COMMENTARY | Last February retired baseball player and ESPN commentator John Kruk tweeted the following: “Just watched R.A. Dickey warm up in the bullpen prior to his start today…happy to be retired.”
Kruk, a lifetime .300 hitter, would have likely hit Dickey sometimes, were they contemporary players, but The Krukker was just sayin’, ya know? With retirement comes graciousness.
This came to mind as I considered the current situations of a former Pennsylvania governor and our state’s current fearless leader. On one hand, we have former Gov. Ed Rendell; on the other, there’s Pennsylvania’s current top dog, Tom Corbett.
Rendell, who has carved out a post-political niche as a TV “analyst” for the Philadelphia Eagles, is also dabbling with slightly more formal sports commentary for the Philadelphia Daily News, both institutions in the city where he was once district attorney and mayor. He is affectionately called “The Gov” on Eagles post-game broadcasts, where he demonstrates a pretty learned amateur’s eye for pro football. In this morning’s “weekend” Daily News, he is allowed to ruminate gracefully on his affection for post-season baseball, wax nostalgic about old-style doubleheaders he attended as a boy, and recommend support for the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates in this October’s contests – the Tigers because they play in “a totally depressed city,” and the Pirates because, after 20-straight losing seasons, they are American sport’s most obvious underdogs.
At the other end of the print version of the same Daily News, we have a cover photo of a frustrated-looking Corbett next to the headline “OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN!” This is there because the currently real “Gov” seriously flubbed a TV interview October 4 in Harrisburg when he was questioned about previous arguments his legal team had made comparing same sex-marriage to weddings involving 12-year-olds. Phrasemaker that he is, Corbett instantly amended his posse’s comparison as follows: “It was an inappropriate analogy…. I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?”
The interviewer carefully declined to agree. And the internet lit up.
On the same page the above quotation appeared, a pink sidebar invited readers to recall several of Corbett’s other foot-in-mouth comments, which were helpfully listed. Widely reported elsewhere in slightly different ways, my favorite is: “There are many [Pennsylvania] employers that say: ‘We’re looking for people, but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test.'”
Corbett, who comes up for unlikely re-election in 2014, has been criticized for everything from penuriousness and misogyny to under-taxing gas drillers and homophobia (gay marriage-incest analogies tend to brand you a gold-star idiot). And right about now, I’d bet he just wishes somebody would just ask him about the Pirates.
He’d know to stay away from Andrew McCutchen’s dreads…I think.