fraudulent, the cause was false, the hope was shattered, and the dream remains unfulfilled since 1918.
Being a Red Sox fan made Ted Kennedy drink, Doris Kearns Goodwin write about tragic historical figures, the Farrelly Brothers make gross-out movies, and Stephen King write horror stories. It made Ben Franklin leave Boston to seek greener pastures... in Philadelphia!
Okay, the Red Sox haven't been around that long, but why do you think Bobby Kennedy moved to New York after leaving the Attorney General's post instead of back to Massachusetts?
Okay, to be fair, being Red Sox fans also made the Kennedys aware of the plight of the underdog. We should thank the Sox for that.
But Schilling wants Ted's Senate seat? If he thinks he can win it, then he's had more to drink than Ted ever did!
Schilling is a Republican. A serious hard-core conservative. And he wants to run in Massachusetts.
We all know he's self-absorbed. But I didn't think he was a masochist!
We should remind Crybaby Curt that, in 2006, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania nominated Lynn Swann for Governor. Yes, that Lynn Swann, the Hall of Fame receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (By a weird coincidence, his middle name is Curtis.)
Swann was 54 at the time, which should have put him in his political prime. He is beloved. He has never thrown a teammate under the bus (Jerome Bettis or otherwise), and as far as anyone can tell he's completely clean. (He's also a graduate of Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California, which is also the alma mater of Barry Bonds and Tom Brady -- though as I said, Swann is believed to be completely clean, unlike those two. Also ex-Mets Jim Fregosi and Gregg Jeffries, and Swann's coach at USC, John Robinson.)
He's good-looking, he has a fine voice, he comes across like gangbusters on television. He sounds like a conservative, but he doesn't sound like a right-wing maniac -- more honey-tinged Mike Huckabee than fire-and-brimstone Rudy Giuliani. He's smart (Serra isn't just a sports factory, it's a very serious academic institution).
He's personable. His resume is as varied as Monday Night Football (playing and broadcasting) and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He's been a successful businessman -- conservatives love that. He stayed in the Pittsburgh area after his playing career was over -- Western Pennsylvanians love that. He'd never served in public office (which pleases the term-limits idiots and people who hate "Warshington Politicians"), unless you count chairing the President's Council on Physical Fitness. He had no apparent baggage of any kind, unless you count the fact that he was appointed to said Council by George W. Bush.
He should have been a superb candidate. Even people who don't like Republicans like Lynn Swann.
He lost, 60 percent to 40. Why? Was his Democratic opponent, incumbent Governor Ed Rendell, particularly beloved? Maybe from the Susquehanna River on east, but that's not why Swannie lost. No, he lost because the people of Pennsylvania didn't trust Republicans. Even Steeler fans who loved him as a football player and admired him as a businessman did not want a Republican Governor.
(The Penn GOP owes Swannie big-time. They should nominate him for Arlen Specter's Senate seat, but they won't. Though I do hear he's planning on another campaign for Governor next year.)
Schilling should keep in mind another example: Ernie Banks. He once ran for Board of Aldermen (City Council) in Chicago. Everybody loves Ernie (or so it was thought). He's Mr. Cub. He's had no scandal attached to his name. He ran as an independent, so that both Democratic Cub fans and Republican Cub fans could vote for him without dismissing him as a candidate for either party. Smart, right? He was a cinch to win, right?
Wrong, he finished 4th out of 5. Why? Because, being black, he thought he should run on the South Side. Smart? Not smart enough: The South Side is White Sox territory, and Pale Hose fans hate the Cubs and everyone associated with them, even Ernie Banks! How can anybody hate Ernie Banks? By being a White Sox fan, that's how -- or do you think Cub fans would've dumped Richard Daley as Mayor for Nellie Fox?
So, with the memories of Governors Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane (None Too) Swift and NittWitt Mitt Romney in mind, does anybody really think Massachusetts is going to trust a Republican -- especially for the seat of Ted Kennedy?
Crybaby Curt should keep this in mind: In Massachusetts, they love the Red Sox, but they may not love this particular Red Sock (even with his red sock), and they certainly don't love Republicans. Especially if it's Joe Kennedy, Bobby's son and Ted's nephew who once served in the House, who goes for it: It's probably his to say, "Yes, I want it" until he says, "No, I don't want it." (Ultimately, I think he'll turn it down, and Congressman Ed Markey, believed to be the favorite for John Kerry's seat had the nation wised up and thrown Bush overboard in 2004, will run for it and win it.)
Maybe the fans who used to honor Carl Yastrzemski with "YAZ FOR MAYOR" signs meant it, and maybe Bobby Orr could've been elected to serve in the Senate alongside Ted Kennedy, and maybe Larry Bird could've been elected Governor.
But Curt Schilling? If he wins Ted's seat, I'll wear a Red Sox cap for the rest of the 2010 season!
I'd have to wash my hair about four times a day... and take Pepto-Bismol for wanting to throw up 12 times a day...
I think I'm safe. And so is Ted's Senate seat. As his brother Jack said when he received figures saying that more people went to the opera than to Major League Baseball games in 1960, "I think both baseball and the country will endure."