“You like Bush?”

The night before the first playoff game ever at Miller Park, I was working at Maxie’s. There were two couples at the bar talking in short, meandering bursts about baseball. One of the gentlemen suddenly tossed out the kind of fireball question that could really turn this thing ugly in a hurry.

“Do you like Bush?”

What are you, fucking drunk? You like Bush? Bush? The man who lied to us in order to gain support for an expensive war which has made us less safe from terrorists, and removed regulations on the financial sector to allow bankers’ greed to devour the entire economy, all to make his cronies more money? What are you, a fucking idiot?

But the other gentleman was more measured — I could sense him considering all those things before he arrived at the correct answer.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m glad he’s pitching tomorrow.”

Oh, right. That Bush.

Yeah, he’s all right. 

Dave Bush has had his shares of ups and downs — and so has his earned run average. You may have compared him in rougher times to objectionable relative or a chimp. But you have to admit he has a quiet, studious steadiness to him. And when he’s on, it’s quite right. 

And a couple of Saturdays ago, he found himself starting Milwaukee’s first playoff game in 26 years, an elimination game against the team he cheered as a child. To paraphrase pitching Coach Mike Maddux, this showed he has huge balls.


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