What say we not stand in the way of the Texan secession threat? Yes, we'll sacrifice some good food and music, but we'll also lose an electorate that repeatedly afflicts us with politicians like Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, Rick Perry and any number of others who prompt us to check out real estate prices in Toronto. But it's not about comforting liberals; it's about doing right by the right. Or righting a wrong to the right. Anyway, it's only fair.
The Republican of Springfield (Mass.), Nov. 19, 2012
Keep the faith. Hang in there. Have hope in a better tomorrow. The race doesn't always go to the swiftest. Fairy tales do sometimes come true.
And a 38-year-old Major League pitcher with a losing record and little reason to believe in much of anything can reinvent himself, learning baseball's oddball pitch — and go on to win the game's highest pitching honor.
You don't have to be a baseball fan to have been thrilled by the news that R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets won the National League's Cy Young Award this year. The lowly Mets, losers year after dismal year of late, haven't had much to celebrate for some time now. But journeyman Dickey was a shining star during the 2012 campaign.
A few statistics tell the story:
Heading into the 2012 season, Dickey, having toiled in obscurity for four organizations, had posted just 40 wins while suffering 51 losses. He'd considered leaving baseball, finishing college and getting a job teaching English. But first, he wanted to give something a try.
He learned the knuckleball. This is a pitch that flutters and floats, shimmies and shakes on the way to home plate. It's a sort of anti-fastball, a wackadoodle pitch meant to keep the batter guessing.
Initially, it didn't go exactly swimmingly. Dickey gave up six home runs the first time he tried it out in a real game. But he hung in. He kept on hoping for a better tomorrow.
His record in 2012 was 20-6. He led the league in innings pitched, strikeouts, shutouts and complete games. His ERA was a svelte 2.73.
R.A. Dickey was nearly on the scrap heap, a vague baseball memory. If that. And now he is king of the hill, standing tall as an inspiration, the embodiment of hope for late bloomers everywhere.