Archive for category Blithering Sports Fan Prattle
(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.
The high stakes game of recruiting between the top programs in the country for running back Clement “Babalu” Attlee came to an end early this morning when he announced his intent to join heavy metal band Venom. Attlee, the all-time leading rusher in California history, starred for four years at Richard L. Ramirez High School in Monterey Park. The school went 46-0 and won four state championships thanks to the speed and strength of Attlee, the nation’s Number 1 prospect.
Attlee was considered a three star prospect as a junior. However, in spite of his obvious ability, at 6’0 150 pounds, he was considered not physically developed enough to become a high-level college player. However, thanks to daily injections of aloe, B-12, botulism and black tar heroin coupled with a sadistic workout regiment, Attlee grew to 5’6 470 pounds during the summer without losing any of his trademark quickness.
Many experts were surprised at Attlee’s choice of Venom. After all, Venom hasn’t been a national powerhouse since the graduation of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Abbadon. In spite of producing quality performers like Anthony “Antton” Lant, Alastair “Big Al The Demolition Man” Barnes, Steve “War Maniac” White, and Clive “Jesus Christ” Archer, Venom have never been able to live up to the glory days when Mantas, Abbadon and the Red Light Fever defense ruled the gridiron and won five consecutive national championships.
Up until yesterday, it looked like Attlee would sign with either Georgia, Penn State, or Testament. However, he ruled out Georgia and Penn State because of the harsh winter weather and feared having to share snaps with All-American tailback Chuck Billy if he joined Testament. Earlier front-runners Slayer lost traction with Attlee after rumors of recruiting violations during the signing of drummer Dave Lombaro led many football analysts to believe the band might soon be put on NCAA probation.
During his signing day press conference, Attlee put four skulls on the press table (each labeled the name of one of his final four possible selections). He smashed the first three with hammers, then drank yak blood out of the one marked Venom, cueing the press that he had made his choice.
When asked about why he chose Venom, Atlee did not hesitate to name his number one reason. “I wanted to play for Cronos,” said Attlee as he wiped the blood and bone matter off of his face. “He’s been laying down some of the heaviest bass riffs and most guttural vocals since 1979. The guy is a legend. He’s also a good Christian man who spends a lot of his off-season washing the feet of the poor and building churches in war torn Borneo. Most importantly, a few years with Coach Cronos and I feel like I’ll be ready to be the best NFL prospect I could possibly be.”
In secret memos obtained by The Tyranny of Tradition, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has recommended that baseball legend Alex Rodriguez be suspended from the game for life for “acts detrimental to the game, his health and the personal hygiene of those around him.” According to Selig, there is strong reason to believe that Alex Rodriguez has, since 2009, been injecting himself with a bizarre cocktail of rock legend GG Allin’s pancreatic fluid, ox blood and yogurt.
Allin, known for his grotesque on stage antics and general hatred of most members of the human race, died of a heroin overdose in 1993. Allin’s pancreas and several other of his body parts went missing after his autopsy, leading many experts to believe they had been eaten by his fans. However, in 2003, Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch came across the pancreas at a yard sale in Bangor, Maine. Bosch quickly realized that the Allin’s pancreas had the ability to bring out Incredible Hulk-like torrents of aggression in those who injected fluid from it into their bodies.
Rodriguez purportedly became a client of Biogenesis because he felt that the horse and elephant hormones he had been shooting into his system did not give him enough of an edge. ARod was the first of the Biogenesis clients to begin regularly cycling the Allin mixture. While he had success with the concoction, it came at a price.
While he had a great season in 2009 and led the Yankees to a World Series, his behavior started becoming extremely erratic. At one point during the playoffs that year, Rodriguez became enraged at Derek Jeter and intentionally projectile vomited on the Yankee captain’s girlfriend.
Things became much worse in 2010. He spent much of his time in the locker room listening to Hank Williams records and mumbling incoherently about wanting to be covered from head-to-toe in bacon grease. Before each at bat, he would put a lit cigarette out on his tongue. In June, ARod drew his first non-steroid related suspension when he head butted umpire Ken Keiser over a called third strike. During a September series in Arlington, he began lacerating his face and chest with a razor blade, bleeding into a water gun and firing it at hostile Texas Ranger fans.
Things came to a head during Spring Training in 2011 when Rodriguez allegedly beheaded a lion during the seventh inning stretch and began throwing its internal organs at Cub fans. He was restrained and removed from the premises by police, but not before ripping the front hood off of teammate Russell Martin’s Camaro in the parking lot.
Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman was concerned at the change that had taken place in Rodriguez. “Sure, he was always a spoiled, arrogant, narcissist, but we never felt he was a danger to the safety of those around him until 2009. That year, he started doing things that were, quite frankly, a bit strange. Let’s face it, urinating on second base to celebrate hitting a double is simply not the Yankee Way.”
If you’ve been anywhere near a television over the past 3 months, you’ve probably heard the name Mike Trout. No, it’s not a dish at your local Red Lobster or the brother of Kurt Vonnegut’s most famous recurring character, rather Mike Trout is a professional baseball player for the Anaheim Angels. He has put up legendary numbers since being called up to the Major Leagues and has some fans thinking he might be this generation’s Bryce Harper. Here are a few things you might not know about Mike Trout….
Mike Trout hit .413 in the month of July making him the first person with an artificial lung to hit .400 for a full month since Claudell Washington did it in 1807.
Mike Trout is the uncle of legendary Hollywood actress Farrah Fawcett.
Mike Trout is the first baseball player in history to score three times on the same play.
Mike Trout has hit 16 homeruns in 2012, more than any other major leaguer since Henry Aaron hit 17 in 1956.
Mike Trout played his entire high school junior season covered in maple syrup.
If you say Mike Trout three times in front of a mirror, you turn into famed novelist Toni Morrison.
Mike Trout is the son of former major league pitcher Steve Trout.
Mike Trout posthumously won the 1976 Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of demented news anchor Howard Beale in Sidney Lumet’s classic film Network.
Mike Trout has more RBIs this month than all 44 U.S. Presidents COMBINED
It is a state law in New Jersey that if a catcher catches Mike Trout stealing second base he is to be fined a thousand dollars and can face up to six months in prison.
In the 8th grade, Mike Trout’s track coach timed him running the 100-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. At the time he ran it, he was in a coma.
Mike Trout’s first major league hit came against Confederate Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Mike Trout once plucked a dying sparrow out of midair on his way from first to home on a single.
Mike Trout was born with 14 fingers on his right hand.
If Mike Trout continues on his current pace, he will have played in more consecutive games than Cal Ripken by 2017.
Mike Trout is the son of former major league star Vada Pinson.
If Mike Trout left Houston traveling at 20 miles per hour he would in Seattle within two hours.
Mike Trout has been cited by William Faulkner as the major influence behind the novel Absalom! Absalom!
Mike Trout was born without a ribcage.
Mike Trout is the first major leaguer to have no vowels in his first or last name.
Mike Trout is the great-grandson of former U.S. Senator Charles de Gaulle.
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing, Blithering Sports Fan Prattle on January 17, 2012
(Middle-aged woman with red hair walks on the elevator. I am pacing back and forth. My facial muscles are twitching. I begin saying “Vermont” over and over in a loud voice for no particular reason)
Woman: (frightened) Sir, are you okay?
Me: No. No. I’m not okay. I’m NOT okay. I’m not OKAY ALRIGHT!!!!
You know why? Do you? Moneyball. That’s the problem. Moneyball. I stayed up all night watching that film. Over and over. I read the book. I mean, I loved the book. It fueled my deep and undying passion for baseball stats. It was fascinating. VERMONT! I mean, Michael Lewis is a heck of a writer. But….THE MOVIE!!!! Ehhhhh!!!! Vermont!
Woman: (staring straight ahead in utter terror) The….movie?
Me: It’s absurd. Absurd! They turned the thing into a Merchant-Ivory picture! All the edge of a five-year-old butter knife. All the dullness of Out of Africa with the “fight the system”, Occupy Someplace message that Americans love. Mr. Smith Goes To Oakland. Blah blah blah. Of course, the big climax is the film is the main character turning down a whale’s colon full of money for “the love of the game”. If there was ever a part of me that didn’t want so see Hollywood attacked by human eating vultures it died in that moment. VERMONT!!!!!!
Me: Good lord! How many shots of that stupid “Awwww shucks”, wax-lipped expression on Brad Pitt’s stupid face can one man handle? Who wants to watch this guy do a 2-hour impression of the offensive line coach at Auburn? And the fat kid? What’s his deal!!?!! If I was Paul DePodesta I’d rather them got Anthony Perkins to play me. They even put hipsters in baseball movies now for godsakes. VERMONT!!!!!! And his daughter?!? Good lord! They put her in the movie twice for the sole purpose of playing that god-awful song. TWICE!!! Awful! Those noises she makes. She sounds like a porpoise giving birth…
Woman: (reaching into her purse for either a whistle or pepper spray) Sir, please…….
