What an $88 Baseball Taught Me About Trump Derangement Syndrome and the Depth of Our President’s Shadiness

Chris Worden
8 min readJul 8, 2020

President Trump’s devotees smash “lamestream” media for scouring Trump’s every word and deed for chum to chuck into the “libtard shark-infested social media waters.”

MAGA Nation even claims some critics are so persistent they suffer from pathology — Trump Derangement Syndrome — a hatred so deep, it impairs judgment. I eye-roll this notion regularly but recognize its gaslighting brilliance for deflecting and deflating any critique.

But I recently committed to investigating confirmatory bias FOR REAL. Objectively. With ‘fresh eyes.’ A few days later, I saw the first incident that had to be TDS.

“However, Yeezus will no longer return my phone calls. Sad.”

In his endless quest to prove he’s better than every human in history at every conceivable activity despite more unfavorable circumstances, Trump boasted he’d been treated worse than any president…including Lincoln.

Well, I’m pretty sure we all know how that played out — with Mary L. offloading her Ford Theater season tickets on Stubhub. The idea even a whiney, perpetual martyr would equate himself to a dude who died of lead poisoning via a high-velocity dome injection was SO preposterous that…well, of course, I believed it! Look at the MSNBC headline in this Youtube clip:

MSNBC has 3.25 million subscribers, only half of whom are Ukrainian bots waiting for a chance to ambush the 4.8 million Russian bots who are coming off the Fox News night shift.

And this almost identical one from the Independent:

All the media who Independent, throw your headlines at me!

And this headline in People, which like Uggs, surprisingly still exists:

As part of a hazing ritual, American media tell nations trying to forge a free press that People is “journalism.”

But I read the actual quote:

“I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there. They always said Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”

Any sentient being would conclude Trump was talking about the press being more hostile to him than any president, and he disputes the assertion the media was harder on Lincoln (that’s what she said).

So why were outlets deep-sixing the set-up sentence, as if Trump said he was treated worse generally? If Trump had only said “I am treated worse than Lincoln,” even an SEC grad would know “by whom” is the follow-up. This was patently unfair coverage.

White House Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows was confused when informed Trump “slow-walked” a ramp, noting “That’s usually the code we use for ignoring the b@stard’s crazy orders in the hopes he forgot he gave them.”

Walk Hard: Trump and the Slippery Slope

Next, several media outlets questioned Trump’s health after he walked like a newly-ambulatory toddler down a ramp at Westpoint. This coverage clearly irked him because he gave a rambling, 15-minute defense for his walk of shame at his next public address.

He noted that the ramp was slick but painted with bare metal spots and no handrails, and he had leather shoes. I don’t know if he’s lying about the kicks, but I’ve face planted on FLAT surfaces with new leather, and the intimation from the coverage is he’s enfeebled. Except he has a normal gait as soon as he’s off the ramp. What if he just didn’t want to fall because he knows he’d never hear the end of it? (And he wouldn’t have).

To learn whether you are Republican or Democrat, you can take the Pew Reseach Center’s exhaustive political typology quiz, OR look at this picture. If you see “an icy descent of death,” welcome to the GOP! Enjoy your complimentary sunscreen! If you see “a typical ramp any non-demented president could easily navigate,” welcome to Wokeness! Enjoy the complimentary cables for yanking down colonizer statues!

There are still hundreds of legit Trump criticisms (which makes the fudging/exaggerating by Dems all the more mystifying). But because of my “new eye,” when social media tried to connect an $88 Trump baseball to Nazism, I was like, “Here we go again!”

Remember back when six Tweets didn’t constitute “America is up in arms about…”? Yeah, that was great.

Understanding the Hitler Ball

By way of background, the Anti-Defamation League says 88 is anti-Semitic code for “heil Hitler.” So I surveilled the merch on the website to see if $88 was a peculiar price. Most items ended in zeros and fives, but there were $36 dollar hats. Not $35, not $40. $36. What about the $32 visors? The $46 “Holbrecht” t-shirt? The $24 golf balls? You see my point, I’m sure.

Then I checked “the black baseball.” If you want to conjure up a “Trump is a racist” metaphor, what‘s as damning as TRUMP putting his actual name ON an actual black person (well, as personified by a baseball, I guess) ON the nation’s past-time, which black people once weren’t able to play. Coincidence? Or can it be any clearer Trump hated Jackie Robinson?

Except you quickly see NONE of the color schemes resemble real baseballs — navy with red stitching, tan with green, green with yellow, tan with navy, brown with cream, and (gasp) that black with grey. These balls aren’t racist; they’re for a pick-up game between Aeropostale and Nautica models.

But Then The Bombshell Explodes!

So at this point, I’m scrolling down wondering “What are these TDS people even talking abou…Ho-ly (expletive!) I see it.

How, Sway?!? How did they not….how could somebody miss…I can’t….okay, hold on…let me refocus…hmm.

To determine whether you are liberal or conservative, you can do that whole Pew thing we talked about above, OR just answer this question: When you see this photo, is your reaction: (1) “Trump’s merch team needs to learn history to avoid stupid mistakes like this!” If so, #MAGA, fellow conservative! Or (2) “Oh, Trump’s merch team DEFINITELY KNOWS GERMAN HISTORY!” If so, #Resist, liberal comrade!

