OK, I have to revisit this. I figured that Mayor Mallory's poor attempt at the first pitch on Opening Day would attract some attention, but I had no idea it would go this far. It was wall-to-wall on ESPN today and, apparently, it even got mentioned on CNN International. Before we proceed, you out-of-towners gotta check out the effort:
I've met the Mayor on numerous occasions while on his Young Professionals cabinet. He is a quality guy: very intelligent, well spoken, and he even has a great sense of humor. The way the political system in Cincinnati and Hamilton County is set up, the mayor of this city can only do so much to make any change around here. Mallory receives a lot of criticism for being ineffective when, the real issue is, the entire system needs total rehaul. I really doubt any mayor will make a noticeable difference until city and county governments are combined. Mallory's doing the best he can do with what he has.
That being said, I honestly think that brutal first pitch dented his reputation. You might not think that people are that fickle, but I believe they are. Prediction to pack away: the first pitch footage will surface again during the next campaign. And if he ever runs for higher office, he'll be known as "that mayor guy who can't throw."
Today the Mayor made the following statement: "All I know is Bob Castellini called me up and asked me to throw out the first pitch and you can't say no to that."
Um, yes you can. You open up your mouth, pronounce the hard "n" consonant followed by the "o," as in, "oh no, that ball is headed for the dugout."
One thing I perceived is that I didn't think the Mayor was that athletic. He's in great shape, but not necessarily an athlete. All Monday morning I was telling Kelly that it wasn't going to be a good move. Again, I am a prophet.
The Mayor is surrounded by a bunch of smart young guys who are incredibly proficient in their jobs. But I can't imagine that not one of them made sure to ask the boss if he could throw. There's no shame in admitting you can't. This is an instance where I say it's best not to try at all. I'm not going to be joining a hockey league with my friend Dale anytime soon. Sure, I love hockey, but I can't skate. I'm honest with myself about my abilities. And hopefully, I've surrounded myself with counsel that will let me know if I'm in over my head. Maybe it's a good lesson for all of us: do you have people around you who will bring you back to earth when you get caught up in your own hype?
I hope the Mayor can get past this event. In all likelihood, it'll probably be fine. But it could've [and should've] been avoided. Having to spend a day spinning a mishap like this is not time well spent.
endnote: I still laugh when I watch the footage. The best part is Eric Davis who was absolutely horrified.