The long saga of the Nats’ search for a new spring training home has mostly been dull. But before the Osceola County Commissioners rejected a proposed new stadium last week, things got un-dull for at least three minutes, when one Florida man got up to give his take on the matter.
“Gentlemen,” he began, “words kind of fail me, which for me is rare.”
“Extremely,” agreed one of the commissioners.
“After listening to [another speaker named Brian], I don’t know what else I can say,” our Florida Man continued. “If you can vote against Brian’s position, you’re gonna vote for it regardless of what I say. In 30 seconds, he quoted William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, the Bible and Keanu Reeves in The Replacements. It was an unbelievable job. I was moved.
“Every now and then, sometimes it’s a good idea to speak from the heart, and that’s what I’d like to do to finish,” he continued. “When the Continental Convention was happening and they were getting ready to vote on the Declaration of Independence, they had a secretary. Well, the secretary didn’t keep notes; she just took down one idea from each speaker. Well, when Senator Rutledge [spoke], or Congressman, whatever they called him, Rutledge from South Carolina, she simply wrote who stinketh the most.
“And what they were talking about was that the New England territories wanted to abolish slavery in 50 years and put it in the Declaration of Independence, and also abolish the slave trade in 50 years. This of course would have destroyed the Southern economies. Rutledge got up and he said what’s that smell I smell coming down from Boston? It’s hypocrisy. He says you guys sail all the ships in the triangle trade, you make all the money in this. And you just want to hurt the South because Charleston’s the richest city in the United States at the time. Which it was.
“Nobody had any good motives for that. Nobody cared about the black people.”
At this, his phone began ringing, loudly. He fished it out of his pocket.
“I hope this isn’t one of my damn bill collectors,” he said, gazing at the phone.
“Well, anyway,” he went on, as his phone continued to ring, “nobody cared anything about the black people. They were all willing to do just about anything for the Shilling. Well, it’s this deal here. When I first saw these guys [representing the Nats], heard them talk, and they used shot-up veterans from the Iraqi Wars to come down here and hoo-dang you guys [with] that movie, I said it can’t get any worse than that. But you know, I was wrong!”
Here Florida Man pounded the lectern, as his phone continued to ring.
“Siegel (?) shows up and talks about the poor people living up in those hotels,” he thundered. “He’d just as soon we called in drone strikes on those people! So I’m saying to myself, who stinketh the most? I finally decided. [The Nats] do. Thank you gentlemen.”
Then he walked away.
“After hearing that, I think I want to go back and talk about horses again,” began the next speaker.
You can watch it here. The speech begins around 1 hour, 24 minutes and 40 seconds into the hearing.