After the Atlanta Braves won 96 regular-season games this year, the expectation in The A was that the Braves could return to their pennant-winning ways of the mid-to-late '90s.
But the Los Angeles Dodgers had high hopes themselves entering the postseason, and quickly and painlessly dusted the Braves in the NLDS, finishing the job with a dramatic 4-3 win in Game 4 Monday night at Chavez Ravine.
However, that wasn't good enough for one Braves fan named Paul Kaplan, who was so disgruntled over Atlanta's early exit that he wrote his congressman, Rep. Jack Kingston, on Tuesday hoping that there might be a way to, perhaps, breathe a second life into the team's World Series hopes.
Here's Kaplan's government shutdown-themed letter, which was written with tongue firmly in cheek, via Hardball Talk :
Now, I feel like credit should be given where credit is due. Jon Stewart was onto this gag long before Kaplan was. In fact, Stewart illustrated his perception of Republican government shutdown logic in the context of an NFL game after the New York Giants lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4.
But in any case, we here at FOX Sports are all about giving the people what they want, so we reached out to Rep. Kingston, an Athens, Ga. native, University of Georgia grad and fellow Braves fan . And on Wednesday, he offered this in reply:
Dear Mr. Kaplan,
Thank you very much for your letter regarding the potential demise of baseball. Some have suggested it was a rhetorical squeeze play or a hit and run since the letter was posted online before it was actually mailed to me. Of course, it could be languishing in the post office. Sometimes, it's hard to know when the mail service is open or closed.
I agree with you that Republicans and the Braves have much in common. You could say that the Republicans "Bravely" take on tough issues such as defunding Obamacare and trying to curtail runaway spending. And we don't mind clearing the dugout for a good brawl. We also agree that Dodgers is a fitting name for the Democrats as they often "Dodge" serious issues such as balancing the budget or cutting spending.
Where we disagree is the game itself. If Uribe had decent bunting skills, he would have simply tied the score. Thus, the game would have continued. In such a situation, neither the Dodgers nor the Braves would have walked off the field crying "I will not 'negotiate' or, in this case, bat." No, they would have stayed engaged and slugged it out. But, alas, Uribe can't bunt -- so game over.
On the bright side, winning the pennant doesn't guarantee world peace. In fact, there are other glimmers of hope in the universe. Did you see the UGA-Tennessee game? Obviously, there is a God in Heaven. Or as we say in Athens: How 'bout them Dawgs?
Member of Congress
Kingston has been a member of Congress since 1992, and in May the 58-year-old officially launched a campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
It's too early to say whether he'll earn the GOP nod over Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, though he did raise a reported $800,000 in the last quarter for his campaign. If nothing else, the guy has a sense of humor -- a growing rarity in Washington these days.
As for the Braves, I think both sides of the aisle can agree that Craig Kimbrel should have been on the mound in the eighth inning of Game 4. And that there's a better chance John Boehner invites Barack Obama over to watch the NLCS than there is that Fredi Gonzalez ever makes that mistake again.