Last night, in the immediate aftermath of a major league baseball game, a major league baseball player joined Woodward and/or Bernstein to talk about his game-winning hit. Standing on the field as the crowd left the stadium, the player leaned toward the mic and said, “I was just looking…”
Nodding, Woodward and/or Bernstein glanced at the camera and then at the player. “Go ahead,” he and/or they intoned. “Tell me and/or us what you were looking for. And please, consider your responsibility to both the social contract and your own conscience. Be honest.”
The player nodded, as if to concur with the need for candor, and went on. “I was just looking for a pitch…”
In efforts to guarantee a full accounting of the truth, insofar as truth might be adjudged by one person and not by the more rigorous form of consensus, Woodward and/or Bernstein pulled back the mic and inquired, “What kind of pitch? More importantly, for what reason did you look for this pitch?”
Again the player nodded, more solemnly this time, as if to consider afresh the full weight of his response. As the player began to speak, Woodward and/or Bernstein interjected once more.
“And keep in mind, sir, that not only does America want to know, America needs to know.”
As if to underscore the wants and, more critically, the needs of the aforementioned nation, Woodward and/or Bernstein gazed into the camera and thus into homes across the land, through which tacit connection the reporter and/or reporters made a vow of pending disclosure.
Woodward and/or Bernstein turned back to the player.
The player cleared his throat and leaned toward the mic.
“Well, as I was saying,” he said, “I was just looking for a pitch I could… ”
Again Woodward and/or Bernstein interjected.
“Sir, before you answer, let us clarify a few things,” he and/or they intoned. “First and/or foremost, were you or were you not trying to do too much?”
“I was not,” the player replied. “I was not trying to do too much.”
“And were you or were you not trying to stay within yourself?”
“Indeed, I was trying to stay within myself.”
“Lastly, were you just looking to put a good swing on it?”
“Now that you mention it,” the player said, “yes.”
“Mmm hmm, mmm hmm,” Woodward and/or Bernstein replied, nodding. “Well, that brings us back to the question at hand. You have already mentioned – in fact, mentioned several times – that you were just looking for a pitch that you – and here I and/or we quote – ‘could.’ Could something.”
Woodward and/or Bernstein gazed at the camera, then at the player. “Well … could what?”
“Hit hard,” the player replied. “That’s what batters do. We look for pitches we can hit hard, as opposed to pitches we can’t hit hard.”
Woodward and/or Bernstein nodded. “Would you agree that another way of saying this – in fact, a more efficient way – is that you were just looking for a pitch you could drive?”
“Yes,” the player answered, “that would be a more efficient way of saying it.”
“Please say it, then – for the record.”
“OK,” said the player. “I was just looking for a pitch I could drive.”
Later, Woodward and/or Bernstein confirmed that the same player just wanted to help the team in whatever way he could.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.