Red Sox Rumsfeld

Sep 6, 2006 7:06pm

ABC News’ Senate producer Z. Byron Wolf writes the following:

The debate on the Senate floor over whether Donald Rumsfeld is a fit Secretary of Defense took a weird turn this afternoon when the question turned from Iraq and Afghanistan to who can draw a more erudite Red Sox analogy. There are those out there, I’m sure, who can make a better determination than I as to the sports facts of this quarrel. So here they are:

Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire took the floor just after Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachussetts and said the senator "sort of makes you think that if he were giving a discussion about the Red Sox he would have said that he wouldn’t have put Bill Buckner at first, he wouldn’t have pitched to Bucky Dent, and I definitely wouldn’t have traded Babe Ruth.* I mean the concept that you come to the floor and pick out a series of events as unique items which flowed within the context of a major effort to confront the terrorist threat in this nation, confronting this nation, is truly — well, he uses the term hubris and mismanagement. I would say it is a bit of hubris, to take that position on this floor."

This drew the ire of Kerry’s spokesman David Wade, who challenged Gregg’s assertions, saying:

"New Hampshire’s own Carlton Fisk must’ve felt his blood pressure soar hearing Sen. Gregg mangle Red Sox lore on the floor of the Senate. Bottom line: when it comes to doing the job as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld is Bill Buckner, Mike Torrez, and Harry Frazee rolled into one. There are two differences. In Red Sox Nation, Grady Little lost his job when he kept Pedro Martinez in the game too long against the Yankees in the ALCS. Don Rumsfeld is still on the job. In Red Sox Nation, when the team breaks our heart, we just have to wait till next year. If only Don Rumsfeld’s mistakes were so easily fixed and forgotten. There’s no ‘waiting for next year’ in Iraq. The moment of accountability is now."

– Z. BYRON WOLF

* For the baseball trivia-challenged, ABC News’ Dick Wilde, also a Sox fan, explains that "Bill Buckner was a poor-fielding first baseman who cost the Red Sox the ’86 World Series by allowing Mookie Wilson’s dribbler to pass through his legs; Bucky Dent of the Yankees ended the Red Sox season with a solo home run in a one-game American league East playoff to end 1978, and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee insitigated the 84-year ‘Curse of the Bambino’ by selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees to finance his Broadway musical ‘No No Nannette.’"

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