Donald Trump as Hal Chase

Four years ago I told you a bit about a fellow by the name of Hal Chase, let me refresh your memory a bit.

First Baseman Hal Chase reached the majors in 1905 and almost instantly was proclaimed a star. As Bill James put it:

No one ever saw him play without being left gasping for adjectives

While he was universally considered great word started getting out that he wasn’t above throwing games (or “laying down” as it was called at the time) and that was the buzz on him for years and while some managers and players talked about it nobody did a thing about it until he was managed by  Christy Mathewson.

Mathewson was so honest & trusted umpires would ask his help on close plays without objection from the opposing team.  So when Chase continued his business there Mathewson suspended him and the case went before the National League.

By the time the case was called however Mathewson was in France fighting World war one and Chase managed to make the case that those who backed the charges were part of a clique against him and was acquitted.

And thus the 1919 World Series was thrown.

Which brings us to Donald Trump.


It was less than a week ago that we saw this:

If you confront Trump or his supporters on any of these questions of inconsistency, they’re already shopping a new answer. You see, he’s been projecting an image. (AP)

Donald Trump’s chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been “projecting an image” so far in the 2016 primary season and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving” in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.


and heard this:

The most interesting thing Manafort said yesterday, incidentally, wasn’t the bit about Trump playing a part. I think it was this:

“Is Donald Trump running against the Republican National Committee?” asked Mr. Manafort, referring to the candidate’s unrelenting assault on what he calls the “crooked” nominating process. “The answer is he is not.”

“He gave us the mandate to bring together a team of professionals that could finish the job for him, but could also then begin to link in with the establishment institutions that are part of our party, what you represent, what the state parties represent,” he said, also alluding to think tanks and members of Congress. “We’ve started all those conversations,” said Manafort, adding of Mr. Trump, “He cares about the united team.”

Trump changing his “tone” on the trail for different audiences is one thing, Trump buddying up to “establishment institutions” within the party is another. Cruz is under pressure to do that too, but the whole point of Trump’s attack on Cruz lately is that he’s a phony outsider who’s taking full advantage of the establishment’s “rigged system.” Now here’s Manafort reassuring the RNC that he’s not running against them and even wants to “link in” with them.

As Jazz Shaw described it:

Getting past the absurd sounding phrase on the surface, it actually is pretty hard to accuse Trump of flip flopping. Why? Because aside from building a wall and taking care of veterans, Trump has taken both sides of pretty much every other issue at one point or another over his long career. That’s what’s confounding so many of his opponents: you just never know what the guy is going to say next.

Do you support position A or position B?

As I’ve always said, I support position A.

But last week you said B.

Yes, but last month I clearly said A, as I’ve always maintained.

But.. but…

Next question.

He’s also been free to fire off opinions on subjects which would completely sink any traditonal conservative and continue to march on down the campaign highway relatively unscathed.

Yet as Rush Limbaugh pointed out on Wednesday not only did Donald Trump win all five states that he was expected to win yesterday (which in itself was NBD) but he won EVERY COUNTRY of every state that voted on Tuesday.

What does this mean, simply this.

All of those stories concerning Trump as putting on an act have been out there for a week, it was covered heavily by the media and was in magazines and sites all over the place, but in every single county of Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania GOP voters decided that Trump’s inconsistency on issues and the idea that he is basically putting on a “performance” was not a reason to vote for someone else.

As Bill James put it on page 332 of an earlier version of his baseball abstract concerning Mr. Chase:

“He was free, then. It had all be brought out into the open, and he had gotten by with it.

In fairness that sentence would be a pretty good description of Hillary Clinton too, but I was under the impression that the GOP was supposed to be a party of objective truth vs relative truth.  I’ll give the last word to a man and God named Jesus Christ:

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37


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