Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Role Reversal: TWTW's Zimmermann vs. Scherzer Preview

credit: Fox Sports
Danville, Kentucky -- "What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot?," asked the young Alexander Hamilton to his co-patriots, Aaron Burr, Hercules Mulligan, John Laurens, and Marquis de Lafayette, the feisty French freedom fighter. Jordan Zimmermann will ask himself a similar question as he returns to our great nation's capitol, a city built by the unceasing labor and determination of Treasury Secretary Hamilton and our nation's other founding fathers.

Indeed, the stars have aligned for a fortuitous pitching match-up, a showdown as unlikely as America's democratic experiment itself. Jordan Zimmermann will return to Washington D.C. -- the city named for the nation's first commander-in-chief that Mr. Hamilton served so loyally -- to pitch against Max Scherzer. Both pitchers will toe the rubber against their former teams. It is a duel between former teammates, more dramatic than Hamilton vs. Burr. I hold this truth to be self-evident: that all pitching matchups are not created equal.

The prospect of competing against the organizations that nurtured and raised them will arouse a host of mixed emotions in both Mr. Zimmermann and Mr. Scherzer.

Scherzer has bantered about his desire to compete against the Triple Crown-touting Miguel Cabrera, but internally feels apprehension. Nonetheless, Scherzer's anxieties will be tempered by the superhuman-slugging 6′ 2″, 23-year old native of Las Vegas that now sits in his corner.

Jordan is a more stoic man. In Auburndale, Wisconsin, boys are raised not to lose their cool or show emotion. If you get hurt, you dust yourself off, rub salt on your wounds and get back on the horse. To Jordan, pitching is just another job. As a child, Jordan worked from dusk till dawn on cold, northern farmlands. He approaches baseball with a similar stubborn Bulldog-like work ethic, but will nonetheless feel nostalgia upon returning to the beltway.

A time may come when the radical potential of American democracy is fulfilled via a Donald Trump presidency, but for now we'll have to settle for this game. America is a land where anything is possible. Where two franchise cornerstone pitchers can switch franchises and compete against each other. Where even mild-mannered utility infielders like Andrew Romine get to play hero once in a while. Where a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman can wind up on the ten-dollar bill. As fans of the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers converge to watch this serendipitous game just footsteps away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we should take time to appreciate the sheer splendor of America's centuries-old experiment with democracy and our national pastime.