Play Ball! The Democrats' Presidential RosterSeptember 30, 2019
Baseball’s postseason is upon us, as the 10 surviving teams strive for a berth in the World Series. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee has been trying to narrow the field of presidential candidates for future debates. So, in baseball terms, let’s take a look at the current roster of the Democratic team, nicknamed the “Deep Blue Sox,” that wants to take on the reigning champs, the “Really Red Sox.”
The roster is definitely in flux, as a big name has moved onto the team -- late-season call-up Tom Steyer -- while others have hit the waiver wire and still more are in danger of exiting the Presidential League. But here we go. Leading off…
Starting Pitcher: Kamala Harris. Known for her Big State game and California League credentials, Harris occasionally has difficulty hitting the left corner of the plate with her criminal justice pitch. Opposing scouts and fellow Blue Sox also note her trouble with the “Medicare for All” breaking ball. It’s been questioned whether she can get through the first inning (Iowa and New Hampshire). However, indications are she will be good in the middle innings, and is looking forward to March 3 when the game is played on her home field of California.
Catcher: Pete “Eye Chart” Buttigieg. The youngest ball player on the team, the fresh-faced Hoosier got a solid jump early in the season with some timely hits. A good bit of policy bat handling at the first two debates launched Eye Chart into serious contention for a top-three finish in the Field of Dreams State. He is known for hitting to all fields with thoughtful rhetoric. Opposing managers and even some of his teammates question if he has the arm strength to make the long throw to Super Tuesday, or the experience to call the game against the crafty Red Sox.
First Base: Beto “Showboat” O’Rourke. Every team needs a lanky Texan at first base. Initially it seemed O’Rourke fit the bill as a high-average batter, but now it appears he is only a three- outcome hitter (strikeout, home run, or walk). His first few months in the Bigs earned him major media coverage -- both self-promoted and undesired -- right down to his molars. This set off a flurry of opposition-scout dumps on the holes in O’Rourke’s swing. In most cases, they point out Showboat’s tendency to hit to right field, and that he is susceptible to curveballs from southpaw pitchers. Overall, he’s hit less well than anticipated.
Second Base: Julian “Not That Guy” Castro. No relation to the Cuban pitcher of the 1950s, Fidel Castro, who was scouted by the Washington Senators. Julian has performed well at times on the debate stage where his immigration open-border play sharply contrasts with that of the Really Red Sox. But his dugout squabble with Joe Biden rubbed many fans the wrong way.
Third Base: Joe “Waffles” Biden. Back on the field, the longtime veteran is still searching for that starting role in the World Series. He could be the power hitting third baseman that the Blue Sox need in the fall classic. He has hit for high average in the past, however his fielding is questionable with notable wild throws when directed at Supreme Court nominees and the 1994 crime bill. Aging, but with World Series experience as Barack Obama’s bench coach, Biden plays well in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan ballparks.
Shortstop: Elizabeth “The Perfessor” Warren. A fleeter version of Bernie Sanders who can probably out-hit him in policy specifics, Warren is a serious student of the game. Disliked by management as a "clubhouse lawyer," Warren claims to have come up in the Indians organization but there are no records of her stat line there. Some doubt her prospects at the major league level because she has yet to prove she can hit anywhere outside the friendly confines of her home state and other liberal enclaves.
Left Field: Bernie “Red Star” Sanders. Red Star made a major run three years ago only to be defeated in the playoffs. Now he claims the Blue Sox’ player positioning (nearly everyone on the left side of the infield) is a direct result of his previous efforts. Longtime fans note that his approach to the game was first employed in the Swedish and Danish leagues. Scribes say his bat speed has diminished since the 2016 season, and his lack of foot speed has become a defensive liability.
Center Field: Cory Booker. The speedy New Jersey product rose quickly through the minor leagues in Newark to reach the big-time. Opposing teams’ scouts watching him this time around wonder if he made it The Show too soon. Patterning his approach at the plate after other stars, such as Barack Obama, he aims to avoid a left field pull-hitter shift. As centerfielder he has tried to keep the players on his left and right from colliding. Some suggest he might be an excellent bench coach during the World Series.
Right Field: Amy “Snowflake” Klobuchar. Given her family lineage, she is probably better off in the press box. Her home ballpark’s proximity to the Field of Dreams gives her a possible advantage in the Cornfield League. Known as a cold weather hitter, she’ll have to hit well in the 2020 early season to prove she belongs in the big leagues before the contests shift to warmer climes. Rumors persist that she over-reacts to coaches’ gaffes and errors, leading to discontent in the clubhouse. On the other hand, her Minnesota Nice persona has not played well with the crowd in the spit-balling environment of the debates.
On the Bench:
Michael “School Boy” Bennet: Scouts question whether the Coloradan can hit at sea level.
Steve “Cowboy” Bullock: There are always rumors of a Big Train-like ballplayer from the Upper Northwest. In his only appearance on the big stage, he spotlighted his history of winning a Red State League, and flipped his progressive bat as a challenger to Citizens United. Some think he may be the starting first baseman if Waffles Biden shows he can no longer able to catch up with the fastball.
Andrew “Wonk” Yang: A good late-inning fielding substitute, Wonk’s website (until the debates nobody had actually seen him play) details where to play for every position on the field. A long shot to get to the World Series, he has a cadre of followers among younger males.
John “No Rain” Delaney: Delaney didn’t wait for the rest of the field before stepping up to the plate in the Cornfield League two years ago. Unfortunately, he is still looking for a hanging curveball to knock out of the park. On this power team, singles won’t be enough to make management notice.
Tulsi “Soul Surfer” Gabbard: Benched after an unsuccessful cup of coffee with the Damascus Dominators, she is trying to keep her career going by hitting to every field on every pitch. Fans in spring training touted her ability to handle the Honolulu surf break and lauded her war record. But her isolationist pitch puts this big-league wannabe more in line with some of the Really Red Sox than her Democratic teammates.
Tom “Flipper” Steyer: Flipper once pronounced himself out of the Presidential League, but now is back and flashing a two-pitch repertoire. His climate change pitch was all he tossed in the California Leagues, but now he is known to throw a hard impeachment breaking ball.
Marianne “Love Boat” Williamson: No one knows what position she plays and where she fits in the batting order. But she has a strong following among the fan base, and it is unlikely she will designate herself for assignment anytime soon.
As for the opposing team? Well, the Really Red Sox claimed they won a series with the Mueller Investigators, though some in the replay booth keep insisting otherwise. Now, an expanding September roster of Ukraine Investigators across the aisle has posed a serious challenge. The only safe prediction to make is that there are plenty of contested calls ahead.