Apart from stating he was a “severely conservative” Governor, the most memorable line from Mitt Romney’s speech at CPAC today was a reference to baseball:
As conservatives, we are united by a set of core commitments. But not everyone has taken the same path to get here. There are college students at this conference who are reading Burke and Hayek. When I was your age, you could have told me they were infielders for the Detroit Tigers.
Well, I must say, when I think of Burke and Hayek, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell do not immediately spring to mind. Now Romney would have been of college age when the Tigers won the World Series in 1968. But since Romney was in France at the time, I suppose he can be excused for not knowing a Tigers infield which consisted of Norm Cash, Dick McAuliffe, Don Wert and the light hitting Ray Oyler. And when I say light hitting, I mean light hitting. Oyler hit an anemic .135 in 1968. His hitting was so weak that Tigers manager Mayo Smith moved Mickey Stanley from center field and had him play shortstop in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Oyler made Mario Mendoza look like Ty Cobb.
Now I suppose it’s possible that Burke might have played cricket or perhaps even rounders as a child and maybe Hayek took in a Cubs or White Sox game while he taught at the University of Chicago. Although Burke and Hayek might look spiffy donning a Detroit Tigers cap with the classic Old English D, I can’t imagine either of them would have known what to do with a baseball glove. It would have like that old Monty Python skit in which Marx, Lenin, Mao and Che Guevara are asked questions about the FA Cup and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Yet I suppose if one were to draw up a Conservative/Libertarian All-Star Team, Burke and Hayek would be in the starting lineup and might very well be a great double play combo. Although I’m not sure who would play shortstop and who would play second base. Whoever had the stronger arm could play short. Ronald Reagan would be the starting pitcher by virtue of playing Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander in The Winning Team with Doris Day.