Archive for February, 2015
Another Season in The Abyss???: The 2015 Tyranny of Tradition Baseball Preview Issue
Posted by Keith Spillett in Blithering Sports Fan Prattle on February 27, 2015
(Last fall, the editorial staff at Tyranny of Tradition received a $100,000 grant from the Arthur Schlichter Foundation For Integrity in Sports in order to cover sports with the passion and zeal with which we cover heavy metal. The grant was meant to last us 10 years, but the editorial staff had a really strong feeling about Valparaiso covering the spread on the road against Cleveland State in a college basketball game a few weeks back. Needless to say, our grant has dwindled down to about $317. Certainly not enough to start a whole sports department, but enough to send Tyranny’s baseball reporter Dirty Dave on The FM on a Greyhound Bus from Patchogue, Long Island to Port Saint Lucie to cover Spring Training for a day or two)
(We could not afford to put Dirty Dave up in a hotel, so he patiently slept outside of the Mets spring training complex until he was arrested at 4 AM for vagrancy and forced to spend the rest of his time “covering” baseball in a Florida jail cell. In spite of this, he was able to put together some of the finest, most in depth coverage of the changes that will be coming for the 2015 MLB season)
(He’s a good reporter and I think you’ll like the article. Plus, he’s taller than Tim Kurkjian. Then again, most adults are. Even some 2nd graders)
As winter begins to wind down and the annual Major League Baseball spring training season gets under way, baseball fans are looking ahead, but not necessarily forward, to a 2015 season shaping up to be unlike any other in the sport’s long history. When Allan H. (Bud) Selig retired from his post as Major League Baseball Commissioner on January 14, he was widely expected to order a series of eleventh-hour rule and policy changes reminiscent of the flurry of last-minute political pardons that accompanies the exit of U.S. presidents from office. The changes, which have now been independently confirmed by high-ranking staff members in the Commissioner’s Office, will usher the national pastime into a new era of innovations that many baseball historians are describing as more radical than any others implemented during the game’s modern age.
Selig, who was named Commissioner of Baseball in 1992, has been the target of controversy before. Widely recognized as one of the most progressive leaders in the history of the game, Selig is known for dictating a number of departures from baseball tradition, including interleague play, the addition of two, and later four, wildcard teams to the postseason, and instant replay.
According to sources, several of the changes for 2015 will fundamentally alter play itself. Starting on Opening Day, hitters will be required to bat with their eyes closed, pitchers must throw standing on only one leg, and fielders will use their hats in lieu of gloves. Additionally, teams will universally bypass the fourth inning and play a tenth inning instead. In the event of extra innings, the thirteenth inning will likewise be bypassed in consideration of any triskaidekaphobes who may be in attendance.
Other changes will have less effect on the game and more impact on the fan experience. To capitalize on the popularity of recently-introduced ballpark amenities like full-service restaurants, swimming pools, and night clubs, several sources are reporting that Selig has directed teams to offer additional extraneous activities at the ballpark, including water polo matches in the infield, fox hunts in the outfield, and recreational scoreboard climbing. Ballpark fare will be changing, too. Snacks that are virtually synonymous with baseball such as peanuts and Cracker Jack will be removed from inventories and substituted with walnuts and Triscuit. And several sources have confirmed that hot dogs will start being produced using actual dogs.
An anonymous source close to the former commissioner, who would identify himself only as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre, explained that as his retirement approached, Selig became concerned that he hadn’t done enough to secure baseball’s future. “Since his first day on the job, Bud’s number one goal has been to bring baseball into the twenty-first century as a viable, competitive sports product,” said the source. “With so many other entertainment options vying for the attention of today’s consumer, Bud has worked tirelessly to keep baseball at the forefront. These final reforms will ensure that baseball will remain our national pastime for decades to come.”
