In lieu of throwing any more fuel onto the fine fabulous furry freakout fire that is social media today )DACA! WALL! TRUMP! SCHUMER! PELOSI! ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM! Okay, I might have thrown that last one in there) let’s talk sports in a way even the asporting, this being to athletic competition what apolitical is for those not giving a hoot about government machinations, can appreciate. Or at least tolerate.
Yesterday, the Oakland Athletics, better known as the Oakland A’s, announced the selection of a preferred location for their much-needed new ballpark. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in 2021 with occupancy in 2023. This might seem like an inordinately lengthy timespan, but given the need to buy and clear the property, deal with the NIMBYs living nearby plus the ninnys in local government – pardon the redundancy – plus all the usual California ridiculousness, it’s a decent plan.
The A’s have for years done everything wrong while trying to get a new ballpark: begging for government funding, looking to move elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, and crying poor with ownership that had more money than Bill Gates’ piggy bank. Recently, changes have been made, with a new point man Dave Kaval put in charge. And oh, what a difference a Dave makes: major community outreach, major dressing up the perilously close to crumbling Oakland Coliseum, and a promise to the A’s longsuffering fan base that yes, we’ll stop always trading in lieu of resigning our young talent when they hit their stride. The Bat Pack, as A’s 110% made of awesome beat reporter Susan Slusser has dubbed the freshfaced crop of kids led by developing superstud third baseman Matt Chapman, will be breaking pitchers hearts and blasting homers for years to come. In new digs.
The veteran Christian arena rock band Petra once sang, “Good things come to those who wait / Not to those who hesitate / So hurry up and wait upon the Lord.” While baseball, its most fervent fans notwithstanding, is not comparable with faith in Christ on the importance list, there is a valuable lesson here. Put simply, it is this: in so many areas of life, momentary matters far too often are subjected to urgent tyranny rather than patient, encompassing thought.
Yes, it has taken a painfully long time to get to yesterday’s announcement regarding a new ballpark. Yes, it will seem like an eternity sweating out every step until construction starts. But it will happen. Baseball, the great American constant, will continue in Oakland as it has for forty-nine years.
The memories of victories and defeats, the last game I attended with my beloved beyond words late father; these will carry on. The empty feeling of sitting in the Coliseum stands after what turned out to be the 1994 season’s last game before the strike, when the A’s were for sale and their future in Oakland anything but certain, wondering if this would be the last time I would ever see my team … that feeling I will cheerfully forever banish.
Really, people who live on the eternal ragged edge, forever frothing and foaming at the mouth at every turn of the political wind. Will you relax? Very, very little is decided in an instant in politics or anywhere else. Breathe. Relax. Let it slide. Far more often than not, it will end up sliding in safe at home. So let it be.
When I’m wrong I say I’m wrong. This particular mistake was one that I would kick myself for missing if I were more flexible. Instead, I’ll simply call out my errors and try to set a more accurate perspective.
I missed it completely on President Trump and DACA. It’s arguably the first time I didn’t see the 4D chess at work. Perhaps I was simply being blinded by hope. Before he officially rescinded DACA, I applauded rumors that he would be doing just that. I added emphasis to the opening paragraph of that particular article titled, “Letting DACA lapse would be the President’s best move so far.”
Rumors are flying that President Trump could announce the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), allowing one of his predecessor’s most egregious examples of overreach to fade away into oblivion.
Call it an assumption that he wouldn’t go against one of his most consistent and arguably the most important promise he made to his base. He declared shortly after launching his campaign in 2015 the DREAMers had to go. When asked by Chuck Todd whether he’d split up families, candidate Trump doubled down on the narrative by saying no families would be split up… because he’d deport everyone in the family who wasn’t supposed to be here.
I followed up that article once the official announcement about rescinding it was put forth. Like a silly boy hoping that Santa was real but noticing the handwriting on all the gifts was the same, I suspended my disbelief in the president’s worthiness by posting “Trump to end DACA the right way for the right reasons.”
For President Trump, this is a win-win. He is fulfilling one of his most important campaign promises and setting the stage for the GOP to demonstrate their resolve on the issue. If they do, he wins because the “blame” will be spread throughout the party rather than just focusing on him. If they cave for political expediency and recreate a congressional version of DACA, then President Trump did his part and Congress was the body that changed.
DACA will end up being STRONGER once Congress pushes it through as the law of the land rather than an unconstitutional executive order. In fact, had Trump done nothing, the Supreme Court likely would have put a stop to DACA altogether. Oh well. Maybe we’ll get a wall someday. Maybe not.
It was back in Chicago that I found out that the EWTN Family Celebration in Worcester was going to take place at the very same time as our Stacy McCain event. This was an event I would have to cover but I perceived it would be a good event for Stacy to cover as well as faithful catholic women with large families would be a great contrast to the various feminists that Stacy would see. Additionally I was supposed to meet with the head of the Catholic Marketing Network over another matter and we arranged to meet at the location.
