From Baseball To Ballots
ICHIRO SUZUKI AT BAT
Baseball & Politics:
Hey, what a combination!
By BUCKY FOX
Bouncing between sports and politics:
Ichiro! Just saying the name is a ball. Watching him is a blast. Hes Ichiro Suzuki, the right fielder on the Seattle Mariners--soon to be a record-smashing stud. In these waning days of the baseball season, hell pass 257 hits. George Sisler amassed those in 1920 and no one since. Until the lean hitting machine from Japan does it any day now.
I didnt think Ichiro had a chance to break the mark. But the other night I caught his act against the Angels in Anaheim, and he went 5 for 5. Easy to see why. He devours first pitches, which tend to be meaty. Hes a lefty hitter, which gives him a jump (1) on righty pitchers and (2) out of the box. And the man flat-out flies.
W, as in Winner. You heard it here first. President Bush will carry 42 states in his re-election landslide. Forget the polling experts calling a tight race. Theyre like Super Bowl forecasters--always predicting tight games before routs.
We aint the world. Ichiro and baseball. Ryder Cup golf. Olympic basketball. You see a trend? Americans dont always dominate. The rest of the world knows how to play, too. So lets quit the way we call our pro teams world champions. Its more than arrogant. Its a typo.
Seeing red. You know how political maps paint Republican states red and Democratic ones blue? Dont know who drew that rainbow, but bet it was a Dem who made sure his party avoided red references. If I wielded the brush, GOP states would look true blue and Dem states pink.
Speaking of Reds. Cincinnati sure produced three of the stoutest announcers on ESPN: Jeff Brantley, Rob Dibble and Jim Bowden.
Red rage. Notice that the edgiest critics of President Bush come from his state. CNNs Paul Begala. Columnist Molly Ivins. James Moore and Wayne Slater, authors of Bushs Brain. Mr. Voting-Machines-Are-Rigged, Ronnie Dugger. And live on Comedy Central, Dan Rather. Texans all. Must be a self-loathing thing.
It's 1967 again. Much of this summer, fans in Los Angeles counted on a Dodger-Angel World Series (theres that world again). Forget that. Neither will even make the playoffs. This Series has St. Louis and Boston written all over it. Just like 37 years ago.
Bush league. Here come the presidential debates, which means one thing is certain: The Democrat will show utter disrespect for his rivals office. Bill Clinton set the tone in 1992 by calling the president Mr. Bush. Bob Dole in 1996 ripped Clinton for that slight, all the while saying Mr. President. In keeping with Republican dignity, George W. Bush said Mr. Vice President to Al Gores face. Now its John Kerrys turn, and hell naturally call the president George Bush. After focus-grouping it, you know.
Friscos fightin spirit. San Francisco fans, take heart. The 49ers will start pumping out victories soon. Quarterback Ken Dorsey has purple blood when it comes to winning. Hell lead the Niners to the playoffs. This season.
Veep veer. To all those lefties who yearn for John Edwards to shift into high attack gear, smell the grease pit. Hes a Mini in a Ferrari race. John Kerrys only choice for VP was Hillary Clinton, who can seriously rev it up. Thats assuming Kerry wanted to drive to victory.
Music, man. You know why we get into Monday Night Football? The theme song. It sacks them all.
Nov. 3. You can hear the post-election pundits already: After this Democrat debacle, who will bear the standard in 2008? The smart call: The only thing standing between Al Gore and the White House is Hillary.
Czar gazing. Stan Isaacs did a cool job in his column last week saying how he would lay down the law as czar of all sports. As I campaign for assistant czar, I propose this: Legalize holding. I am sick of refs ruining touchdowns by flagging linemen for little hand grabs.
©2004 by Bucky Fox. The photo of Ichiro Suzuki is courtesy of the Seattle Mariners official website.
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