Do you know what no one talks about at World Series time? My baseball career, which is understandable, I suppose. The closest I came to being part of a long history of the game was when the nephew of the great Dizzy Dean hit me in the eye when he was a curveball ace of the SMU freshman team and I was a sore-armed catcher for the TCU club. That ended my hopeless quest to be a major-league ball player, but couldn't cool a love of the game that taught me more about life than any book I ever read.
But then these Red Sox showed up and made me wonder about one lesson the coaches always harped on: `Show up in a clean uniform and look sharp. It shows respect for the game, and besides, if you look like a ball player, the other team might think you're better than you really are.'
Tell that to this lovable group of Red Sox whack jobs with their mountain-man hair, white guys with cornrows and the mangiest collections of beards since the last parting of the Red Sea by Cecil B. DeMille. These guys wear the uniform like they're heading out to trick-or-treat. Are they trying to scare the other team?
I keep thinking of the Red Sox, this wildly different group of individuals who've become a real team, when I look at our politicians who've been reduced to pablum-spouting look-alikes by media coaches, who've taught them to stay on message and at all costs avoid any spontaneity. I still like candidates who go to the barbershop, of course. It's good for the local economy. But wouldn't it be great if, just once in a while, candidates let it all hang out and had a little fun like the Red Sox do? It might be good politics; might even scare the other side. It's sure working for the Red Sox.
By Bob Schieffer
Copyright 2004 CBS. All rights reserved.