Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Mitch McConnell wants baseball back for one reason: Serve his political interests.
Mitch McConnell wants baseball back for one reason: Serve his political interests.
Illustration: Eric Barrow (Getty)

Being a Webster’s-worthy definition of “hypocrisy” isn’t anything new for Senator Mitch McConnell. At this point it’s of the same regularity to him as breathing.

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We know he’d make it a law to light your puppy on fire if he thought it would protect the richest among us and keep Republicans in the ascendency. So it should be no surprise that even though he heads the “KEEP POLITICS OUT OF SPORTS, LIBTARD” party, he’ll happily use sports to cover for his party’s ass allowing thousands to die through sheer incompetence, ignorance, and indifference.

On Friday, Senator McConnell — the biggest snake and fuckstick in the Capitol building who has set democracy back a couple of decades (hence Moscow Mitch) — told a Louisville radio station that he had personally called MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to urge baseball to come back. Of course, there was no mention from McConnell on what precautions, or measures, or landmarks on battling the Coronavirus he would need to see before welcoming it back. Can’t imagine why. Hard to ignore McConnell would have none of the risk, would he?

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It’s particularly strange from McConnell, whose home state has no major professional team of any kind, and only relationship to any is being in the Cincinnati area. There wasn’t any mention of minor league baseball, of which there are three in Kentucky, including Louisville which is where his interview was broadcast. But minor league baseball won’t catch the attention of the masses, will it? And there’s even less chance of minor league baseball having a season this summer than MLB, which pretty much everyone admits. Churchill Downs just received permission to run races without fans, and certainly that’s as of much interest to the residents of Kentucky as just about any other sporting interest. Sure, McConnell has a national platform now, but at the end of the day he’s still beholden to his constituents, no? He’d better think so, as his re-election bid is no lock at the moment.

McConnell gave the game away with this money quote, “If we can salvage part of baseball, surely we can salvage football, as well.” And that is probably the real fear for Republicans. People will certainly miss baseball if there’s no season, but it would still be summer, even if our activities are severely limited. And it’s not as popular as football. It also happens to not be as close to the election as football. Strange coincidence, that.

But should the NFL and college football see a delayed start, and they very well might, and almost certainly without fans, people will notice. A lot of people will notice. And as stupid as it might seem, and is, we all know that no football is going to piss off a lot more people than no baseball, or hockey, or basketball. And it’s going to piss off a lot more of the people who would vote for McConnell and his kind than the other three sports. Possibly more than the other three sports combined.

Take away their tailgates, and watch the revolution begin.

Which makes it all the more obvious that McConnell is only interested in throwing whatever smoke bombs he can to the floor so he can make his exit before he has to actually do what’s right. The latter has never been an interest of the senator. As we’ve discussed previously here, sports to our government is just a tool to distract. What McConnell wants, what Donald Trump wants, what George Bush wanted 19 years ago, was the appearance that things were getting back to normal. If sports are around, in whatever form, people might begin to feel more centered, and might assume that things are more under control and possibly forget about the problems they face. Which they most certainly aren’t. And they might not notice that their federal government has failed them in the biggest way if there’s still baseball to watch. That is McConnell’s only interest here.

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That’s also why all the commissioners and Vince McMahon and a host of other sports officials have been on conference calls and had the president in their ear. It’s not about the industry or the jobs they provide. It’s about an appearance of normalcy, which in all honesty is gone, likely forever. Because honestly, what do these people have to offer to a government that has far bigger questions to answer right now. But they’ll still seek it. It’s just about the only card they have left to play.

What McConnell doesn’t want is a prolonged feeling of helplessness, or anger, or anything that might make more and more people realize that he and his cronies don’t have any plans, or even interest, in doing what’s necessary. They’ve already fucked this up as much as possible, and now they need to spin as many plates as they can to make people forget that. Sports happens to be one of the bigger ones. You’ve already seen what some of the populace, the sad and pathetic portion of it, thinks of having their daily routines disrupted. They’re the Hee-Haw extras with assault rifles on various capital building steps (or in them) the past week. The ones screaming at police they had claimed to love so much when Colin Kaepernick was simply taking a knee on the sidelines before football games. That will be directed at only democratic governors for so long. These people will go utterly apeshit, or somehow more so, if they aren’t allowed to yell at children in pads on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons.

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The Right is happy to rant and wail when sports are used to point out things they have no interest in fixing or don’t even think of as a problem, as it has nothing to do with them. Use sports as a platform to protest police brutality, or lack of gun control, or gay rights, or sexual assault, or equal pay, and not only will they tell you you’re wrong but that you’re wrong for even bringing it into their daily enjoyment of sports.

But when it can be a tool to cover for fucking up everyone’s daily routine and millions of lives irrevocably, well then sports are most welcome in the political arena, aren’t they?

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That’s what McConnell is counting on.

Have you ever looked at a dollar bill, man?

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