Trumplestiltskin Is a Shame

Most politicians stump. Donald Trump stomps, especially when he is stumped, as he was when he whined after he didn't know the difference between the Quds and the Kurds or when he lost the Iowa caucuses to Ted Cruz.

The Donald stomps with a fury like his namesake from the Grimm fairy tales, Rumplestiltskin, or, shall I say, Trumplestiltskin.

As pitchers and catchers begin to assemble for spring training, I have been thinking about the 1986 baseball season, which concluded with the miraculous, come-from-behind victory of the New York Mets, Donald Trump's hometown team, who defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games.

It is the 30th anniversary of that Mets victory. And the funny thing is that, in baseball terms, Donald Trump, who was born in Queens well before the Mets arrived in the early sixties, resembles no one so much as the Red Sox franchise in the pre-Theo Epstein era.

Trumplestiltskin may very well prevail over Ted Cruz, that Sammy of all Glicks, for the Republican nomination, just as the Red Sox, a team addicted to losing for decades, defeated the then-California Angels, also a team addicted at the time to losing, in the playoffs in 1986.

But if he wards off Cruz and the other Republicans for the nomination, the Donald, who seems to have a fetish for the definite article ("I've always gotten along with the blacks... I've always gotten along with the gays"), will face a situation that is far less definite, far more precarious, and more rife with irony than any in his past.

For should he win the Republican nomination, the Donald will be confronted with the ghost of the Red Sox in 1986.

Yes, the Red Sox beat the Angels in the American League playoffs in 1986 in stirring fashion, when, one strike away from possible defeat, Dave Henderson led Boston to its own come-from-behind victory when he homered off Donnie Moore in the 9th inning of game 5 and then hit a sacrifice fly to extend the playoffs, which the Sox won in seven games.

And it is true that the Red Sox of 1986 finally had more than one or two African-Americans on their squad.

Still, the reason Boston was cursed for decades was not because Harry Frazee, its owner in 1920, traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees; it was because the Sox were hobbled by their racist past, by the ownership of Tom Yawkey, who bought the team in the years after Frazee dispensed with Boston's star pitcher and budding slugger, Babe Ruth, the Bambino.

Yawkey had first dibs at signing Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays and whiffed on both occasions, and his Sox became the very last team to integrate when they signed Pumpsie Green in 1959, more than a decade after Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Trumplestiltskin, whose namesake from the Grimm fairy tale, a miserable old hobgoblin, demanded the first-born child of a princess, cannot transmute his own hatred into gold.

Trump may claim an affinity for Jackie Robinson's Dodgers, just as he may claim an affinity for the Mets of 1986, but his xenophobia and bigotry make him a perfect heir to Tom Yawkey.

Yes, Ted Cruz is a loser, and not only in Trumplestiltskin's parlance. Cruz has never evidenced courage, his self-described character trait, in his life; he has slimed and wormed his way to the top until now, dripping with insincerity as he feigned an apology to Ben Carson, after suggesting that the brain surgeon had dropped out of the race before the Iowa caucuses.

And Cruz shows the consistency, his other bumper-sticker slogan, of Sammy Glick in lying and self-promoting to the point of nausea.

But Donald Trump lies and self-promotes too at an even more pathological level.

He may not seek anyone's first-born child like Rumpletstiltskin, but the Donald turned red and practically popped blood vessels at the recent Republican debate, not unlike his fairy tale namesake, who stomps on the floor, before he falls into a void, a black hole, to his eternal doom.

Trump was born in Queens, and he can be the quintessential drama queen when he stomps with fury, but he fits right in with those white rednecks from the Univ. of Massachusetts when they attacked African-Americans on campus after the Mets beat the Red Sox in seven games in the 1986 World Series.

Trumplestiltskin will claim that, as a queen or a onetime Queens resident, he rooted for the Mets in 1986. But he lacks the speed and quick reflexes of Mookie Wilson, the Christian decency and dedication of Gary Carter, the chivalric, fighting spirit of Ray Knight, and the clutch hitting of all those men and Kevin Mitchell.

No, Trumplestiltskin, if you represent any team, it is the Red Sox of the pre-Theo Epstein era, cursed not by the Bambino but by a racist past. And if you don't know that, then you are irony-free.

But let me give you a tip, Trumplestiltskin: Irony rules the world, and you are headed for an epic fall.