Throwing like a girl

Last Tuesday, Barack Obama joined the elite ranks of presidential baseball fans, when he became the 17th president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch to start off the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

As any presidential historian will tell you, a president's performance in throwing out first pitches directly correlates to their performance in the Oval Office.

Herbert Hoover once threw a pitch so poorly it actually made it closer to second base than it did the catcher, and anyone who knows about the Great Depression is aware of how well his presidency went.

Obama stepped up to the mound in St. Louis sporting his Chicago White Sox jacket and with very little hesitation threw the ball into Albert Pujols' waiting glove.

Conservative pundits, who make a career out of finding any lame excuse to complain about Democrats, such Rush Limbaugh, wasted very little time arguing that Obama threw the ball like a girl.

This coming from the same guy who once forgot to even bring a ball with him to the mound when he was supposed to throw out a first pitch.

To be fair, that was when he could have been in the grips of an Oxycontin binge, so the fact that he even showed up fully clothed, not foaming at the mouth was nothing short of a miracle.

Conservatives took much joy out of describing former president Bush as a "real man." He cleared brush around his farm himself (at least when the cameras were on him) he could throw a strike down the middle with ease, while having no hesitation at forcing an unwanted shoulder rub upon the Prime Minister of Germany.

He was a man's man. He didn't have time for girlie things, like chewing pretzels before swallowing them, or wasting time with "facts" before bombing another country into the stone age.

I asked Dan Wallace what he thought about Obama's pitch. Wallace is known among most softball players in the area. If you're a top softball pitcher from the metro Atlanta region there's a pretty good chance you were trained by Wallace.

Once I was able to convince him I was not making a prank phone call, he resoundingly denied that Obama threw his pitch "like a girl."

Though, he shrugged off any sexist implications of the charge against the president.

"Stuff like that doesn't bother me at all," he said. "When someone says you're throwing like a girl, that's a complement."

Despite what Wallace says, describing Obama's throw as being like that of a girl, does carry an implication that being like a girl, means being weak and incompetent.

With that kind of sexist attitude being the prevalent view in society, not to mention the over-abundance of other forms of discrimination against women, I would think waking up each morning to face a world where the deck is stacked enormously against you, in terms of equal pay and respect reveals a level of courage and inner strength that most men wish they had.

Zack Huffman is a sports writer for The Daily and can be reached at zhuffman@news-daily.com