The Marquis de Sade, America’s Pitching Coach

Tonight, I watched a man who is one of the best ever at what he does, do the thing he does perhaps the best that he’s ever done it. I watched it for three hours, and I could have watched it for three hours more.

Two nights ago, I watched a man who is by far the worst ever at what he does, and he did it perhaps the worst that he’s ever done it. I watched it for ten minutes, and could stomach his abuse no more.

Clayton Kershaw is an artist. He has a plan, and when he executes he remains the best pitcher in baseball bar none. His fastball is no longer overwhelming, but he now reinforces it with a nifty, deceptive slider that darts low and in to right handed hitters. The problem is that Kershaw’s 92-mph fastball and his 89-mph slider look the same for about 45 feet. And while you’re trying to figure out the difference, about 20% of the time he’s breaking off a 72-mph Bugs-Bunny curveball.

Donald Trump has only one pitch, and it is a bad pitch. He only throws beanballs. All the time, all day long. He throws them in the first inning. He throws them in the ninth inning. He throws them with the bases loaded. He throws them in batting practice. He throws them in bullpen sessions. He throws them at team meetings.

Of course, there are more than a few people who would consider a masterpiece like Kershaw’s boring. “Where’s the action?,” they would cry. These prefer the nonstop terror of basebrawl—the abuse; the gaslighting; the ghastly injuries; the mob violence; the victimization of minorities, the elderly, immigrant children, the handicapped, and others disadvantaged.

Moreover, Trump’s game of basebrawl has no timeouts, and will never end. Unlike football and basketball, baseball has no clock. Kershaw has honed his art so as to finish games as quickly and painlessly as possible. He must throw pitches that miss bats and are called for strikes, or no one goes home. But Trump’s beanball is just another called ball; the batter steps into the box, knowing what’s coming.

If he successfully jumps out of the way, he takes first, eventually to score in a never-ending conga line of baserunners. If he takes the pitch in the ear, he takes first base. But he was going to get there anyway, and at least the dirty liberal bastard got the concussion, broken leg, gutshot, verbal abuse, or whatever other debilitating injury he had coming just for daring to step up to the plate. Hell, we don’t even get between-inning breaks.

The Trump cult loves this game more than anything else. For decades, white racial grievance was forced underground, expressed only by Republican politicians through code terms and dog whistles. These politicians were effective, but boring. Slow. They hung a slider or two over the plate. They even lost games on occasion.

Trump now satisfies what these angry and insatiable fans desire. He’s not a hurler of finesse and poise, and he’s not even trying to throw pitches past bats. He’s aiming only at heads, dishing out pain, tragedy, and maybe worst of all, tedium. You see, if the game never ends, the game is never lost. And pain is limitless.

The next batter steps into the box, and the first pitch? High and inside, and oh, that almost hit him!

The crowd is on its feet now, they want to see what the batter will do. Will he stutter? Will he swear? Will he still insist black lives matter? Will he lose it because the pitcher is wearing a red hat? Every batter reacts a little differently, but strangely enough they all seem to lose their cool even though the last 300 million batters saw exactly the same pitch, Newt.

You’re right, Tucker. Well, it looks like the batter is climbing back into the box. Glad he’s ok. Here’s the next pitch. OH, HE GOES DOWN AGAIN, and this time I think the pitch got him. He’s lying prone and unresponsive on the field, and while we wait for the medics to check him out, lets talk about Donald Trump, today’s pitcher. Newt?

You know, when you talk about Donald Trump, you have to talk about his big pitch, the beanball. He hasn’t lost, maintaining a perfect 0-0 record in this one game he’s pitched, and because he hasn’t recorded any outs his earned run average is incalculable! Imagine that, Rush. Every one of his opponents comes up holding a massive baseball bat, what do they expect him to do but throw the ball at them! Frankly, if he keeps going like this, there’s no reason he can’t stay on the mound forever.

This isn’t politics. It’s sadism. But there’s been a late-breaking development that may put Trump on the disabled list. He reported testing positive for COVID-19 last night, after contracting it from Hope Hicks, one of his maskless entourage of loser groupies.

For a man who will go to deplorable lengths to maintain his twin auras of invincibility and inevitability, this was a fundamental error. As an elderly, obese, non-exercising male, Trump is the poster child for high-risk COVID outcomes. One of his beanballs has become a boomerang, and now, the man who can admit no vulnerability must leave his future to fate. Maybe Mongo really is only pawn in game of life after all.

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