' ' Cinema Romantico: The President's Pitch

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The President's Pitch

"The King's Speech", of course, was the true life tale of King George VI (Colin Firth), his ascension to the throne and, ultimately, overcoming a severe speaking impediment, delivering a speech to his nation upon declaration of war with Nazi Germany in 1939.

Recently I was listening to President Barack Obama's podcast with Grantland.com's Bill Simmons, focusing on our Commander & Chief's love of sports (which I love), and there was an exchange discussing the "completely stressful" (Obama's words) situation of having to throw out the first pitch at baseball games. He went on:

"...you’ve got to wear this bulky vest, and what happens is, they just hand you the ball. [Laughter.] They say, 'Here,' and you walk up. If you had three tries, you’d be fine. You’d throw a fast strike somewhere in there. But if it’s that first ball, each time I go up there my thinking is, All right, I’m just going to blaze this thing in. And then I’m thinking, Man, if I throw a grounder that’s going to be a problem. So then I end up kind of lofting it up a little bit and —"

President Obama and Simmons then go on to discuss President George W. Bush's first post-9/11 pitch that went - to quote them both - "right down the middle." And of all this, as it must, got me to thinking about a possible go for Oscar glory with an Americanized spin on "The King's Speech."

Here's the pitch (pun possibly intended): Bertrand Golden is an ex major league pitching prospect who flamed out in Pawtucket, one step short of reaching the mound at Fenway Park for the Red Sox, when his confidence so erodes that he can't even get a simple pitch all the way over the plate. He retires in shame, but decides to follow his second love: politics, and he eventually unseats a seemingly un-unseatable incumbent Ohio senator. After serving four successful terms he makes a run for President of the United States and wins.

Alas, his term is marked by the eruption of war between the U.S. and Venezuela and, miraculously, the declaration of war occurs a mere two weeks before baseball's Opening Day. Thus, the nation turns its eyes to President Golden's First Pitch as an opportunity to comfort a country on the brink of potential nuclear annihilation.

Meanwhile, the First Lady, Nanette, is in the midst of organizing the annual Rose Garden Tee Ball Game which finds ex-Texas Rangers pitcher Carter Mahaffey, a red blooded Republican, entering a Democrat controlled White House on account of his presidency of the Tee Ball Association of America. And when President Golden reports his First Pitch dilemma, Mahaffey sets aside his political differences to re-train Golden in getting one pitch - just one!!! - across the plate. "Politics divide us," says Mahaffey. "Baseball unites us."

And so President Golden finds himself face-to-face with the glove, the ball, the mound, and a catcher behind home plate 60 feet away at the Washington Nationals' home opener as an entire nation waits breathlessly to see whether or not he bounces his one pitch in the dirt.

"The President's Pitch."


Sam Fragoso said...

Obama throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley ... I can see the film all too clearly.

Nick Prigge said...

I was envisioning a Washington Nationals game but you're right......Wrigley Field would be so much better. I mean, you can't top Wrigley.

Sam Turner said...

As probably the only person in England who has so far sat through four Spring Training games, I would be all over this. Great thinking. Would also add in some sort of human drama element/intrigue between the league, the government and all of the Venezuelan players currently on MLB team's books.

Nick Prigge said...

You're totally right. Good call. That Venezuelan player subplot would be fantastic.