Monday, March 31, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Opening Day is here! Or to be more accurate was here, last night, at least in DC. And while the real opening day was a week ago in Japan, I don’t count that farce that Major League Baseball wants me to buy. Don’t ask me to believe you opened the season last week in Japan with the Red Sox and A’s only to have them come back to the US and play exhibition games. Again, Selig, you screwed up!

But back to the lecture at hand, Opening Day started with a boom last night as DC not only premiered a new stadium (gorgeous at that) but won the game on a bottom of the ninth, two-out, home run by Ryan Zimmerman. Talk about the way to celebrate your new home! Before the game started though, our esteemed and most maligned (much of it here) President, George Bush threw out the first pitch.

The President throwing out the first pitch is a tradition that dates back to the early 1900’s and Howard Taft, and usually POTUS is warmly received (even Nixon was cheered). Only once, before last night, was a President booed, Truman in 1951. It was one week after he fired McArthur (it was well deserved if you read David Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter). This year it was Bush’s turn. When W. came out to the mound the majority of the fans were booing.

How great of a country do we live in? Where else in the world can you boo and jeer the leader of your country without reservation about being put on a “list”, being dragged out of your house in the middle of the night and tossed into prison, or being beaten by a secret police force right on the spot. Does he deserve it? Absolutely. Should it have been done/said? No.

Folks, we are a civilized society. I think that’s something that we forget about in this battle for the White House between Dems and Repubs. This is only politics, not life or death. When you are in a situation where you meet the leader of this country, even if you don’t agree with his policies, you don’t boo him. Instead you shake his hand and say “Nice to meet you, Mr. President”. When he throws out the first pitch, you don’t have to cheer him, just stay quiet. Don’t teach your bad habits to your young child sitting in the seat next to you. We are becoming more divided as a society and need to “heal” when and where ever we can.

The more you know!

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