Me: Look! You asked me what I thought about the film! I hated it. Vermont! If you watched the film you’d think the A’s only had Scott Hatteberg, Chad Bradford and David Justice. They had Zito! Mulder! Hudson! Dye! Tejada! Harang! Ramon Hernandez! Not a one of those guys were Moneyballers. And their division sucked! Those were also factors….don’t you think??????
Me: You’d think Billy Beane had a blind second baseman and 9-year-old playing catcher. You’d think Billy Beane climbed Mount Mariah and talked the good lord out of making Abraham sacrifice his son. You’d think he cured smallpox by dialing a few numbers into his computer. VER—–MONT!!!!!
Me: And another thing, what did Art Howe ever do to become the worst movie villain since Jack Nicholson put on face paint? Sure, he wasn’t exactly a great manager, but watching this film you’d think he had Frank Menechino’s liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. He’s an American League manager! Of course, he’s cold and disinterested! You would be too if you had to watch 162 games a year without even getting to call one double switch. Let’s face it, it’s the most mind-numbing job this side of being Underwear Inspector Number 8 at the Hanes Factory.
Woman: (angrily) Are you finished?
Me: Am I finished?!? Am I finished?!? VermontvermontVERMONT! You know what stings the worst. The reviews! Reading reviewer after reviewer practically break their collective arms trying to heap praise on this piece of garbage because the director “gets out of the way and let’s the film tell it’s story.” According to most of the Gatekeepers of Good Taste, the best thing an American director can aspire to be is irrelevant. Where are the 12-minute tracking shots? Where is the juxtaposition between Billy Beane and a Chicago Slaughterhouse in the 1890s? No homage to Eisenstein’s Odessa Step Sequence? Only two films get made in Hollywood anymore, the one about the likeable but eccentric character triumphing over some overblown problem or the one about the co-ed trapped in an elevator who can only survive by gnawing off her own leg. America used to stand for something! Is this really the best we can do? VERMONT!!!!
Woman: (finally looking at me with a deeply concerned expression)This is my floor. I’m going to go now.
Me: Thanks for listening.
Woman: You bet.
(Editors Note: The following was written during Mr. Spillett’s regular Saturday journey to Quarg, a parallel dimension located in the Glyming Galaxy. In this dimension, fortunately, Tebow Time and Tebow Mania do not exist)
Things keep getting worse for the New York Mets. Following a dreadful 2011 campaign, the Mets most reliable starter, R.A. Dickey, was consumed this week by a pack of snarling mountain loins on his quest to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Dickey, who finished 2011 with a sterling 3.28 ERA, was ripped to shreds only moments before he reached the top of the mountain leaving the Mets 2012 playoff hopes in tatters.
However, things might be starting to look up. The Mets today signed knuckleballer and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow, who was released by the Broncos yesterday after throwing 12 interceptions in the first quarter against a Pittsburgh Steeler defense that was using 11 defensive linemen, was snapped up immediately by the pitching starved Mets.
Tebow, who hasn’t pitched a baseball game since he was an 11-year-old little leaguer, was shocked at first by the offer. He had counted on spending a good portion of his adult life underthrowing open receivers in the NFL. But, a chance to pitch for an organization poised on the brink of greatness, like the Mets, was too much to refuse.
The question is, can Tebow pitch in the majors? Sandy Alderson certainly thinks so. After watching Tebow throw wobbly, erratic passes to no one in particular, the Mets GM began to believe that he is a natural knuckleball pitcher. Scientists have studied the motion of the ball leaving Tebow’s hand and are at a loss to explain it. “It’s as if the ball is being guided by a drunken stumbling vagrant,” said NASA Chief Physicist Aaron Bowles. Alderson, however, believes its trajectory is reminiscent of how the ball used to leave Phil Niekro’s hand.
Alderson believes that if Tebow could make a baseball do what he does with a football, he could be virtually unhittable. Beyond his potential, Alderson was impressed by Tebow’s willingness to pitch for free. The Mets, who project their payroll to be somewhere around 150 dollars next season were looking for a low risk, low reward signing to eat innings for them. Tebow seemed to fit the mold perfectly.
Alderson also admitted he was excited about the idea of Tebow bringing positive attention to a franchise that has spent the better part of the last five years being treated like a leper colony. “Who wouldn’t be moved by the story of a kid from an upper middle class family, who represents the most popular religion in the United States defying the odds and becoming successful? The chances were one in a million. He’s an underdog in every sense of the word,” said a teary-eyed Alderson.