“A lot of winning baseball teams have one guy on their team who’s kind of a dick. (On the field only, I’m talking — I don’t know these people.) They run hard, and play hard, and curse a lot, and get a lot of standing ovations for their “old school” manner of play. They get into fights, sometimes with their own teammates, but that’s because they’re “passionate.” When something bad happens, they make a huge show out of destroying water coolers, because they are super-intense and everyone needs to realize that. There has never been a correctly called third strike on these men, and when the home-plate ump deigns to call that fucking pitch a strike, are you kidding me?, the gentlemen in question don’t just get hot and pop off. They act as though their very honor as human beings has been called into question. They act like Harrison Ford in a movie in which someone announces the intention to harm his family.”–Michael Schur on Kevin Youkilis
The Washington Presidents are going to be a great baseball team, and one of the reasons is that we’re going to have TWO psychotic red-asses on our squad! This is not surprising when you consider the sort of emotionally stunted, ego-driven monsters who tend to run for president. In his Grantland piece, Schur name checks such notable dickheads as A.J. Pierzynski, Albert Belle, Jeff Kent, Randy Johnson, and the mother of all baseballing jagoffs, Ty Cobb. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the Washington Presidents’ center fielder is essentially Ty Cobb with a better haircut. The second baseman isn’t quite that much of an unhinged, violent lunatic, but he was a man with a superhuman ability to hold a grudge. A man fueled by resentment and hatred and the will to conquer his enemies.
Richard Nixon, Second Base
Nixon wasn’t much of an athlete. He gutted his way onto the football team at tiny Whittier College, but rode the bench his entire career. As a baseball player, his combination of fanatical drive and soul-consuming rage would make him into a spite-powered David Eckstein. He would run out ground balls, hatred for the pitcher powering every step. He would turn double plays with a frothing intensity. He would absorb spikes and brush-back pitches, each slight another log on the roiling flames of his contempt. And any chump who tried to slide into second base head first would be tagged out right across the mouth.
Comparable players: Joe Morgan, Robbie Alomar