Among the many anticipated changes, the following are expected to draw the most ire from baseball purists:
- Selig will move the Milwaukee Brewers, the franchise he originally owned, back to Seattle where they will re-adopt their given name, the Pilots, and the Seattle Mariners will be sold to a Turkish investment group and moved to Istanbul
- To help limit the number of concussions and other serious baseball injuries, all players will be required to wear full Kevlar-reinforced body armor uniforms, baseballs will be replaced with Wiffle balls, and when approaching the plate runners will be required to come to a full stop and politely ask catchers for permission to slide
- To discourage any further commercialization of baseball, teams will be prohibited from selling the naming rights of their stadiums to corporations and all such stadiums will be renamed after obscure 19th century U.S. presidents; several new names have already been announced: Citi Field in New York will be renamed Rutherford B. Hayes Park, AT&T Park in San Francisco will be called Franklin Pierce Field, and Petco Park in San Diego will be renamed William Henry Harrison Stadium and then rechristened 30 days later as the John Tyler Coliseum.
- To broaden baseball’s global appeal, several new expansion teams will begin play in 2015, including the Somalia Pirates, the Moscow Reds, and the Mumbai Indians; to avoid confusion, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be renamed the Pittsburgh Old Fashioned Cartoony-Type Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds will be renamed the Cincinnati Slightly Lighter Shade of Reds, and the Cleveland Indians will be given the generic and non-offensive moniker the Cleveland Original Inhabitants of America.
- Derek Jeter will embark on a never-ending farewell tour, travelling from stadium to stadium in an endless cycle to receive a ceaseless quantity of free gifts
- Popcorn will be banned at ballparks, because where do you think you are? The movies?
- To further distinguish the geographical specificity of the team for its fan base, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim That Play Their Home Games In Orange County Off The I-5 Which Is Pretty Far Away From Dodger Stadium But Still In the Same Metro Area
- To help reverse the trend of increasing game times, all contests that proceed beyond the 15th inning will be decided by a sudden death “Punkin Chunkin” competition
- The Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners will replace their designated smoking sections with designated toking sections
- In tribute to former players Al Oliver, Oddibe McDowell, and Oscar Gamble, the number 0 will be universally retired by all teams
- In addition to the substances currently banned by Major League Baseball’s drug policy, players will be prohibited from using or possessing eggplants
- The National League will officially merge with the American League, the combined entity will then merge with the Canadian Football League, and the resulting organization will merge with Golden Corral
- More beards
- Any fan not removing their cap during the National Anthem will be waterboarded while forced to listen to a 24-hour repeating loop of Joe Buck broadcasts
The Major League Baseball Players Association could not be reached for comment.
Lou Pearlman’s Former Boy Band Black Sabbath Enter Their 45th Year
Posted by Keith Spillett in General Weirdness on February 13, 2015
Long before famed music impresario Lou Pearlman created famed boy bands like The Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, he left a more lasting and indelible impact on the world of music by creating the most famed heavy metal band in history. Black Sabbath, the brainchild of the teenage Pearlman, initially came into being as what he liked to call a “heavy boy band”. Years later, they are metal legends.
Pearlman, who is currently serving 25 years in federal prison for conspiracy and money laundering, recalls the early days of the group fondly.
“I remember thinking to myself that if I had a little bit of front money and four out-of-work British musician looking guys, I could really strike it rich. All the stuff coming out at the time seemed really dark, so I figured if I created an evil version of The Beatles it might catch on. Throw in a little satanic imagery, some hip shaking grooves and wham…bam….Magic Sam…we got ourselves a number one hit record.”
Pearlman discovered the band outside of an unemployment office in Workington. He offered them 20 dollars and a warm place to sleep for the week if they’d agree to take some photos pretending to be a band called Sabbath (Pearlman later changed the name to Black Sabbath because it sounded ‘even more evil’).
There was only one problem, none of the men had ever played an instrument.
Lou, whose uncle was Ray Pearlman an IBM employee who developed a punch card computer system that wrote and played music in the late 1960s, borrowed the system and within two hours penned the entire first Black Sabbath record.
“The music sounded great, but the computer couldn’t simulate a voice that sounded right. I thought about it and realized Mick Jagger couldn’t carry a tune if it had handles on it. I just went in and asked the boys who could yell the loudest. Ozzy raised his hand. The rest is history!”
Pearlman gave Ozzy a steak and a bottle of Thunderbird wine in exchange for the vocal tracks. Pearlman edited them into the music (using the alias Rodger Bain in order to not have his fingerprints all over the band’s work) and sent it to a friend of his at a label known as Vertigo. Within a few months, the album reached number 23 on the Billboard Top 200 list.
