Texas Liberal

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Obama Is A Fan Of Pitching Over Home Runs

In a recent New York Times article, Chicago White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams says that his Chicago friend Barack Obama always focuses on pitching when he asks how the White Sox are doing. 

I found this an agreeable revelation. Pitching and fielding involve a measure of strategy and sophistication in contrast to the vulgarity of the home run. 1-0 or 2-1 are the ideal baseball scores.

Home runs are jarring. The idea of one swing producing as many as four runs is to me a violation of the context and proportion that I think forms the basis of legitimacy. A baseball game should be a slowly rising crescendo with the final note being a last out that seals a narrow lead. Home runs are events onto themselves that overwhelm the flow of the game. They are as much a stunt as anything else.

I can see Senator Obama as a fan of pitching. Tight. Controlled. Disciplined. Throwing every pitch like it mattered. Not looking for the home run and not losing his game when the other guy scores a run.

The best Major League pitcher of all time was Walter Johnson (Above) . Mr. Johnson played for the Washington Senators between 1907 and 1927. A winner of 417 games, no pitcher ever pitched so well for so long. 

Mr. Johnson was later elected a Montgomery County, Maryland County Commissioner and in 1940 was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress. Mr. Johnson lost 53-47 to Democrat William Byron.

A candidate for best Negro League pitcher ever is Satchel Paige (Below) . Mr. Paige pitched in the Negro Leagues from 1927 well into the 1950’s. He also was Major League pitcher between 1948 and 1953. Mr. Paige threw a wide variety of pitches and was known as the best not just among Negro League observers, but by baseball fans of the white-only leagues as well.    

November 6, 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. What was Maddux’s line? “Chicks dig the long ball”

    Comment by Laz | November 6, 2008

  2. Right on, Neil. There’s nothing like a slow, expert tightly pitched game that keeps the tension mounting throughout.

    Comment by Newton | November 6, 2008

  3. Laz–yes–That is what he said.

    Newton—Yes. It does not happen as often as it once did.

    Thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 6, 2008

  4. Well, I’ll agree up to a point – a simmering pitcher’s duel is certainly more interesting, and beating the throw home is the most exciting way to score (or be taken out), but a close game that is broken open with a home run (by the home team, hopefully) can provide a compressed moment of catharsis that is hard to match. Especially when you’re at the park and you can watch the entire unbroken arc of the ball take its leave.

    Comment by Brian | November 7, 2008

  5. Brian–I like it best when you can buy a ticket to see the home run for a price you can afford, rather then the need to buy tickets from ticket brokers such as to see the Red Sox in your hometown of Boston.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 11, 2008

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