A Real Curve for White Sox Fans

Matthew May
So the President of the United States cannot throw a baseball with any sort of velocity or modicum of athletic grace. So what? He is at best an average basketball player, but it's easy to look great when you aren't being guarded.

Certainly it would be gravy for baseball fans if all of our chiefs were able to duplicate what George W. Bush did at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series. It would be lovely if they could fondly reminisce about their own days in the sandlots fielding grounders and trading baseball cards, dreaming of making The Show. But not every president is the same and that is just fine.

Yet this president happens to be a dissembling charlatan and his awkward, cringe-inducing traits were on full display once again. The White House obviously had a metaphorical gun pointed at the Fox Sports camera crew, making sure their man was not embarrassed by what would have been a bouncer to the plate -- which Albert Pujols happened to be stationed upon and not behind. It had to have been the only ceremonial first pitch ever filmed as if the camera were a fan wedged uncomfortably in between two fat guys in the stands squabbling over nachos, unable and unwilling to make any sudden movements. But the overprotection of President Obama sure made a contrast between President Bush taking Yankee captain Derek Jeter up on the latter's admonition to throw the aforementioned ceremonial pitch on the mound and not in front of it.

The biggest howler of the evening (aside from the unfunny quip about the government being "out of money") came when sycophants-in-training Joe Buck and Tim McCarver began asking the president about his allegiance to the Chicago White Sox vis-à-vis the Cubs. President Obama with, presumably a straight face, and still sporting his White Sox warm-up pleaded that he wasn't "one of these Sox fans" who despises the Cubs, that he actually likes the Cubs.

Any real baseball fan's immediate reaction should have been "Then you aren't a real Sox fan."

Of course, Messrs. Buck and McCarver would not be so presumptuous to their honored guest, but they know better. And perhaps it is understandable that the president does not wish to alienate the North Side and its cemeteries for 2012. But any die-hard Chisox fan had to cringe when he heard a self-avowed fan "dialogue" with the Cubs on the national stage.

Without getting into the gory details, Cubs fans and White Sox are as diametrically opposite in personality as are their sides of town. Hatred is too weak a word to describe their animus toward each other. Even the Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, said earlier this year that the reason attendance is down for the struggling White Sox this season as opposed to Wrigley Field being jammed every day is "Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans." He then proceeded to pronounce Wrigley an open-air bar presumably full of drunken yuppies and poseurs, which is a pretty fair point on most home dates.  President Obama's lordly attitude and effete bearing would be more than welcome there than on hard-edged 35th Street, but no doubt he wishes to keep his manufactured South Side "cred" and remains aligned with the White Sox. He may wish to brush up on the former name of where his beloved Sox play, though - it used to be Comiskey Park, not "Cominskey Field" as he told Bob Costas.

Really, it does not matter in the long run if our president is neither an exceptional athlete nor even a casual fan of some team in his adopted hometown. But be up front about it; don't try cheap tricks using a compliant media and assume prominent residence in a group with which you are unfamiliar and attempt to relate. It stinks of emptiness and desperation.

Actually, it just stinks.

Matthew May welcomes comments at matthewtmay@yahoo.com
So the President of the United States cannot throw a baseball with any sort of velocity or modicum of athletic grace. So what? He is at best an average basketball player, but it's easy to look great when you aren't being guarded.

Certainly it would be gravy for baseball fans if all of our chiefs were able to duplicate what George W. Bush did at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series. It would be lovely if they could fondly reminisce about their own days in the sandlots fielding grounders and trading baseball cards, dreaming of making The Show. But not every president is the same and that is just fine.

Yet this president happens to be a dissembling charlatan and his awkward, cringe-inducing traits were on full display once again. The White House obviously had a metaphorical gun pointed at the Fox Sports camera crew, making sure their man was not embarrassed by what would have been a bouncer to the plate -- which Albert Pujols happened to be stationed upon and not behind. It had to have been the only ceremonial first pitch ever filmed as if the camera were a fan wedged uncomfortably in between two fat guys in the stands squabbling over nachos, unable and unwilling to make any sudden movements. But the overprotection of President Obama sure made a contrast between President Bush taking Yankee captain Derek Jeter up on the latter's admonition to throw the aforementioned ceremonial pitch on the mound and not in front of it.

The biggest howler of the evening (aside from the unfunny quip about the government being "out of money") came when sycophants-in-training Joe Buck and Tim McCarver began asking the president about his allegiance to the Chicago White Sox vis-à-vis the Cubs. President Obama with, presumably a straight face, and still sporting his White Sox warm-up pleaded that he wasn't "one of these Sox fans" who despises the Cubs, that he actually likes the Cubs.

Any real baseball fan's immediate reaction should have been "Then you aren't a real Sox fan."

Of course, Messrs. Buck and McCarver would not be so presumptuous to their honored guest, but they know better. And perhaps it is understandable that the president does not wish to alienate the North Side and its cemeteries for 2012. But any die-hard Chisox fan had to cringe when he heard a self-avowed fan "dialogue" with the Cubs on the national stage.

Without getting into the gory details, Cubs fans and White Sox are as diametrically opposite in personality as are their sides of town. Hatred is too weak a word to describe their animus toward each other. Even the Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, said earlier this year that the reason attendance is down for the struggling White Sox this season as opposed to Wrigley Field being jammed every day is "Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans." He then proceeded to pronounce Wrigley an open-air bar presumably full of drunken yuppies and poseurs, which is a pretty fair point on most home dates.  President Obama's lordly attitude and effete bearing would be more than welcome there than on hard-edged 35th Street, but no doubt he wishes to keep his manufactured South Side "cred" and remains aligned with the White Sox. He may wish to brush up on the former name of where his beloved Sox play, though - it used to be Comiskey Park, not "Cominskey Field" as he told Bob Costas.

Really, it does not matter in the long run if our president is neither an exceptional athlete nor even a casual fan of some team in his adopted hometown. But be up front about it; don't try cheap tricks using a compliant media and assume prominent residence in a group with which you are unfamiliar and attempt to relate. It stinks of emptiness and desperation.

Actually, it just stinks.

Matthew May welcomes comments at matthewtmay@yahoo.com