That’s because freshman Rep. Dan Maffei, chosen for the honor, turned up on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report on April 7 and displayed a depraved, wild side unseen on last fall’s campaign trail—and that doppelganger was almost unleashed on an unsuspecting Alliance Bank Stadium.
“I was thinking about putting on the ‘Evil Dan Maffei’ beard and moustache before I went out to the mound,” joked Maffei shortly after the ceremonies in a stadium conference room. “But I think it was best to leave him locked up for this one.”
The rookie congressman was featured on the 55th installment of the show’s 434-part series, “Better Know a District,” in which Stephen Colbert focused on New York’s 25th (Colbert banned California’s 50th district from the series). Colbert, a mock-conservative with a knack for “grilling” guests, found out Maffei was an admitted Star Trek geek and asked him if he ever wished that, like Mr. Spock in the 1967 episode “Mirror Mirror,” he had an evil twin that could do all the bad stuff the “good” Maffei couldn’t.
The pair then appeared with goatees identical to “Evil Spock’s,” to which Colbert had Maffei mad-lib open-ended sentences the “good Maffei” would never say: Evil Maffei loves cocaine because. . . it makes him feel good! And he enjoys the company of prostitutes because. . . it represses women and it’s generally illegal!
Of course, it was all tomfoolery and anyone that can’t see past that has probably Tivo’d Fox News’ Glenn Beck more than once. The Huffington Post Online said Maffei came across as “genial and game,” but overall his good humor served him well— and probably some other stuff that might have been reported had there not been an adjacent link to a headline that read “Mischa Barton Naked on Cosmopolitan UK Cover.” And these days, when all the news out of Washington, D.C., seems to be doom and gloom, it’s refreshing to see good humor from politicians.
Maffei continued the good mood during opening day’s festivities. “My brother-in-law was a college pitcher for Northwestern,” he noted, “and I’m going to razz him that, before he did, I managed to pitch in a big league park.” Although he might not want to mention that his form and delivery looked like someone who finally broke free of a straight-jacket and immediately threw a tube of lipstick well short and outside of the designated target.
The 7,222 announced attendance—accurate only to those seeing double—had a hoot with it, as did Maffei. He realized the event was not about him—he reminisced about what it was like to be a kid in the stands, while also commenting on the Chiefs severing their 30-year relationship with Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays. They are now the Triple-A affiliate of the big league team where Maffei spends his workweek, the Washington Nationals.
“It’s a dream come true to throw out the first pitch,” said Maffei. “When I was growing up, the Chiefs were the farm team of the Yankees, which was great because my dad was a big Yankees fan so I became a Yankees fan. Nothing against Toronto, but I really had no connection to the place and now it’s really cool because when I go to a Nationals game, I know there’s a little part of Syracuse in it.”
Syracuse ended up losing to the Red Wings 7-4 opening day and sport a record of 1-4 as of press time. And as the Chiefs are no longer affiliated with the Jays, last year’s entire roster has been replaced with players who last year composed the Columbus Clippers. Toronto’s new AAA team is the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. And the “new” Chiefs skipper knows it’s only a matter of time before his boys will be calling Syracuse “home sweet home.”
“We played here last year, so we know the area,” said Chiefs manager Tim Foli after the game. “It snowed the first two days we worked out, but today was like a day in Florida. The guys came ready to play and the field was in great shape and it was a nice day with a good crowd. Everything was perfect. We came out on the short end, but we’ve got 140-something games left, so we’ll just get back out there tomorrow and compete again.”
For dates and times of upcoming Chiefs games, see the Times Table.