Last week The New York Times ran an article about how the Republican Party is trying to derail Jim Bunning’s potential 2010 reelection campaign. Seems Bunning has become a cranky loose cannon, and even in the presumably safe state of Kentucky, his record, behavior, and temperament have folks worried that he’ll lose.
As all hacky armchair psychologists know — and I’m one of the hackiest armchair psychologists around — you have to look to one’s formative years to get to the root of their neurosis. Someone at the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat has done that with Bunning:
Republican movers and shakers are pressuring Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning of Kentucky not to run for a third term in the U.S. Senate. It’s been reported that his “cranky” and “cantankerous” moods are alienating party bigwigs. But it’s his baseball career that’s made Bunning a grouch.
Maybe Bunning is grouchy because he never played in a World Series — even though he was a key part of the 1961 Detroit Tigers, who won 101 games, and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, who had a six and a half game lead with 12 games left.
Maybe Bunning is grouchy because despite winning 224 games and throwing two no-hitters, including a perfect game, he had to wait 25 years after his retirement to get into the Hall of Fame.
Maybe Bunning is grouchy because was a four-time 19-game winner instead of a five-time 20-game winner.
Or maybe Bunning is grouchy because he led the NL four times in hit batsmen, and you don’t excel in something like that unless you’re … well, cranky and cantankerous by nature.
I suppose we have no choice but to blame Gene Mauch for all of this.