The important thing about Marte's appearance wasn't his schizoid mound condition or even Hernandez's wonderful escape artistry. What was important was Guillen's reaction to Marte's pitching version of "The Three Faces of Eve." "He put the team on the line," Guillen said. "I don't mind if you get beat, but don't beat yourself. If you get beat, that's fine. Hey, everybody goes out there and gets beaten. But when you go down there and don't want to throw the ball and are flat with pitches, it shows me you don't have confidence in yourself."
It seems that President Bush could learn a valuable lesson from Ozzie Guillen. Since his re-election, Bush has been under constant fire from the left on everything from Social Security to the war in Iraq to his handling of Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, presidential allies like Karl Rove and Tom DeLay have found themselves in hot water.
But that's not why Bush's political fans are upset. We're upset because Bush isn't being beaten -- he's beating himself. He's going out there but refusing to throw the ball. He's flat with his pitches. Bush's post-re-election performance is showing us that he doesn't have confidence in himself.
Bush has good stuff. But instead of throwing a mid-90s cutter on the Democrats' hands by pushing the Social Security issue he won re-election with, Bush threw a hanging curve. Instead of flinging the political heater by pushing for a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, Bush threw a wild pitch. Instead of tossing a couple splitters on the inside corner by nominating true originalists to the Supreme Court, Bush threw a couple change-ups. Bush has mixed up only one group with his pitch selection: his political supporters.
Ozzie is sticking with Marte in the next round of the playoffs, despite his horrific ALDS performance. I think it's a bad move, but Ozzie's intuition has paid off so far. Guillen has a message for Marte, however: "Players have to be tough. They're going to boo you, clap for you. When you fail, the next day it's more important than the day before. I don't want him hanging his head and feeling sorry for himself. Just go out there and fight."
Mr. President, we're sticking with you. But when you get out there, for God's sake, bring the heat.