Cockburn on Thursday headed over to Nationals Park in Washington to watch members of Congress play a friendly game of baseball. The friendly game soon turned into a brutal slaying when the Republican team beat the Democrats 10-0 in the seventh inning.
The air was alight with excitement. Crowds bustled into the stadium, though not without some trouble. Outside the park was a small crowd of people wearing red — a protest that included a band with a very ecstatic tuba player.
It turns out these people were from the Ikiya Collective, an activist “news” organization that...

Cockburn on Thursday headed over to Nationals Park in Washington to watch members of Congress play a friendly game of baseball. The friendly game soon turned into a brutal slaying when the Republican team beat the Democrats 10-0 in the seventh inning.

The air was alight with excitement. Crowds bustled into the stadium, though not without some trouble. Outside the park was a small crowd of people wearing red — a protest that included a band with a very ecstatic tuba player.

It turns out these people were from the Ikiya Collective, an activist “news” organization that focuses on protests, and were advertising for NowOrNever.earth, a climate activist group.

Some particularly observant readers may ask what this had to do with baseball. Absolutely nothing, as it turned out. They wanted President Biden to declare a climate emergency and spoke more about Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer than strikes and balls.

Thankfully, it was nothing the police couldn’t handle. They had little trouble shuffling the protesters off to the side as Cockburn and his entourage of one (a pocket bottle of whiskey stashed in his shoe) entered Nationals Park.

When it came to the teams, it was Democrats versus Republicans. However, each Democrat had a different uniform correlating to his state and district number, while Republicans shared a common uniform, making it difficult to determine one player from another.

To begin, Congressman Steve Scalise, who was shot during a practice game in 2017, scored the first of the Republicans’ many points. Yet there was another player who really stood out: Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. He caught almost every wide ball that came his way, forcing quick finishes when the Democrats were at bat.

By the fourth inning, clouds had rolled in and rain had begun to fall into Cockburn’s $13 beer. The crowd began chanting “Let’s Go Brandon!” and walked up under the stadium roofs, eager to escape the showers.

At this point, Cockburn finished his drink and headed for a second. After stumbling around the stadium and briefly shaking hands with Mayra Flores (who was also present at the game, though she didn’t play), he found another seat farther into the red section.

The game didn’t resume until half an hour later. Fortunately by then Cockburn had a cold, expensive lager in his hand.

As he watched the Dems pitch, he was impressed by number 31, Congressman Pete Aguilar. Aguilar appeared to be one of the best players on the Democratic side, along with Hakeem Jeffries. Aguilar could throw, and Jeffries could hit and run.

It didn’t match up to what the Republicans offered though. Congressman August Pfluger was a talented pitcher, striking out three people in the sixth inning despite the bases being loaded. By that point, the Republicans were up 5-0.

The seventh inning was a slaughter from start to finish. Aguilar as pitcher hit one of the Republican batters (Cockburn couldn’t make out which player it was). Everyone booed the cheap shot as the batter hobbled to first base. Then the Republicans got their revenge. They loaded the bases, and the crowd was on fire. The red-dressed onlookers stood up in their seats, as the Republicans proceeded to hit five home runs in a row!

This streak was touched off, of course, by the batter who’d been struck earlier. Talk about poetic justice.

At that point, with the score 10-0, the mercy rule kicked in and the game was over. Cockburn had to admit, it was much more exciting than a regular Nationals game. Not only was there drama with the score, but he got to see old politicians waddle around the bases — and sometimes collide with each other like a couple of teddy bears.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful night. Cockburn can’t wait to go back next year.