Little league, big politics
Satire: On these diamonds, future senators come out to play
Welcome! If you've received this letter, it means your boy or girl has joined the Capitol City Little League, the only youth baseball association that uses the Washington Monument for a foul pole.
We're looking forward to a fun season – minus the partisan bickering that caused last year's All-Star Game riot. (Returning parents may be relieved to know that Jim Carville's kids are now playing lacrosse.)
That said, a few reminders:
Parents who are running for president – Please wait until a game's final out before filming on-field campaign commercials. Also, league rules require that candidate/parents must prove they can actually identify their child before cameras can be turned on.
Learn from John Edwards's 2004 mistakes: Wingtips are unsuitable for running the bases. If the team snack is Cheese puffs, don't wear navy blue worsted.
Secret service on the field – Last year we received many complaints about Secret Service Agent Muldar, who protected Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's son by playing shortstop and batting for him. Rest assured that Mr. Muldar is no longer a problem, as the Justice Department recently named him US attorney for New Mexico. Quite a leap for a 23-year-old with only a bachelor's in PE!
What to do if your coach is indicted – According to news reports, the Maroons, Barons, Rockets, and Knights all have coaches under investigation by federal grand juries. If that seems like a lot, remember that when you're an assistant secretary on indefinite leave, you've got much more time for extracurricular activities.
Lawyer William Bennett (Kings, 1957) reminds us that any coach indicted during the season must recuse himself from writing the lineup card and hitting fungoes. The coach may remain on the sidelines and shout generic cheers, but must promise to pick up the bases after the game.
Upon conviction of a felony, coaches immediately should turn in their hats and shirts to chief umpire John Roberts.
This 'n' that – Parents are reminded that game outcomes are determined by actual runs scored. Whether teams did better or worse than expectations doesn't enter into it ... The FEC has ruled that it's legal to accept campaign contributions in the bleachers so long as the donor can explain the infield-fly rule ... Bench jockeying is fine, but please tell your kids not to call the other team "defeatocrats" or "war criminals" .... Thanks to Halliburton for the new Jumbotron ... Again this year all games will be broadcast on C-SPAN 4, due to the tireless efforts of network founder and Capitol City Little League Commissioner-for-Life Brian Lamb.
• Peter Grier is a staff writer in the Monitor's Washington bureau.