Once upon a time, it was the dream of many little boys throughout this country to become Major League baseball players. But with the rise of football to a national obsession, and the suburban mania for soccer and lacrosse, not to mention the inner city passion for hoops, not so much any more. But, one thing what has not faded is the desire to own a baseball team: being able to buy and sell players, inevitably firing your on-field manager for failing to win enough games and getting to attend all of the games in the “owner’s box,” which is the only business office in the country that comes with a ready supply of hot dogs and beer. What’s not to like?
For the Bush family of Houston, Miami and Kennebunkport, however, owning a team has become as dynastic as their once solid hold on the Presidency, as exhibited by the proposed deal for a group led by Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter to buy the moribund Miami Marlins. Since Jeb failed so miserably in his once seemingly inevitable march to the Republican presidential nomination, undone by a mean and cynical reality TV star, he seems to want to once again follow big brother George, who parlayed his ownership of the Texas Rangers to the governorship of Texas and then to the White House. Well, we all know how that turned out. And the likelihood of Jeb making a political comeback is about the same as first daughter Ivanka and sniveling husband Jarod winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
Baseball has been in the Bush family blood at least as long as when the first George captained the Yale team in the 40s. But the best Dubya could do was to become Head Cheerleader in his prep school days at Andover. Aside from flirting with recreational drugs, Jeb’s best athletic moments were on the tennis courts. Maybe his partnership with a winner such as Jeter will counter the Trump-created loser image of “low energy Jeb.”
But ownership of the Marlins may be emblematic of the Bushes fading into a recognition of their own irrelevancy. They clearly no longer epitomize a Republican Party of country clubs and Skull and Bones. That GOP has been hijacked by a brash wheeler-dealer who hides his own insecurity behind a testosterone-fueled braggadocio and who delights in humiliating his enemies. Of course Trump has little use for baseball, as he turned down the Presidential tradition of throwing out the first pitch at opening day of the hometown Washington Nationals. Or maybe it was just because he was afraid his tiny hands couldn’t grip the ball. Of course, that is not the only part of his job that he can’t quite grip. It pretty much includes everything else.
Originally published at gnallornothing.tumblr.com.