For the band’s early years, Pearlman was pulling most of the strings. He carefully orchestrated a menacing, sinister image for the band and had them take lessons to learn their instruments in order to help heavy boy band music (later known as heavy metal) catch on. He even created a convincing back story about the members of the band being parts of earlier projects with bizarre names like Earth and The Polka Tulk Blues Band.
In an odd turn of events, Pearlman, who gained a reputation for allegedly scamming bands out of their just due, was himself robbed of his rightful place in the annals of heavy metal history. The band cut ties with Pearlman, who at that time was going by the name of Incognito Johnson and running a series of tanning parlors in Arizona, in 1974. His name was removed from everything associated with the band and members of Black Sabbath have claimed to have no idea who he is.
Pearlman, who is expected to be released from prison in 2029, believes that he will one day be rightfully acknowledged for his role in creating heavy metal.
“Look, I know I’ve probably done a few bad things in my life. Ponzi schemes, releasing music that was unfit to be played in Guantanamo Bay torture chambers….hell, I even stole a blimp once! But, at the end of the day, I deserve to also be remembered as the guy who brought the world the greatest boy band of all-time, Black Sabbath.”
Mother of Unvaccinated 2-Year-Old: “Why Does My Daughter Look Like Phil Anselmo?”
Posted by Keith Spillett in General Weirdness on February 6, 2015
Looks like the whole “Americans choosing not vaccinate their children crisis thing that everyone seems to be worked up about” has gone to a new level!
When a woman in Menlo Park, California showed up at a local emergency room with a nearly 6 foot tall, bearded 2-year-old with an “Unscarred” tattoo across her flabby stomach, doctors believed something might be wrong. It was then that Helen Doltberg revealed to the staff that she had not had her child vaccinated for any disease in the hopes of being more like some of the B-list, crackpot celebrities she stares blankly at on the television in her free time.
“Look, it’s a competitive world out there. How can I possibly expect to keep up with the demands of work and parenting while still trying to get my family its own reality show? The answer is…no vaccines.”
“Sure, Spumoni (Helen’s daughter) may end up with some virus that science eradicated decades ago, but it seemed just as likely that she would morph into some attention grabbing, cloven-hooved beast that television producers couldn’t ignore. We took a risk. But, we never expected anything like this.”
This would be the first reported case of Anselmo contracted in the United States since 2005. Back in 1938, Dr. Jonas Liposuct famously created a vaccine for the virus from mold that had accumulated on a 4-year-old Twinkie. Until the vaccine was created, over 20,000 Americans were infected with Anselmo on a yearly basis.
The long history of Anslemo-related deaths in the United States goes back to the 1700s when Sir Jeffrey Amherst distributed blankets infected with the disease to members of the Fugawi tribe in Massachusetts killing off nearly 90 percent of them within 3 weeks. Amherst later had a town and a college named after him in honor of his great spirit of generosity and creativity.
The first recorded case of Anselmo struck a group of Taters who contracted the virus by eating chimpanzees during their voyage through one of the Italian rainforests in the 1340s. The Taters went on to attack the Italian city of Caffa in 1346, but were so overwhelmed by the virus that they gave up their siege. Still, determined to inflict the maximum amount of suffering on the residents of Caffa in order to avenge the theft of The Sacred Spud from the Tater city of Fribourg back in 1273, they became the first army to attempt the use of biological warfare. The last remaining Tater soldiers vaulted Anselmo infected bodies over the city walls infecting the entire population of the city with the deadly virus as well as causing the city’s burgeoning thrash metal scene to adopt a more “groove-oriented” sound.
The Obama Administration was initially blamed for allowing an American to contract the disease, but claimed to have been too busy infecting dwarves with measles and rubella in their attempt to turn Disneyland into a FEMA concentration camp. Because Obama and his cabal of Kenyan communists were unavailable to be held accountable for this problem, the media has shifted its focus to blaming athletes who do not act as role models, Congressional gridlock, Craigslist, radical Islamic groups throughout the Middle East, people who receive welfare, the police, members of the rap group 2 Live Crew, Chinese toy manufacturers, puppy mill owners, and Casey Anthony.