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'Y' for Wyoming

BY BEAU ELLIOT | FEBRUARY 28, 2012 6:30 AM

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In these days of waiting (and waiting) (then doing some more waiting) for the baseball season to start — and pondering what the Red Sox are going to do for a shortstop, having traded theirs away for minor-league pitchers …

What? you say. Who would do that?

Um, the Red Sox. You're interrupting, by the way. The thinking in the BoSox (which I prefer to spell BeauSox) brain trust — yes, I use the term advisably — is that in 2004, Theo Epstein traded away the shortstop, and the Sox went on to win the World Series. (We'll just ignore the fact that Theo got a shortstop in return, not minor-league pitchers. Ahem. That's French for "ignore.")

(And if you believe that, I've got a spare Pont Neuf on my hands that you can buy. Cheap.)

And pondering the Sox and their shortstop, or lack thereof (I'm still available, Red Sox, though I seem to have this philosophical problem with going to my right — on the other hand, I am a lifelong Red Sox fan; my first words, my father reports, were "Carl Yastrzemski," and my father was quite impressed that a 1-year-old American could correctly pronounce a Polish name. My mother, not so much.)

Meanwhile, back at the pondering, you might suppose that thnking about the Sox and shortstops and baseball in general is a waste of time. But it keeps my mind, such as it is, from thinking about Iranians and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Fox News.

And frankly, anything — even knitting — is better than thinking about Iranians and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. (OK, die-hard knitters, you don't have to throw your needles at me. I'll go quietly.)

But then the Wyoming Legislature comes lassoing its way into your life (OK, my life). There's a bill in the Wyoming House that would allow the state, in case the national economy goes the way of the Fukishima nuclear reactors (the economy is going the other way, but never mind), to print its own currency, raise a standing army, and buy an aircraft carrier. Among other things.

Yeah, aircraft carrier. Yeah, I know; Wyoming is nearly as far from any ocean as Iowa. Maybe the Wyoming legislators thought they could put the carrier in the Platte River — though the last time I saw the Platte, it had a broad river valley and roughly 8 inches of water. (OK, maybe 10 — you know how bad men are at judging inches. Much better at yards or even meters.)

"Y" for Wyoming, as a friend of mine once said.

Then there's the Iranian government minister who, before the Academy Awards show, pooh-poohed the Oscars, saying they were a frivolous exercise in a backwater country (a loose translation; my Farsi isn't what it used to be, and it used to be nowhere).

Backwater country? Hey, Iranian government minister, this is the USA. We've got lots of front water, too.

Which brings us to one of my favorite writers, Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker, who recently wrote: "TV journalism's most pathological mutation, Fox News, propagandizes for the Republican right as faithfully, slickly, and humorlessly as Russian state TV does for Vladimir Putin."

Well, to be honest, I love that. But to be fair (a word that Fox News employs without quite knowing what it means — it's an undergraduate sort of thing, kind of like the word "dude"), I'm not sure I'd slander Russian state TV quite that much.

And Newt (remember him? me, neither) keeps calling President Obama the most dangerous president in U.S. history. Which is quite something, given that it's coming from the most dangerous husband in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, Red Sox, about that shortstop — you know, pitchers really, really like to have a shortstop back there. It's kind of traditional.


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