Ethan: It is official.

Phil: Indeed. You have begun your drive back to Maine with your beautiful wife after she successfully graduated with 600 hours from esthetician school in California. Congratulations, Mary.

Ethan: Although not what I was referring to, you are correct. Mary did pass her exams and we are driving across this remarkable country. I am actually writing with you from the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park.

Phil: Beautiful spot, but watch out for the bears. Their grizzlies aren’t anywhere near as timid as our Maine black bear.

Ethan: That’s why I keep telling you that we don’t need to trap and hound those poor things.

Phil: Really, you want to lose that debate again?


Ethan: No. What I was starting to say is that it is now official that there are enough people running for president that we could almost fill out an official Major League Baseball roster.

Phil: Great analogy, who’s starts on the pitcher’s mound?

Ethan: Hillary, of course. At this point, she’s the front-runner with control of the game. Everyone else is merely trying to knock her out of the game.

Phil: Fair enough. But then I would put Jeb Bush at catcher.

Ethan: Good choice. As Casey Stengel, the first manager of my “Amazin’ Mets” said when asked why he drafted a catcher first, “You have to have a catcher, or you’ll have a lot of passed balls.”

Phil: “Amazin’ ” didn’t come to my mind, but I digress. Jeb at catcher because for Republicans he’s the one most calling the signals, hoping Hillary throws a wild pitch.


Ethan: Then the governor of Wisconsin surely is at bat trying to earn a walk … a Scott walk(er), that is.

Phil: That Wyoming air is getting to you.

Ethan: Yeah, too many reminders of Dick Cheney out here in his home state.

Phil: Enough! Who do you put in the infield?

Ethan: Well, the most important trait for an infielder is not to commit errors or make dumb decisions. So that rules out Trump immediately and probably Rick Perry.

Phil: Hey, c’mon. Perry made those mistakes four years ago. He was sent down to the Sea Dogs, he’s worked on his game and now he deserves another chance.


Ethan: OK, but no way on Trump. He will only be brought out of the dugout when our team is out of first by 30 games and we need someone who can sell tickets.

Phil: More likely he’ll be released after the first road trip.

Ethan: The other important trait for an infield is that it sounds good for the announcer. You know, like “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Phil: “Trio of bear Cubs, and fleeter than birds,” so wrote Franklin Pierce Adams about those three as he watched the Cubbies beat out his Giants for the NL pennant almost every year from 1906 to 1912.

Ethan: Not so much for the next 100 years. So how about, “Perry to Carson to Paul?” As in Rick Perry at short to Ben Carson at second to Rand Paul at first. Same number of syllables, plus I am pretty sure every Republican in the field would like to throw a fastball straight at Paul for all the times he has bad-mouthed them from the floor of the Senate.

Phil: Fine, but then I think we need Chris Christie at third. You definitely want a hot head at the hot corner.


Ethan: Perfect. OK, the outfield. I say Cruz and Rubio have to cover right and left, respectively, in the tradition of the other great Cuban-American outfielders Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes.

Phil: Wait a minute. Fine to put Cruz in a position with “right” in the name, but no way Rubio covers anything called “left.” That position has to go to Bernie Sanders.

Ethan: Excellent point! But I kind of saw Bernie as the crotchety old manager “speaking truth to the powerful,” spitting on umpires when they call a poor working class batter out at the plate. Not to mention he’ll be chomping at the bit to get Hillary ejected from the game.

Phil: “A poor working class batter?!” Fine, but then I put Democrat Martin O’Malley in left since he seems the most anti-gun on your team. As for center, I would have to say either Lindsey Graham or Jim Webb. Lindsey is the most centrist on my team and Webb the most on yours.

Ethan: Webb still has shrapnel in his knee from Vietnam, so covering all of center field might be tough. Let’s put Lindsey out there and have Webb be our DH. No need for good knees when you are merely trotting around the bases after a home run.

Phil: OK, and Rubio can be a pinch runner whenever Webb only hits a single. And who will be in our bullpen as relievers?


Ethan: Look, not to be too harsh here, but middle relievers are usually your players who don’t have what it takes to start or close. That has to be Huckabee, Santorum and Fiorina. Two of them ran for president four years ago and couldn’t sustain their momentum beyond a primary or two. And Fiorina simply couldn’t close either as CEO of Hewlett Packard or when she ran against Barbara Boxer for U.S. Senate.

Phil: I would add Lincoln Chafee to the bullpen. It will be very useful to have someone who has flip-flopped from being a Republican to independent to Democrat. We can throw him against righties or lefties.

Ethan: OK, now we need a closer. The only people we have left are former New York Gov. George Pataki and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Phil: Although Pataki is from New York, I am not sure he reminds me of Mariano. I’d go with Jindal. He has both won and lost races, so he knows how to get back up after blowing a save.

Ethan: That leaves Pataki to pinch hit when one of our big boppers goes down, which is kind of what he did when no one else was willing to step up to the plate against Mario Cuomo in 1994. The rest is history, as they say.

Phil: Well, there you have it. Hopefully no more enter the race, or we’ll have to fill out another lineup card in the morning.

Ethan: Let’s play two!

Comments are no longer available on this story