It doesn’t have to be a grand slam when a squeeze play will do

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, was just sentenced again in federal court.

So let’s talk baseball.

While such a segue is admittedly strained, the all-American game has lessons to teach sensible citizens who hang our heads over a combined seven-and-a-half-year sentence for Manafort that could allow the 69-year-old to still walk out of prison rather than be carried out on a slab.

Baseball today is a different game than the one many of us grew up with. ESPN’s Sports Center highlights helped turn the sport into one big home run derby, which prevented newer fans from ever learning baseball’s nuances. The stolen base, the hit-and-run, the run-scoring double off the wall are all exciting plays that are mostly unappreciated by newer fans who are conditioned to only get excited when the ball is hit over the fence.

It’s a crime, really, and speaking of crime, that brings us back to Manafort.

Yes, I was hoping for a couple of home runs in terms of maximum sentences handed down to Trump’s front man, the guy who lifted the lid on a Pandora’s box that has this country mired in unprecedented criminality and boorishness from the executive branch of government. On the grandest scale, Manafort’s crimes helped turn friend into foe; neighbor into enemy; family into stranger. That such infamy warranted only seven and a half years in prison boggles the mind.

But baseball — old-time baseball — teaches that even a bloop single can score the winning run. Though Manafort’s sentences might have been stiffer, prosecutors did not strike out. In fact, just when we thought the game was over, it looks now like we’ll be going into extra innings: The ink wasn’t even dry on Manafort’s latest prison sentence before prosecutors in New York charged him with 16 new crimes, which, importantly, will be pardon-proof should the president choose to take pity on his old buddy, as many suspect he will.

As for Trump himself, his legal woes are not insignificant. While we begrudge every day he remains in office, the Southern District of New York is now going through his operations with a fine-toothed comb. For anyone who has followed Trump through the years, it is simply inconceivable that investigators won’t find something, and more likely several significant somethings.

And, too, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal investigation is still not complete. While it might appear nothing is happening, don’t forget that for a real baseball fan, even a 9-inning pitching duel can be plenty exciting.

With Trump as with Manafort, we need to stop looking for the big score. Remember, even 1-0 still wins the game.

Squeeze play, anyone?

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7 thoughts on “It doesn’t have to be a grand slam when a squeeze play will do

  1. When more comes out about the real criminal conspiracy of Dem Party, DOJ, FBI and Clintons trying to destroy candidate Trump and now President Trump it will be a triple play of the ages. They are trying to destroy a president for political gain not for crimes which it seems don’t exist. They as using plays not in the rule book. They lost the came. In baseball you win by winning the game not destroying the other team by any means possible. Anyway, gotta get $200 ready to get the baseball channel again for the season. GO YANKEES !

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    1. Typically I just remove comments by delusional Trumpers, but I’ll leave yours up because of the baseball references. Overall, however, I’d say you’ve been badly duped by the old hidden ball trick. I’m not sure what you mean by “not playing by the rule book” and “destroying the other team by any means necessary.” Nothing new has been created to fight the crimes perpetrated by Trump and his minions. The umpires in this game are mostly Republicans, and the “rule book” they are using is no less than the U.S. Penal Code and the Constitution. So if you don’t like those Republican umps like Mueller or the “rule book,” maybe it’s you who needs to re-evaluate your fandom.

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  2. Reblogged this on Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth and commented:
    We are serious baseball fans. Garry has actually written a couple of pieces like this, but you need to “get” baseball to understand them. This is a great piece and if you are any kind of sports fan, you should recognize that “the big play” is sexy on TV. A huge homer makes the fans cheer and stomp while the TV crew gets all worked up.

    There are a lot of ways to win — and lose. Whacking the ball over the wall is not a game.

    A homer is just ONE play. A team needs a basket of strategies to make the game a winner — and a lot of winning games to take the season to a winning finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As soon as I read this yesterday, I knew I’d repost it today. Not only are we big-time baseball fans, but this is exactly what we were talking about. It’s not just about having great hitters. You need middle relievers, closers, fielders and that ineffable thing called “cohesion” that takes a group of guys who play well and makes them a TEAM. That’s how come the Sox who were very very good mashed the Yankees who had a fantastic young group of players. The Sox had a team. The Yankees had potential but didn’t have the team. Yet.

    Let’s see if the Democrats who do have a longstanding habit of shooting themselves in the feet can become a functional team, get out there and really play the game. Small ball works, fellas. Small ball works best!

    Liked by 1 person

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