“There’s no crying in baseball!”
— A League of Their Own (1992)
There’s not supposed to be any crying in politics, either. But these days, there is, especially by some small men trying to wear big pajamas as they attempt to stage legislative recalls.
Winning by any means possible is what recently prompted parents and league organizers in Chicago to stack their Little League district with ineligible players in an effort to build a “super team.” The result, engineered by winning-obsessed adults, yanked from a Las Vegas group of 12 year-old boys the opportunity of a lifetime — to visit the White House as U.S. champions.
The parallel to current Nevada politics?
Try this one on for size… Fame-seeking, outside-the-district organizers and their shadowy financiers are hoping to “change the legislative lineup” in Carson City by threatening recalls of members who haven’t yet swung at the proverbial “first pitch” (i.e., taken their first vote. Attempting to replace duly-elected Republican players with a libertarian “league of their own,” the effort will likely end as badly as it did on the South side of Chicago.
No community organizer-style machinations ought to take away the place on the team earned by John Hambrick and other Republican legislators. They played by the rules during the “regular” campaign season. Trying to reverse legitimate outcomes is right out of the pages of a “bush league” program. However, in the minor leagues of Nevada politics, it seems crying is still allowed.
Why not leave Little League to the kids?
And if you think there’s no truth to the fact… That there’s a nexus between Little League and politics, I remember a candidates’ forum in which I took part during my first election season in 1996. When asked what qualified me to enter into the realm of legislative politics, I answered without hesitation, “I’ve coached Little League in Carson City.”
There I learned what real lobbying pressure was all about from parents living vicariously through their kids. All Star selection time was far more nerve-wracking than any session-ending deals that may have to be made in early June in the Capitol.
So… if you ever have been a Little League coach–or even a league commissioner, as John Hambrick was–you are already prepared for the billions of barbs that come your way. Hambrick probably endured more calls for his ouster as a baseball commissioner than he ever will as Speaker.
Finally, one last Little League story. Frustrated by parents in Maryland, Little League officials posted the following five reminders for all to read:
- These are kids.
- This is a game.
- Coaches are volunteers.
- Umpires are human.
- You do not play for the Orioles.
Maybe Nevada should re-write those rules and stick them outside the door of the Legislature:
- Act like adults.
- The Legislature isn’t a game.
- Your coaches are the rules, both written and unwritten.
- The umpires are all your constituents.
- This is not Chicago. And we are not “The Bad News Bears.”
Or, at the very least, we should listen to Tom Hanks character (Jimmy Dugan) in the touching film about an unlikely team of baseball characters:
“It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.”