A Cosmic Baseball Game
Major League Baseball beats the District of Columbia City Council, 2-1.It was a well-pitched, well-executed cosmic baseball game and it was played in a personally-financed cosmic baseball park. Many portrayed this game as a David-and-Goliath contest with the odds against David. The odds won out, but not by much. The Nation's Capital City's Council team did itself proud by all accounts. But, they ultimately lost to the Major League Baseball Executives and Owners; it was inevitable. Shortstop and Arizona Diamondbacks "Chairman" Jerry Colangelo led the MLBs offense with three hits including two doubles. Colangelo scored both MLB runs. Starting pitcher and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig pitched eight strong innings giving up one unearned run, courtesy of thridbaseman and legendary New York Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner who bobbled a ball in the 7th inning. But for those that complain that Bossbrenner is just an empty mugger that he was born on third base and believes he hit a triple, well, look at his line for this game. Despite Steinbrenner's error, it was meaningless; he had a hit (not a triple but a single up the middle), a run batted in, two walks (and a strikeout).
Harold Brazil, a Democrat "at large" council member scored the only Council run. The DC Council was scoreless until Brazil led off the eighth inning with a walk. Jack Evans, Democrat council member representing Ward 2 popped out to first base. Vincent Orange, Sr., Democrat representing Ward 5 struck out. Sharon Ambrose, Democrat representing Ward 6, landed a single in right field which moved Brazil to third. When catcher and Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria let a ball get by him, Brazil scored.
Kudos go to pitcher Phil Mendelson, another "at large" Democrat on the council, who knew going into the game that there would be no relievers to back him up if he got into trouble. (By the way, the reason for this no-relief situation is a story in itself, embedded in the workings of a parliamentary legislative body.) Mendelson pitched eight good innings. He gave up 11 hits but only yielded two earned runs. He struck out three and he walked three. His performance on the mound was gritty. Linda Cropp, an "at large" member who chairs the council had one hit and did not display the kind of flair in the field or at the plate that she has demonstrated leading the city council in its legislative deliberations. All together the DC Council had six hits. Except for Mendelson, who was one of the six council members to vote against the baseball deal, the only council members with hits in this game were those that voted for the baseball deal.
Is the deal that has brought baseball back to Washington good for the citizens of Washington, D.C.? |
Were the members of the City Council being disingenuous, as one local sports columnist suggested? Trying to re-write the deal at the last moment didn't serve Major League Baseball's interests but it might potentially save money for the District.
Aside from the dollars and the politics of spending them, what about the intangibles? Is it a fact of life that having a baseball team will increase civic pride and will the erection of a new baseball stadium help rejuvenate the Anacostia waterfront? Washington is a town that is 60 per cent African American. Black interest in the sport of baseball has been on a steady decline since the days of Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. Only ten per cent of major league players are black. Interest in baseball on the college level is also declining. Baseball teams at historically black colleges and universities have more non-African American team members than black players. The Bethune-Cookman team last season was nearly all Hispanic.
Major League Baseball does not seem capable of reversing the trend despite initiatives such as the "Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities" (RBI) program. Since 1989 when RBI began, there has been a seven percent decline in black major leaguers. Building an asphalt basketball court is easier and cheaper than maintaining a baseball field that requires a lot of land and grass. But there are other, perhaps more complicated reasons for the decline, reasons that the fat white cats who run Major League Baseball have not yet confronted.
Personal Cosmic Game Report
Washington DC City Council @ Major League Baseball
Published: December 26, 2004