Remember the first time you heard “Blurred Lines and were like, “These dudes are definitely cutting Marvin Gaye’s estate a check because that sounds just like “Gotta Give It Up”? Same reaction. I can’t prove this was intentional, but if he weren’t burning in hell, Joseph Goebbels would win this trademark infringement lawsuit.

Then I learned two weeks ago Facebook yanked Trump ads featuring prominent, inverted red triangles. When I first saw the media photo, I thought it represented a stop sign.

Can we just put a picture of Soros in the center of this triangle and be done with the anti-Semitism already?

But that’s because I’ve only seen Holocaust survivors in black and white, and I haven’t internalized the history. But two groups who definitely know that history are: (1) Jews hunting down Nazis; and (2) Nazis cleverly signaling to other Nazis so they can avoid the Jews hunting down Nazis.

The Trump campaign said it included this triangle since ANTIFA uses it. This seemed logical since we all know that the best way to REALLY wreck a brand is give it all kinds of free publicity.

I’m not a conspiracist, but even if you cannot prove intent in the higher campaign ranks, is it a stretch to wonder if there are sympathizers on the payroll? I mean, sure, we can just look at Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale (the guy who built the Trump family websites and campaign merchandise operations) and know just by looking at him that he has no interest in promoting white culture to the exclusion of others…

If troll dolls were 6'8" Vikings, they would look like this.

…but is our gut on that enough?

One thing the left can be proud of is that Hitler ball now sells for $87.50, so our wokeness docks Trump $.50 every time a J. Crew model buys one!

When asked about the price change, Parscale noted, “Our campaign rejects bigotry in all its forms, so we were glad to show we were not sending any racially-coded messages by changing the price, and as I’m sure our Jewish friends will agree, it’s an even better bargain now!”

But I’m not here for the anti-Semitism investigation.

Whether you believe Trump does anything wrong, he is so constantly nefarious-adjacent, in all of this bruhaha, we missed (or no longer even care) that a president is using his public office for private gain.

You see, when I sought out the Nazi rawhide, I couldn’t find it at first because it wasn’t on Trump’s campaign store. That website is where Trumpistas go to buy swag with bucks that fund the campaign, transforming each purchase from a desperate act of hoarding into a glorious 1st Amendment exercise.

Is Your “Campaign Donation” in the Prez’s Pocket?

In contrast, Hitler ball sells on www.thetrumpstore.com, and guess where THAT money goes? To Donald J. Trump and family.

What percent of Trump supporters even know the distinction between the generic Trumpstore goods ($$$ to Trump) and the absolutely more valued Trump AS PRESIDENT goods ($$$ to Trump 2020)?

Eliminating consumer confusion is super easy if you are ethical and have a personal brand webpage that is only golfing merchandise, the family’s gold name, hats with club names, or even your clever gold bar bank!

Great gifts for the man who can’t get enough of the name belonging to the man who can’t get enough of his name.
If you add eleven — or the number of electoral votes Arizona has — to that ’77 hat, you get 88! And who precisely carried Arizona in 2016? President Trump. You see it now, don’t you?

But let’s say that, hypothetically, you were a 100% transactional person — doing nothing that does not benefit you. What if AFTER you became president but ONLY after, you started selling more than golf gear? And what if all the new stuff suddenly trended to the very exquisite (and easily manipulable) patriotic tastes? For example…

Each 100th purchase comes with a hand-written letter from Melania Trump. Says Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady’s Chief-of-Staff, “We’ve heard she sometimes writes, ‘Help! I am trying to defect to escape my terrible husband!’ People love it. They know Slovenians are such cut-ups, so they know she’s joshing.”

And what if your personal landing page showed rotating summer collection images, all of which — down to the dog bow tie— are star-spangly, red, white, and blue exactly two weeks after you said American flag burners should spend a year in jail?

Trump hates dogs, which is why he doesn’t have one and why he let his team humiliate this pup via an upside-down bow-tie. Asked to comment, replied, “Back in ’16 George Will and I were comparing sartorial penchants, and he said I’d regret supporting this President. He was right. I really screwed the pooch on that one. ”

[Pssst! I think we both know the Supreme Court made it unconstitutional to do that, but that happened over 30 years ago. He wasn’t even president then! You don’t remember that long ago, I bet. Like, what happened on The Wonder Years the first week of January? You don’t even remember that do you, TDS hypocrite!?!]

But, anyway…quick true/false! These camo hats were available before Trump became president.

If you use your smartphone UPC scanner on the cap bills, you’ll get secret updates from QAnon!

Wait, you thought that was a real question? Of course, they weren’t.

Sadly, none of this is remotely hypothetical. According to the Wayback Machine, an amazing archive of website history, Prez T didn’t have ANY red white and blue until 2018, and the summer line is all-new for your purchase and his benefit.

In the big scheme of alleged and bounties, leeching off patrons who intended to give to the campaign seems almost quaint. But I feel duty-bound to make sure his donors know.

Maybe I’m just deranged.



Chris Worden

Satirist — Ideator — Creative — Politico — Hip Hop Enthusiast— Attorney