Baseball Idioms In Politics

Here’s an excerpt from this article on a bill to boost health compensation to “first responders” (health workers, firefighters, police officers) who responded to the World Trade Center attacks and are believed to have suffered higher rates of cancer etc. as a result.

“It’s the ninth inning and we need a good closer to win the game,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney told the bill’s supporters at their rally at the Capital Visitors Center, and she called upon President Obama to use his clout to sway Republican Senators.

The context is that failure to pass this bill now will lead to greater Republican resistance once the results of the November election have kicked in with the new session. Therefore, its best chance of passing is right now.

This creates fertile ground for calling this the ninth (9th) inning, which is the last opportunity (in a game that is not tied) for a team that is losing to win the game. For the team in the lead, a closer is a replacement pitcher who is fresh, good, and skilled, whose job is to come in and protect the lead, and therefore close the game and protect the win.

So, President Obama is being urged to be that closer: to come in and lobby Congress and make the bill pass before time runs out.

Whether the bill (and the fees assessed to pay for it) is a good thing in and of itself is beyond the scope of this blog and this post.