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Mad Libs Madness

In Baseball on July 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Mark Judge recently wrote a column declaring Nationals rookie sensation Bryce Harper a conservative hero. With the power of Mad Libs, Crim Del Harris makes its own attempt to shoehorn an athlete into a political debate.

_______________ (white baseball player) is a _______________’s (political party) hero. The star _______________ (how long he’s been playing baseball) for the _______________ (team) has woken up Major League Baseball, and watching what has followed unfold has reminded me of nothing so much as the collapse of the old political paradigms and the inevitable and upcoming rebirth of _______________ s(political party) in November.

This became clear to me on May 26 of this year. The _______________ (player’s team) were playing _______________ (other team), and in the fifth inning _______________ (white player), with his team leading by two, singled to _______________ (location). The ball was hit to _______________ ‘s(other team) right fielder _______________ (black, or possibly Latino player). _______________ (black or Latino player) strolled up to the ball as if he were ______________________________ _______________ (metaphor).

_______________ (White player) promptly headed for second base. _______________ (black or Latino player) suddenly woke up and fired to second base, but he was too late.

More than one sports writer has noted that this moment was no small thing for baseball. It was like the scene from _______________ (movie title) when _____________________________________________ (thing that happens in that movie).

To me, the play carried even greater symbolic importance. _______________ (black or Latino player)’s bungle showed a complacency, if not indolence, that _______________ (white player) threatens to destroy, but it also could be a metaphor for the collapse of the old _______________ (political party) order. _______________ (black or Latino player) was like one of those _______________ (occupation) who, because they are a union member, can’t be fired and so are relegated to _______________ (place) to _______________ (verb) and _______________ (verb) and _______________ (verb) for the rest of their lives. Or even _______________ (historical figure), who went from _______________ (place) to _______________ (university) to the _______________ (place) and never seems to have had to slide head-first into a base in his entire life.

Then there was _______________ ‘s(white player) recent retort, which went viral, to an idiot question asked by a member of the media: “That’s a _______________ (noun) question, bro.” _______________ ‘s(person) career in five words.

Watching _______________ (white player) play is like listening to an _______________ (adjective) speech by _______________ (person): It’s long on _______________ (noun) and short on _______________ (noun). _______________ (white player) has slapped baseball awake, and every time he steps up to the plate, years of _______________ (adjective) baseball routine no longer apply. He swings the bat with a blinding snap of force, and in the outfield he dives for balls that bored veterans would let go. When he hits a double he usually tries to stretch it into a triple. Manager _______________ (person) tries to bench him for being hurt, and _______________ (white player) confronts him and says, like a person with enough dignity to refuse _______________ (activity): “Let me _______________ (verb).” Then he wins the game with a crucial hit.

_______________ (white player) also adapts. When pitcher _______________ (old-timey baseball pitcher) froze the _______________ (age)-year-old _______________ (white player) with a slow curve ball, _______________ (white player) adjusted his batting and next time up _______________ (white player) hit a game-winning home run.

Ironically, it is modern _______________ s(political party) who have embraced change more than _______________ s(another political party), who are dogmatic in their adherence to _______________ (noun). The _______________ (direction), like _______________ (black or Latino player) _______________ (verb) in the outfield, sees nothing wrong with the way things have worked, or even not worked, for the past _______________ (number) years. _______________ (occupation) should never be fired, no matter how incompetent. It is _______________ (adjective) for public-sector _______________ (noun) to pay for even a small percentage of their own _______________ (noun). Sex-ed taught without reference to _______________ (noun) can only do good, and has nothing to do with _______________ (noun) and the collapse of female _______________ (noun). And we can spend all the money in the world and never have to pay it back.

But the world changes, and we are supposed to learn lessons from those changes. _______________s (political party), and even a few young _______________s (another political party), accept that life isn’t fair, but that winners tend to be people who shake things up and pivot — while never forgetting sound fundamental principles. This is a good definition not only of _______________ (white player), who electrifies while never botching the basics, but also of _______________ (contemporary white person), who understands the creative destruction of modern _______________ (noun) even as he has mastered _______________ (noun). Liberals will falsely claim that _______________ (contemporary white person) wants to return to the _______________ (time period), while never admitting that they are stuck in the much more dysfunctional _______________ (other time period).

If America is to be solvent and healthy, we cannot keep doing what we have been doing since the _______________ (sports team) won the _______________ (sporting event) in _______________ (year). We have to do things differently, just as _______________ (white person) is not playing baseball the old way. _______________ (white person) is not going to sit back and accept what the status quo tells him to accept (where does he get off doing _______________ (activity)?). And _______________ s(political party) are not going to expect to retire at _______________ (age) or to send their kids to the _______________ (place) of their choice if it costs $_______________ (price) a year. We are going to adapt. (In a strange way, conservatives are not only like _______________ (white person), but have become like the do-it-yourself _______________ (style of musicians) artists of the late _______________ (time period) and early _______________ (time period). Don’t have a _______________ (noun)? Start your own. Are the old _______________ (style of music) groups bloated and sloppy? Boot them off the stage.) Meanwhile, _______________ s(political party) occupy everything so that they can demand — what was it again? Oh yeah, _______________ (noun). And _______________ (noun).

_______________ (white person) reminds me of my own _______________ (familial relation), _______________ (proper name), who played _______________ (position) for the _______________ (team) from _______________ (year) to _______________ (year). Like _______________ (white person), _______________ (proper name) was left-handed and was a _______________ (adjective) and _______________ (adjective) player. His career spanned two eras, the _______________ (adjective) era (_______________ (time period) to _______________ (time period)) and the live ball era, from _______________ (time period) on, when _______________ (plural noun) became much more prevalent. When _______________ (dead white person) arrived in _______________ (place) in _______________ (time period) and baseball changed some rules — including using new balls in every game so you could actually see what you were swinging at — _______________ (proper noun) could have insisted that this wasn’t fair, that _______________ (noun) was stealing his livelihood, and that _______________’s (dead white person) ungodly salary represented the one percent. He could have occupied _______________ (place).

Instead, he accepted that the old way of doing things was gone, and it wasn’t coming back. And he helped the _______________ (team) win _______________ (noun) in _______________ (time period).


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