Harry Reid draws analogy between Obama and Davey Johnson


Via @SenatorReid.

I normally think obsessive sports fandom is great, but I’m starting to worry a little bit about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Maybe he needs to chill on the Natitude for a few weeks. Read some Pynchon or something. Tune into the NBA playoffs. Dust off the grill. Just something else.

Because it seems like every other day, Reid is talking Nats on the Hill. It’s good to have a work-fandom divide. Separate spheres. Trust me.

But already this month, Reid has posed for photos with Davey Johnson and talked about Bryce Harper’s collision with a wall, promising to call Harper’s parents to see how the outfielder was doing.

In the past, you’ll recall, Reid used “That’s a Clown Question, bro” at a press conference, and talked about Stephen Strasburg on the Senate Floor, and talked about the decline of The Post’s sports section.

But none of that compared to Thursday morning, when he went on an extended discussion of the Nats, as they relate to political nominations that are stalled in the Senate. A transcript:

“That’s what I wanted to be, was a baseball player, as I was a boy,” Reid said. “It didn’t take long ’til I learned that I wasn’t big enough, fast enough or good enough to be the baseball player of my dreams. But that hasn’t taken away my love of the game. I’ve followed it so closely for these many years. And I follow it really, really closely.

“I was a cheerleader for any team that Greg Maddock [sic] was on. He came from Valley High School in Las Vegas, almost immediately was a star baseball player in the Major Leagues. And whatever team he was on was the team that I cheered for.

“I’ve been in Washington now for a number of years,” Reid went on. “They’ve had, in recent years, a professional baseball team. I’m reminded, Mr. President, when I was going to law school back here and working in this building, I went to Griffith Stadium and watched baseball games. I only watched two. But I watched the Washington Senators play the New York Yankees twice — Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, that crowd. So I remember that.

“And in recent years, in fact the last two years, I have focused on the Nationals a lot because of another phenomenon from Las Vegas by the name of Bryce Harper. And he’s meant so much to that team, as we learned last night. He is recovering from running into the wall at full speed, hurting himself. But last night he was the reason they won. He hit a home run and a double in the 10th inning and made a sensational catch. He was really very, very good.

“The reason I mention that is because Davey Johnson is the manager of the Washington Nationals. He has managed five different Major League Baseball teams. He is one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball. He won pennants, national championships.

“But what would the Washington Nationals be like today if he didn’t have the ability to have the players he wanted?” Reid asked. “That someone would say, okay, you can have your third baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, but you have to wait, you’re not gonna get him in the beginning of the season, you can wait until August. We’ll let him come in in August. Or their first baseman, LaRoche. He is a good first baseman, Golden [sic] Glover. You can’t have him for a while, wait for a few months and then we can bring him on.

“Well that, Mr. President, is an example of what is going on here in the United States Senate,” Reid concluded. “The President of the United States does not have the team that he wants, the team that he deserves.”

Of course, either does Davey, but that’s a different matter.

“This is the most Harry Reid speech ever,” Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner wrote on Twitter. “Using the Nats as an allegory for delays in nominations…It seems like Reid is saying Obama=Davey Johnson, but wouldn’t it make more sense if Obama=Rizzo in context of team-building?”

Good question. While you ponder that one, Reid was already off making another Nats reference.

“Trying to dismiss a Republican argument over the number of judges on a federal appeals court, Reid resorted to quoting Harper’s most famous line to date,” the Washington Times reported. “‘As Bryce Harper would say, That’s a clown question bro,’ Mr. Reid said.”

I’m telling you, sir, try Blackhawks-Red Wings Spurs-Grizzlies on Thursday night. It’ll be good for you.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · May 23, 2013