We don’t talk about just politics on the “This Week” roundtable. With the start of the professional baseball season, and Boston’ Fenway Park reaching its centennial birthday, I asked Keith Olbermann and ABC’s George Will for their thoughts and predictions on the season that is just getting underway. Olbermann is liking the chances of the Tampa Bay Rays and for Will’s part, well, he thinks the Texas Rangers are the team to “fear” right now. You can take a look at the entirety of our conversation below.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And it’s an uphill fight, because you got two-thirds of the country saying we’re going on the wrong track. We only got a couple minutes left before you guys go. I want to get to baseball. Three weeks into the season, big day at Fenway on Friday, 100th birthday at Fenway, and yesterday a perfect game, only the 21st in baseball’s history, from Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox.
George, I guess I’ll come to you first. Wrigley is right behind Fenway. Is that — there it is. Your Cubs aren’t doing any better than the Red Sox.
WILL: The good news is, the Cubs are in midseason form. The bad news is the same thing. Wrigley Field is two years younger. After that, the oldest ballpark in baseball is Dodger Stadium, 1962. But one of baseball’s great strengths is, it’s only the sport that can say, “We were here 100 years ago.” There were Civil War veterans watching games in Fenway Park. Baseball has a sweep of American history that no sport can rival.
OLBERMANN: This tension over the decades between tearing down our past in baseball or continuing it — Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, legendary memory, evocative of Jackie Robinson and all that’s great with the game, was built a year after Fenway Park and has been gone for 52 years. Fenway Park, you’ll remember this very well, we both fought against it, the ownership of the Boston Red Sox in the late 1990s was trying to tear it down. There is always this tension. Fortunately, I think the thing has swung the other way, because this week we also had a 50-year-old pitcher win a game, only the second time in baseball history. Fortunately, that pendulum has swung back towards recognizing that the history is a vital part of this game.
WILL: We conservatives are always told, “You can’t turn the clock back.” You can turn it back. We’ve done it with — beginning with Camden Yards and all the other retro ballparks. They said the past was better. Words to live by.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Before we go, quickly, who’s got the best chance this year?
OLBERMANN: I like the Tampa Bay Rays. I know that’s not a trendy pick, but I think it’s a balanced organization.
STEPHANOPOULOS: George, your Nationals are doing pretty well.
WILL: Nationals are doing well, but it’s April. Texas Rangers are the team to fear right now.