News & Politics

Biden Meets Pope, Rambles On About…Satchel Paige

Vatican Media via AP

The fact-checkers, that is, the disingenuous Leftist hall monitors who make sure that no one is straying too far from the establishment narrative, were out in force Friday after the faux-Catholic faux-President Joe Biden had a cordial and somewhat bizarre meeting with the faux-Catholic Pope Francis.

Reuters intoned that “after U.S. President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis on Oct. 29, social media users pointed to a short clip of their exchange and claimed Biden referred to the Pope as a ‘famous African-American baseball player.’ The posts, however, are missing context: Biden was telling Francis the story of Satchel Paige.” Oh, well, then! That’s different! Reuters doesn’t seem interested in the question of why Biden went to Rome to inform the Pope about the career of a ballplayer from the 1940s in the first place. It was just one strange aspect of an extremely odd meeting.

Apparently, Biden was trying to tell the Pontiff that they were both young at heart, much younger than their chronological ages. He said to Francis: “You’re the famous African-American baseball player in America.” In response, the pope bowed and smiled and said “I know,” which may be his default mode when people tell him weird and incomprehensible things. Then they had the good sense to call over the translator, and Biden was able to get in a shot at evil racist America, albeit the real racist America of the 1940s, not the faux-racist “systemic” contemporary variety.

Paige, he tells the pope, “didn’t get to play in the Major League Baseball until he was forty-five years old because he was black. He was a pitcher. Threw the ball. Usually, pitchers lose their arms when they’re 35. He pitched a win on his 47th birthday. The press walked into the locker room and said — his name was Satchel Paige — they came in and said, ‘Satch, no one’s ever pitched a win at age 47. How do you feel about pitching a win on your birthday?’ He looked at them and said, ‘Boys, that’s not how I look at age. I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?’”

Then Old Joe delivered the punchline: “You’re sixty-five and I’m sixty,” and he and Francis shared a laugh. That’s heartwarming, but it’s also absurd. The doddering, addled Biden, perpetually protected from any tough questions or situation in which he might have to speak extemporaneously on a substantive issue, is just about the worst possible advertisement for being younger than one’s actual age, and Pope Francis hasn’t been the picture of health lately himself. The Satchel Paige story was yet another Biden attempt to get us to believe what he tells us, not what we see with our lying eyes, as when he claimed that he had no involvement in his son Hunter’s business dealings, which were completely on the up and up and of course, not influence-peddling at all.

And as is the case with most Biden stories, his account of Satchel Paige wasn’t quite accurate. Satchel Paige was indeed barred from Major League Baseball for many years by racist Jim Crow restrictions, but he first pitched in the major leagues at age 41, not 45. On his 47th birthday, at least according to the generally accepted date of his birth, he did not earn a win, or pitch in a game at all. He did, however, get a win, his next-to-last in the major leagues, a month after his 47th birthday. Nor was Paige the oldest pitcher to win a game, as Biden implied when he has the sportswriters in his story say, “Satch, no one’s ever pitched a win at age 47”: Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers won three games in 1932 when he was 48.

Related: Head of U.S. Catholic Bishops Rebukes Joe Biden’s Policies Advancing ‘Moral Evils’

These are minor errors on Biden’s part. He embellished his story a bit, as most storytellers do. It isn’t remotely on the level of his numerous lies about his life experiences or his claim to be a devout Catholic while remaining ardently pro-abortion. But the pope himself doesn’t seem to have any problem with that. Biden emerged from their meeting Friday and announced: “We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion.”

Whether accurate or not, this is going to intensify the controversy between Biden and some American bishops who say that he should be denied Communion for being in such public and active disagreement with the teachings of the Church. And if Biden turns out to have characterized Francis’ remarks accurately, the pope will have cut the ground out from under the bishops who are trying to hold Old Joe accountable and struck yet another blow against traditional Catholics, and all traditional Christians, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

That would be par for the course, or more fittingly, a strikeout pitch from this pope, whom Biden has now anointed as the Satchel Paige of pontiffs, still mowing them down years after lesser men have retired. When the pope, and his pal in the White House, are finished mowing them down, what is left of the Church and the nation that they ostensibly lead will be battered, bruised, torn, substantially reduced, reeling, and deeply divided. To compare either of them to Satchel Paige is, in the final analysis, an insult to Satchel Paige.