As I had to fulfill my Sunday mass obligation I figured it was a better idea to hit the mass presided over by the Bishop rather since anyone I wanted to interview at the event would be unavailable during mass.
So by 9 AM we were on the road and after an uneventful trip down proceeded to the DCU center.
As we were checking in I quickly found why so many of the people who had shown an interest in going to Stacy McCain’s event had missed it, those who might have missed the pro-life rally in Fitchburg at the same time as ours were all volunteering for EWTN, including a good chunk of the WQPH volunteer pool. After grabbing a quick shot of the Knights of Columbus 4th degree who were assembling to process at mass headed upstairs where we discovered to my shock that our station while just 25 minutes to the north didn’t have a booth.
On the plus side I found that both Elena Rodriguez and Dorothy Radlicz who I had interviewed in Chicago remembered me fondly and Dorothy particularly had been impressed by the various interviews that I had conducted. This would turn out to be rather critical for both Stacy and I before the end of the day.
Stacy had no interest in Mass so he stayed upstairs setting up as I, leaving the laptops at our table across from the Religious catalog area, headed downstairs cameras in hand. Bishop McManus was the primary celebrant and it made for an unusual dynamic. Unless mass is celebrated at a Bishop’s home Cathedral, or you are at a conference of Catholic Bishops or a high ranking Cardinal or the Pope visiting the local Bishop presiding over a mass is a big deal as it doesn’t happen often, but even rarer that a Bishops visit was seeing in person behind the altar were eight priests from EWTN that the assembled faithful regularly welcome into their homes or on their car radios. Additionally with EWTN present there was a fair amount of praying in Latin with the Gloria in excelsis Deo (glory to God), Angus Dei (Lamb of God), and even the Pater Noster (Our Father) all in Latin.
But the story here that I really wanted Stacy to see wasn’t the mass or even the reaction to the crowd seeing these priests, it was the large families with multiple kids. Having discovered that the family sitting behind me in mass had 10 children and seeing these families I grabbed Stacy, cutting short my meeting with Mr. Napelton, to try and get an interview with them. There was a group of four families outside of mass that between them had 22 children which is more than the all the authors of the feminist books in Stacy’s carry on luggage combined. Unfortunately for me and for him all while they would talk to us (one commented how her large family was not so much a rejection of feminism as an embrace of the graces and blessing granted by God through her family) not a one was willing to go on camera or have their names recorded. This was a huge disappointment but we of course respected their decision.
At this point it was time to start grabbing interviews, As this story is about Stacy’s visit I’ll save most of them for a separate post dedicated to the subject leaving only this one with the National Catholic Register to give you a taste.
So what was Stacy doing while I was dashing around? It turns out not much. It seems there was no internet at the location so he was stranded and with the families unwilling to go on the record or even consent to a picture there was very little for him to report however this is where Dorothy’s interest in my work would pay dividends again. She made it a point to introduce me to Molly Finn host of Close to home on WCCA TV Worcester. I in turn introduced her to Stacy McCain which was to become the most significant event of the day.
So while I was grabbing interviews with Marcus Grodi, Jack Williams and even EWTN CEO Michael Warsaw Stacy remained speaking with Mrs Finn who was completely fascinated with him and his arguments on feminism and by the time we left the DCU center we had an appointment to be at the WCCA studios for Stacy McCain to tape an appearance on her show to discuss his book and feminism.
That scheduled TV appearance took a lot of the sting out of losing several hours of net time so after introducing Stacy to Fr Pacwa (not an easy task as the lines to see him were huge) and making she he had a copy of both Stacy’s book and mine appearance we headed off.
Stacy wanted to visit Clark University and that was our next stop. we strolled along the campus seeing posters pushing socialism
and this plaque of Robbert Goddard that solicited comment from Stacy
It was sometime around this point that I mentioned to Stacy that Clark was only one of 10 colleges in Worcester and we started hitting them, from Worcester State College to Quinsigamond Community College which being a two year community college had nobody around of campus on the weekend to WPI where 7 years prior Stacy and I covered Bill Clinton’s failed attempt to carry Martha Coakley over the finish line against Scott Brown starting the Tea Party movement’s national winning streak.
At each stop except Quinsigamond Stacy went out and explored the campus diving in to see what was going on, grabbing student newspapers when possible and checking out their “diversity” and woman’s studies departments as possible. While I joined in at Clark I dozed off at Worcester State and found the parking so far away from the college proper simply dropped Stacy off and again dozed until he came back.
At this point it was getting late so we headed back to Fitchburg where Stacy repeated this process with my almamater Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg State college when I attended). When his explorations were done we headed home. There was a lot to write, I had a podcast to try to finish (which wouldn’t be done until the next day) and we had to prepare for our final full day which would mean a trip to Worcester for Stacy’s TV appearance and a long drive to UMass Amherst to the west. The photo gallery follows at the bottom
Robert Stacy McCain in Massachusetts the Story so far:
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