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Home » June 2010 Game CommentsJune 2010 » Don’t Tread On Me

Don’t Tread On Me

I’m traveling on business right now so I wasn’t able to watch this game. I’m in the capital of the United States, a city which I last visited when Clinton was in the White House. It wasn’t by design that I have only come to Washington D.C. when a Democrat was in office and the party had the majority in Congress, but I definitely would have different emotions seeing the edifices of our government had I been here between 2001 and 2009.

The Arizona ball club’s mascot is the diamondback, a rattlesnake found in the state. A relative of this serpent, the timber rattlesnake, was suggested by Benjamin Franklin as emblematic of the nascent United States:

I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretentions of quarrelling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenceless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defence, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.
Franklin’s “Join, or Die” woodcut, the first political cartoon in America, was of a segmented rattlesnake, a graphic meant to urge the colonies to unite in the face of the French and Indian War. Other early Americans adopted the rattlesnake as their symbol and added the motto “don’t tread on me,” culminating in the flag designed by Christopher Gadsen.

Today this flag has been co-opted by a splinter political group that clothes itself in the words of the Founding Fathers but whose spirit is bereft of the actual philosophy and ignorant of the intent of the men they mindlessly quote. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against foreign tyranny, and if you think Barack Obama is not a US citizen because he was born in Hawai‘i or that his birth certificate is fraudulent, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Had I been in Boston I wouldn’t have bought tickets for any of the games against the Diamondbacks. The ownership of the team would get a portion of the gate and they supported the racist Arizona Immigration Law SB1070. Jackie Robinson would be appalled, but I think most of the millionaires playing baseball these days think themselves above politics.

Game 66: June 15, 2010
3L: Ian Kennedy (3-4)
2B: Miguel Montero (3), Justin Upton (10), Rusty Ryal (1)
WinRed Sox
6W: Clay Buchholz (9-4)
H: Hideki Okajima (7), Manny Delcarmen (6), Daniel Bard (14)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (14)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (23), Kevin Youkilis (17)
HR: David Ortiz (13)

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