It's October 1st, people. Even though it's just 32 days before the election, baseball is heavy on my mind. For some of us lucky fans, October is Baseball Month.
Was my president as triumphant as my baseball team? No, not at all. But neither was his opponent.
Neither one clinched the division with this one, although some Bush haters (who can be as rabid as Yankee haters) would have you think otherwise. Atrios, who I see as the Johnny Damon of the blogosphere (that would mean hated by everyone but his sycophant fans), had an open thread titled Goodbye George Edition
So very cocky. That's like a Red Sox fan saying "Yankees suck, we're gonna kick your ass!" while they're still five games out of first.
I don't see how the Kerry fans (or anti-Bush crowd, depending on your view) can call this a decisive, sweeping, grand, overwhelming, election grabbing win for their candidate. And let me make this statement here before I go any further:
Bush did not win the debate. But he did not lose, either. Stay with me.
Most people have called it a draw by now and I tend to agree. I can't see eye to eye with the Bush voters who declared a victory any more than I can agree with the Kerry supporters that he rounded the bases and tagged home. If you want to insist Kerry hit a home run, then it was an inside-the-park job, one that let Kerry reach the plate only because the fielders were too slow to react. There's a big difference between that and slamming a bat-cracker into the upper deck.
Here's the thing about this debate - the important
thing. It's not going to change a single mind. Neither candidate will see a bounce in the polls. In fact, it's a good bet that at the water cooler today people will be talking about the Yankees or The Apprentice
, and if they are talking about the debate, the conversation will revolve around John Kerry's tan or George Bush's smirk.
It's not that people don't care about issues; they do. I just don't think that anyone besides self-described pundits (self included) and the die hards of either candidate's camp would bother to watch the whole thing. And if they are relying on the media to tell them who won, they're going to come up with a tie.
That's the great thing about baseball. No ties. There's always a clear winner. Maybe they should have the media sit in the front row of the debate with scorecards (much like this one
). Then we could know immediately how the debate was scored and, if there is a tie, we could force the opponents into a shoot out. Maybe throw them U.S. History questions in rapid succession. Or see who could balance a pencil on their nose the longest. It would certainly be more interesting than listening to things we've heard a thousand times before.
I'm going to concede something that will drive some of my readers crazy: I do not think John Kerry sucked. While I still don't want him as my president, I'm not going to light myself on fire if he wins. Look at it this way: He's still the Red Sox to me, and not the Mets. I could deal with the Sox winning the World Series some day. But if the Mets won, I would set myself on fire. Al Gore is the Mets in this analogy, by the way.
So maybe it wasn't a draw, after all. Kerry needed to be Bernie Williams
last night, to walk up to the podium and knock one the hell out of there. It wasn't just a home run. It was the Yankees' 100th win of the season. It clinched their seventh AL East title in a row and it was the teams' 241st home run of the season, setting a franchise record. It was also their 61st comeback win of the season. And that's what Kerry needed. An extraordinary win. The onus is always on the team who's playing catch up and sometimes a win is not just enough. You need a decisive
win to give you the momentum you so desire to carry you through the playoffs. I don't think the champagne flowed in the Kerry clubhouse last night.
That's not to say the Bush clubhouse was celebratory. They have to know they were lucky to get out of Miami with Kerry having scored a whimper rather than a bang.
Sometimes you just have to wait until the morning after to tally up your runs, hits and errors. You review the boxscore and think, well that wasn't as bad as it seemed last night. Maybe that wasn't an error after all. Maybe that ball I thought was foul was really fair. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Unlike baseball, the umps can change the calls in debates. The media can spin a play this way or that and a fan or player can go crazy from reading all the different takes. Sometimes, you just turn to your teammates and say, be honest, how did I do?
Well, it's gotta suck when your manager is caught on tape saying that you kissed your sister.
Some people will call a tie a loss for Kerry, a victory for Bush. I'm not sure about that. I think at tie is just that, a tie. The standings stay the same. Perhaps it was a moral victory for Kerry, in that he proved he could look presidential at times.
I don't see how the Bush haters (not so much the Kerry fans, I'm talking about people that will go see a team that's playing the Yankees just so they can yell Yankees Suck!
) can be doing a victory dance. The champagne bottles have uncorked themselves over at Atrios's place.
Kerry may have "won," but it wasn't decisive enough to be called anything more than a tie. Bush needs to shore up his defense and maybe work on his swing a bit before the next debate. And Kerry needs to practice going for the long ball. If he swings for the seats instead of the outfield the next time, the maybe his fans can start doing the Tomahawk chop.
No matter how you slice it, this series is going to be close. I'm hoping that Bush can smack a few long balls to put a little distance between himself and Kerry. It all comes down to which guy will be Mr. October. My money is still on my favorite team and I'll be wearing the jersey and waving my team flag around until the fat lady sings. It's still my impression -and my hope - that when that lady does
sing, it will be a farewell song to Senator Kerry, but I'm a stalwart when it comes to these things.
This Monday Morning Quarterback is going to read the boxscore
again. Sometimes, as I'm doing now, you can see the performance of your team in a different light by studying the card. I may not feel triumphant today, but I don't feel like my team lost, either.
Allah has a massive round up of blogpsheric reaction.