Ladies and Gentlemen, the National Review:
Put aside the unacknowledged booing for a moment. The other embarrassing fact is that my six-year-old throws a baseball better (far better, in fact) than Obama. Yet the media went out of its way to obscure that, too — no doubt wishing to avoid unfavorable comparisons to the strike President Bush famously fired from the mound at Yankee Stadium at the 2001 World Series. In its live broadcast, Fox (and remember, this is Fox Sports, not Fox News) covered Obama’s first pitch at a very weird angle that conveyed his spastic motion but didn’t do justice to how pathetic the toss was. But that’s nothing compared to ESPN’s laughable coverage. Here’s the clip. Besides reporting only that there was a “standing ovation for the commander-in-chief,” the announcer made a point of noting that Obama’s pitch “didn’t bounce” before reaching home-plate (though the announcer did cop to the “horrible camera work that made the trajectory of the pitch impossible to see).
Now, take a look at this clip from MLB.com, about 24 seconds in. It’s the only decent footage I’ve seen, and it shows that Obama’s first pitch did bounce. In fact, the pitch did not even reach home-plate — and they evidently knew it wouldn’t. The player who was sent out to catch Obama’s pitch (more on that in a moment) was crouching on top of home plate, not behind it where catchers always set up. And even so, he had to reach out a couple of feet in order to short-hop the ball, which otherwise might have bounced all the way to the backstop.
Now, you can watch the pitch yourself at the link, and it clearly didn’t hit the ground, but you just have to appreciate the fact that McCarthy, a birther and a former federal prosecutor, is now alleging that there is a grand liberal conspiracy at FOX and ESPN to cover-up, well, I’m not sure what.
At what point will his fellow denizens at the Corner stage an intervention?
One other thing- this notion that somehow pitching a ball is something the common manly man can relate to- it isn’t. Steve M. talked about this on Tuesday:
But this is still the right-wing formula: evidence of toughness or brawn or some other jockish virtue is the mark of a fine president, and is even more important than actually being good as president. I say that because even at Fox you’ll see Bush denounced these days for running up deficits and destroying the GOP brand. But he can do a manly thing Joe Lunchpail can relate to, which is why we thought he would be a great president, and it’s why it’s still true, dammit, that he was a great president, even though he was a terrible president.
Actually, even this is bizarre, because it assumes the average middle-forties joe can throw a baseball 60 ft to home plate with enough accuracy and velocity to get it to the catcher in any way resembling a major-league pitch. I hate to break it to you all, but this is not the case.
In fact, the “average” joe doesn’t even play baseball anymore. Hell, the average person doesn’t even watch baseball anymore. The average person didn’t even watch the All Start game his year, with ratings falling again to only around 15 million viewers.
So not only are these wingnuts extrapolating from a baseball pitch all sorts of perceptions of ability to be a leader and general machismo, but they are using flawed assumptions as the basis of their mythology.
McCarthy is welcome to prove me wrong. He and other known athletes like Jonah Goldberg, John Derbyshire, Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Mark Hemingway, Jim Geraghty, and the rest of the manly man line-up at NRO can post a youtube of themselves throwing a strike from a MLB mound on youtube over the weekend. I assume they’ll be able to do that, because like every other Joe Lunchpail out there, they will no doubt be spending the weekend playing baseball. Just like every other average American.
And then when they are done, I’d like to see their three-point shot.
And, as I am reminded in the comments- don’t forget your bulletproof vest before your pitch, Andy.