Democratic Underground

Dubya's First 100 Days as Baseball Commissioner
June 12, 2001
by Anonymous

After a controversial appointment as Baseball Commissioner, George W. Bush moved into his new office only to find some surprises. In a press conference held early the first afternoon, Bush announced that the prior Commissioner's staff committed several acts of petty vandalism before departing.

In one instance, a hastily written memo ordered a change in the designation of "Win" to "Victory". As a result, changes in the statistical records will show a team's V-L totals and pitchers will now record V's and L's. In addition, walks are now be designated by the letter L. "If a 'K' is appropriate for a strikeout," reads the memo, "consistency would dictate that the penultimate letter of the root word should also be applied to a base on balls." Intentional walks are now to be indicated by a reversed L according to the memo.

Another rumor claimed a change in the names of the divisions. Originally titled 'West', 'Central', and 'East' the divisions will now be called 'Central', 'East', and 'Far East'. Bush cited this as another example of petty vindictiveness, but many insiders speculate that this change was, in fact, a secret clause in Ichiro Suzuki's contract.

In an apparently unrelated move, the owners of the Chicago Cubs inexplicably changed the name of Wrigley Field to Juicy Fruit Stadium. The letter "W" has apparently been removed from virtually all aspects of baseball except, of course, as the middle initial of its commissioner.

While campaigning for the position of Commissioner, Bush had expressed a strong desire to lower the pitching mound to give a greater advantage to the batters. "These batters, the blue collar workers of the team," said Bush, "deserve to get something back for all of the effort they put into the game."

To bolster his view, Bush often referred to an all around hitting-slump that detracted from the excitement of the game. Although he immediately proposed a resolution to lower the mounds by 1.6 inches, no such change could take effect until the following season. But he nevertheless continued to make frequent reference to this "batting recession" during his first days in office. This had the unfortunate effect of the general public's taking his words to heart and staying home from games, expecting them to be boring pitchers' duels.

In an effort to reverse this unfortunate trend, which would certainly reflect badly on his office, Bush tried to temper his earlier assessment of the hitting situation saying "It isn't really so bad." To date, this has had only a modest effect on the attitudes of the public. Fan attendance has remained lower than average and may actually result in a genuine "attendance recession." Such is the power of the bully pulpit of the commissioner's office, a power this reporter hopes the Commissioner will eventually learn not to abuse.

Finally, as the first 100 days drew to a close, the Bush Commission reported a severe scarcity of baseballs. The shortage is attributed to a scarcity of leather resultant from recent incidents of mad cow and foot & mouth disease. The A's, Padres, Giants, and Dodgers seem to have been inexplicably but particularly hard hit by this shortage. Although some independent investigators estimate the number of available baseballs in the tens of millions and point out that neither of these diseases has stricken cattle in the United States, the Bush Commission has developed a comprehensive plan for dealing with the baseball crisis. The Vice Commissioner, a former executive in the lumber industry, outlined part of the plan in which the skins of spotted owls will be substituted for the cowhide traditionally used to cover baseballs.

Opponents to this plan suggest that conservation of the existing supply of balls would be a better solution, citing the number of balls thrown out of every game after they make minor contact with the dirt around the batter's box, while balls that get hit into the infield dirt or outfield grass are promptly returned to play.

Breaking news: A recent report from the General Services Department of Major League Baseball states that all claims of vandalism are actually a hoax. This is plainly evident in the fact that box scores around the country continue to record both wins and walks with the letter W. Likewise, Wrigley Field is still Wrigley Field and the division titles remain as they were in the 2000 season.

The overall assessment of the Bush Commission's first 100 days in office is easily summarized: Thank God he isn't President of the United States.

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