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October 3, 2011

Collapses Plague Sports and Politics

Michael Kurtianyk

Wasn’t it great to see the Baltimore Orioles defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in the final game of the regular baseball season? Even if you’re not a fan of baseball, or a fan of the Orioles, then surely you had to be impressed with the way the Orioles, long since out of the playoff race, came from behind to win that game.


The game-winning hit was made by Robert Andino, who said later: "End of season like this, to make Boston go home sad, crying, I'll take it all day.” Indeed he would, providing a much-needed salve to another bruising season by the Orioles. The team finished with a 69-93 record, 28 games behind the first place New York Yankees, and 22 games behind the wild card spot.


The collapse by the Red Sox was crushing to an organization which has the third-highest payroll ($160,257,476) in all of baseball, behind the Philadelphia Phillies ($172,976,381) and the New York Yankees ($196,854,630). By contrast, the Tampa Bay Rays have a team payroll of ($41,932,171), second lowest, just the Kansas City Royals ($35,712,400).


Baseball being a game of numbers and statistics, it’s important to put the collapse by the Red Sox in perspective. At the start of September, the Red Sox had a nine game lead in the wild card race over the Rays. They proceeded to win only seven of their 27 games in the entire month, ending up one game behind the Rays. The Rays themselves went 17-10 during the month, and much credit goes to them.


It’s great being a Yankees fan….


Speaking of collapses, whatever happened to Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann? Wasn’t she, at one time, the frontrunner in the Republican race for the presidential nomination? Didn’t she win the Iowa straw poll in August? What happened? Did her wacky quotes finally catch up with her? She ended up in last place in the Florida straw poll – and pizza man Herman Cain ended up in first!


How do you explain the results of that Florida straw poll? No one seems to have a handle on this. It could be that he unveiled his “9-9-9” plan on tax reform which would institute a nine percent corporate tax, a flat nine percent income tax, and a nine percent national sales tax.


The holes in this plan have already been exposed: how the 9% sales tax would cripple lower and middle class families and how 9% personal income tax rate would eliminate most of the deductions that middle class families depend on. Herman Cain is a collapse waiting to happen. This straw poll and his 9-9-9 plan will shine a brighter light on his candidacy, but he, too, will collapse.


Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to stumble and lose his thoughts at the debates. He is the one candidate who, of all the candidates, was once held in high esteem by the conservatives and tea partiers, but who now is not the most well-liked candidate. The party itself seems to be collapsing the bubble around Mr. Perry.


It’s gotten so bad that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being begged to enter the race. Can’t the party pick one from the current crop of candidates? I guess not. The party will continue to collapse if they can’t agree on a candidate to challenge President Barack Obama.


Maybe Sarah Palin will be seen as the savior….


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