Whiteoak Head Coach Chris Veidt hustles to the third base coaching box in between innings of the 'Cats' 10-0 win on May 8, 2018. Last week, Coach Veidt registered his 400th coaching victory. (HCP file photo by Colin Ryan.)
Whiteoak Head Coach Chris Veidt hustles to the third base coaching box in between innings of the 'Cats' 10-0 win on May 8, 2018. Last week, Coach Veidt registered his 400th coaching victory. (HCP file photo by Colin Ryan.)
The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clinched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.


"Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred just struck out.

In fact, he got caught looking. He's still looking. Looking for answers that Joe Biden cannot provide. Even the liberal Washington Post called Biden a liar over his distortion of the Georgia Legislature's new voting laws.

When Manfred announced Major League Baseball's decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, he made an error not only of judgment but on the level playing field. He not only has a hole in his glove, he also has a hole in his head. It's a self-inflicted wound, to boot.

While I do not make it a habit to agree with Mitch McConnell, I'll give the Senate Republican leader from Kentucky a solid base hit on this today: “We are witnessing a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to mislead and bully the American people. The president has claimed repeatedly that state-level debates over voting procedures are worse than Jim Crow or 'Jim Crow on steroids.'

"Nobody actually believes this. Nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation. But there’s an old cynical saying that 'history is just the set of lies agreed upon.’ And a host of powerful people and institutions apparently think they stand to benefit from parroting this big lie. The Washington Post has repeatedly debunked White House lies about legislation in Georgia: ‘In reality, Election Day hours were not changed and the opportunities to cast a ballot in early voting were expanded.’ Plenty of Democrat-run states allow fewer days of early voting than the new Georgia law requires."

Indeed.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also called a foul ball on Manfred for moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta. Rubio noted that Commissioner Manfred has a membership with the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters in, you guessed it, the state of Georgia.

“I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values, Rubio said. "Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue-signaling of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.”

Georgia Congressman Drew Ferguson has demanded an apology from corporate executives and the MLB to all Georgians.

"I have been appalled at the shockingly dishonest and disingenuous statements by not only Major League Baseball, but the corporate CEOs here in our state," Ferguson said. "What they are saying is wrong, and they should be ashamed. They owe an apology to the men and women that have voted to make sure that Georgia elections are both open and fair.

"It is unacceptable for corporate CEOs and other outside groups and organizations to call the men and women of the Georgia Legislature racist. That is wrong. They should apologize. On top of that, and most importantly, they should apologize to our fellow Georgians for robbing them of the paychecks and the livelihoods."

At some point, perhaps later than sooner, these wealthy robber baron wokesters will be seen for what they are.

Ruthless and unscrupulous business practices may work for a brief time, but eventually curses, like chickens, come home to roost.

Manfred is a hen chicken with the spine of a pullet, swinging and missing. He laid a scrambled egg all over Georgia.

* * *

Congrats, Coach Chris Veidt – 400 and counting

On a much brighter note, this long-ago Whiteoak baseball player is happy to congratulate Wildcats Coach Chris Veidt on his 400th coaching victory.

I learned of this on Easter Sunday from HCP sports editor (and my son-in-law) Stephen Forsha.

As Stephen reported, the Whiteoak Wildcats didn’t mess around on April 1, as they defeated the visiting Georgetown G-Men by a 14-1 score. The win also gave Coach Veidt his 400th career victory.

How about that?

Just for the heck of it, this afternoon I went to the search engine at highlandcountypress.com and typed in Chris Veidt for the years 2009-2021. Wow. What a treasure trove of baseball stories by Stephen about the coach and young men of Mowrystown. (By the way, Coach Veidt is a future OHSAA Hall of Famer, for sure. He's earned it.)

During the amazing 2018 Whiteoak baseball season in which the Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in Ohio and were regional champions, Stephen Forsha wrote about the young student-athletes "trusting the process" under Coach Veidt.

"Our kids have just been so resilient this year, trusting the things that we do, trusting that things are going to work out for them in the long run," Coach Veidt said. "Trust the process. Trust yourself. Embrace the positive, flush the negative, have your buddy’s back. We did that."

More years ago than either Coach Veidt or I care to remember, I was a younger newspaperman and covered Whiteoak baseball. My initial recollection of Coach Veidt was this: His teams had discipline, they hustled and they were coached on the fundamentals of baseball. I liked that.

For those of us from Whiteoak, we realize that this is a small, rural school and more often than not, its sports teams are similarly small in physical stature. But we are mighty in heart and desire.

A few years later, I came back and saw firsthand the Whiteoak baseball field after Coach Veidt and the Bright Local community made amazing improvements.

I played my first baseball game on that field around 1968 or '69, coached by Don Edgington. There were no dugouts. Players sat on 2x6s placed atop concrete blocks. If two players on one end suddenly stood up, the 2x6 went airborne from the weight of the players on the opposite end.

For those of us who remember the Mowrystown baseball diamond then (all dirt and some gravel infield), and to look at the manicured, award-winning, grass infield today, well, that's also a tribute to Coach Veidt.

As a lifelong baseball fan and mostly lousy player for 13 wonderful summers, it does my old heart good to see Coach Veidt and his Whiteoak Wildcats still going strong.

Trust the process. Trust yourself. Trust your teammates. Good words, Coach.

Congratulations on 400 wins. Here's to the next 400. You are the man.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.