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August 31, 2012

Nationsí Leaders? Itís Easy: Showalter & Johnson

Harry M. Covert

Even though a hurricane attempted to sideline a political convention this week, the real excitement has been the typhoons under way in Maryland and Washington. These latter whirling dervishes, borrowing an old sports writing cliché, involve the sporting life.


Politics are often described as sports. Candidates constantly use sports metaphors in their campaigns to make themselves more personable and friendly and appear as just regular people.


In this day and age, the remote control has become a great weapon for big screen televisions, the cable radio Internet broadcasts, and all sorts of other communication devices. It’s easy to mute the political gadflies and assorted broadcast commentators and only listen to the pre-written speeches of preferred candidates. The move to the really smart sporting “gumnacists” is so easy.


Frankly, it’s been an exciting summer. The Frederick Keys’ parent baseball team, The Baltimore Orioles, have been setting a marvelous winning example, giving the fabled Charlie Keller’s New York Yankees a run for the American League East Division title. It would not be surprising if the O’s pulled off the biggest upset in two decades.


Down 1-270, how about The Washington Nationals? They’ve been leading the National League East Division for practically the whole year and are headed to the playoffs. It’s been an incredible year for the Nationals with the teenager and a few other determined young players.


Talk about leadership from the flaks stomping around Tampa and next week in Charlotte, they need to consult with the wise. For example, there’s Buck Showalter, a gifted technician who hangs out at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Who can deny he’s the genius behind the charging baseball team. Also, there’s 69-year-old Davey Johnson, who lives in Alexandria, VA, and is also the genius behind the Nationals’ success off Half-Street, southeast Washington.


The thrill and taste of victory abounds for baseball enthusiasts in Frederick whose graduates are starring on the Eutaw Street premises. Managing of the professional men who run, hit and throw is no easy task.


At the risk of a little facetiousness, well maybe a lot, the political wizards could be better off selecting Showalter and Johnson. They seem to be saving baseball in Baltimore and Washington and Virginia. Both will probably be managers of the year in their respective leagues – and should be. They obviously know the game, and to know the baseball game they have to be good politicians.


One of the greatest inventions in this remarkable age of technology is the remote control. It’s easy to become adept with this sacred instrument. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, known as MASN, has been awesome. Every game of the O’s and the Nats are available. The broadcasting crews for each team are examples of the best on television, radio and the dugouts.


Maybe after the season Peter Angelos’ minions in the booths could give classes to network talkers. The on-the-job training should begin covering sports. It’s no longer fun to watch the babblers, and they are babblers, on what use to be the major networks.


The Oriole and Nats broadcasters know what they talk about. The non-sports talkers seem to forget the difference of being reporters and editorialists. Too many don’t know when to keep quiet when their microphones are still hot.


The current crop of O’s announcers has kept the first-class tradition of their predecessors like Chuck Thompson. The Nationals’ are grand, too.


How good it was to watch Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Harry Reasoner, Walter Cronkite, Douglas Edwards, Roger Mudd, John Chancellor and others reporting from the political conventions in the day of black-and-white television.


And, the weather reporters? Willard Scott was the model for best in the business.


Frankly, it’s Showalter-Johnson for president and vice president or Johnson-Showalter for president and vice president.


Let’s get the ballot boxes ready.


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