It’s rarely pretty when our young conservatives try to “hip” themselves to popular culture in general, but their attempts at wedging sports into the ongoing shouting match between the voices in their heads are usually the most hilarious. (A while back, The Weekly Standard essayed an all-sports issue that actual sportswriters laugh at to this day. I mean, honestly, Fred Barnes on the NBA? That would have been like sending young Bill Kristol to CBGB back in the day.) This is an attempt to enlist Bryce Harper, the authentic phenom of the Washington Nationals — and I’m not kidding, he came into Fenway and lit the joint on fire a week or so ago, and you should see him if you have the chance — into the author’s [Mark Judge] personal quest for a guest slot on Hannity. ...
Let us begin with the lead, wherein the author makes sure we know right from the opening pitch that this is more than just his appreciation of a young baseball player’s talents:
Bryce Harper is a conservative hero. The star rookie for the Washington Nationals has woken up Major League Baseball, and watching it unfold has reminded me of nothing so much as the collapse of the old political paradigms and the inevitable and upcoming rebirth of conservatism in November.
In other words, Bryce Harper is a conservative hero because my own very bizarre interpretation of his ascendance makes him one. Bear in mind, I can look at a tackhammer, and it will remind me of nothing so much as the collapse etc. etc. etc. SOROS!!!
This became clear to me on May 26 of this year. The Nationals were playing Atlanta, and in the fifth inning Harper, with his team leading by two, singled to right. The ball was hit to Braves right fielder Jason Heyward. Heyward strolled up to the ball as if he were walking to the corner for a paper. Harper promptly headed for second base. Heyward suddenly woke up and fired to second base, but too late. More than one sports writer has noted that this moment was no small thing for baseball. It was like the part in the movie “Awakenings” when the guy who was asleep for 30 years wakes up.
Yes, because no player in the past three decades ever has taken an extra base on a dilatory outfielder. Then, everybody read Hayek’s Baseball Abstract, and started hustling again. And surely I’m not the only person who’s noticed that the hustling white player and the lazy black player — baseball archetypes since the author’s grandfather was playing in the segregated major leagues — have made an appearance here, which is surely accidental.
Joe Judge not, lest ye be Judged.