Bryce Harper is an amazingly talented 19 year old rookie who may already be the best hitter on the first place Washington Nationals baseball team. His baseball talent and hard work should be enough to talk about but, sadly, are not, because conservative website Daily Caller, the brain child of Jon Stewart’s bow-tied whipping boy Tucker Carlson, which has staked out its own special place on the intertubes as a pimple on the ass cheek of journalism, decided that columnist Mark Judge, the shit stain on the underwear of op-ed writers, deserved a platform to use Bryce Harper as a prop in a lame political screed against imagined lazy liberals.
I should mention that this is the same Mark Judge that, in response to having his bicycle stolen near Catholic University in Washington, DC, wrote an earlier column in the Daily Caller shouting from the rooftops that he’s renouncing his white guilt. For a little context, I attended grad school at Catholic U and happen to know the area personally. Catholic U is in Brookland, a very poor and heavily African American neighborhood in DC. Oh, no, Judge never presumes that a (cough) black person stole his bike. He’s not stereotyping. He’s only implying that Brookland is full of enough poor lazy bike stealing black people to safely let go of white guilt. But amazingly, that was only the second worst column Judge has ever written. Let’s look at his steaming turd on Bryce Harper, quite possible the worst thing anyone has ever written about anything.
“Bryce Harper is a Conservative Hero.”
Yes, that is the title. It’s also the article’s lede. Strange. When I watch Bryce Harper, I see a cocky teenager who, yup, named his dog “Swag,” has a faux-hawk haircut, and wears a bit too much eye black, but I don’t care because he has an amazing arm and a sweet swing and I was lucky enough to snag him on my fantasy team when Washington called him up from Triple-A in late April. But what does Judge see when he watches Harper play?
“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.”
I didn’t know it was possible to pull conservative politics out of baseball without reading bow tie wearing gasbag George Effing Will. How does Judge find his conservative fantasy in Bryce Harper?
“This became clear to me on May 26 this year. The Nationals were playing Atlanta, and in the fifth inning Bryce Harper 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.”
Harper is white. Heyward is black. Not that we are to assume Mark Judge is playing on the negative stereotype of the lazy black man.
“Heyward’s bungle showed a complacency, if not indolence, that Harper threatens to destroy, but it also could be a metaphor for the collapse of the old liberal order. Heyward was like one of those public school teachers who, because they are a union member, can’t be fired and so are relegated to the “rubber room” to sit and read the paper and gather a check for the rest of their lives.”
Black people and teachers are ruining America!
“Watching Bryce Harper play is like listening to an economic speech by Paul Ryan: It’s long on reality and short on excuses. Harper has slapped baseball awake, and every time he steps up to the plate, years of crusty baseball routine no longer apply.”
As Charles Pierce already pointed out,* Bryce Harper was the #1 draft pick in baseball at age 17. Paul Ryan, who wants to cut Medicare and starve your granny, was collecting social security at age 17.
So who’s the next hero Judge trots out? Oh, his own grandfather Joe Judge, who played Major League Baseball in the nineteen teens and twenties, in the glory days back before Jackie Robinson and the rest of those bicycle stealing blacks were allowed in.
“His career spanned two eras, the dead ball era (1900 to 1919) and the live ball era, from 1920 on, when home runs became much more prevalent. When Babe Ruth arrived in New York in 1919 and baseball changed some rules — including using new balls in every game so you could actually see what you were swinging at — Joe Judge could have insisted that this wasn’t fair, that Major League Baseball was stealing his livelihood, and that Ruth’s ungodly salary represented the one percent. He could have occupied Griffith Stadium.
Instead, he accepted that the old way of doing things was gone, and it wasn’t coming back. And he helped the Senators win the World Series in 1924.”
Again, to repeat Charles Pierce, Joe Judge had a higher batting average during the live ball era twenties. The only thing keeping him from making an even better wage was the reserve clause keeping him tied to one team with no negotiating leverage, which is probably the economic system Joe Judge’s grandson would like to impose on all Americans, especially those uppity bike stealing blacks.
*For a few more good take-downs of Mark Judge’s shit sandwich, check out David Roth at The Classical, Craig Calcaterra at Hard Ball Talk, and Jim Newell over at Wonkette. And, of course, read Pierce.