Retired Red Sox pitchers and running for office apparently go together like fried chicken and beer, as another former Boston hurler is the New England political mix. Bill Lee, the counterculture legend known as Spaceman, is on the ballot—as Spaceman, natch—in the Vermont gubernatorial race. He's running as a member of the Liberty Union Party, a "nonviolent socialist party" whose platform includes:
- "Everyone is entitled to a fair rate of return for their labor including those who are self-employed such as shopkeepers and farmers." (And sports bloggers!)
- "Single payer, universal (socialized) health care for all." (Including sports bloggers!)
- "Both sexes should be treated with respect and dignity having equal rights and sharing equal responsibilities, and in this regard we enthusiastically urge the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment." (Power to the female sports bloggers!)
- "WE MUST REFUSE to burn and kill each other NO MATTER WHO 'orders' us to, or under whatever pretext." (Not really a sports blogger concern, but it sounds reasonable!)
The lefty politics befit the quirky southpaw known for his "Leephus" pitch, a fondness for grass of the smokable kind, and being the subject of a Warren Zevon song, to say nothing of a 14-year MLB career that saw him go 119-90 for the Red Sox and the Expos with a lone All-Star appearance in 1973. This isn't even the Spaceman's first voyage into the outer galaxies of electoral politics. In 1988, he ran for President of the United States, as a member of the Canadian Rhinoceros Party, which called for leveling the Rocky Mountains to give Alberta more sunlight and abolishing the designated hitter. Oh, and he claims to have gotten baked with George W. Bush under a T. Rex statue. He's clearly more qualified than Donald Trump.
Lee is currently polling at 2 percent, well behind Republican Phil Scott and Democrat Sue Minter, who are in a dead heat at 39 percent apiece. To be fair, Spaceman isn't exactly running a K Street campaign. He hasn't raised any money, has no staff, and showed up late for the first debate in "jeans and an untucked tropical shirt with a picture of a sunbathing brunette in a red bathing suit on the left front pocket." According to a report by Vermont Public Radio, Lee thinks the source of many of the Green Mountain State's problems come from the populace being sedentary and lazy, and that God is a black woman named Lucy. Proving yet again that he's more qualified than Trump.
Lee's political aspirations seem to be a goof, but in this dreary ugly violent presidential year, a little levity is just what the Spaceman ordered. Sure beats that other Boston fireballer and his relentless belittling of the little guys and girls. (Which reminds me: Hey Red Light, lay off my nephews or I'll send them to kick both your ankles bloody, but for real this time.)
Bill "Spaceman" Lee calls strikeouts fascist; Curt Schilling is one. Vote proud, New Englanders.