Thursday, April 14, 2011

News from the Future: The Red (Sox) Scare

Today, I am proud to bring you a new segment. If you haven’t guessed already from the title, I intend to pluck news pieces from the distant future, so that you may know and prepare for whatever calamity the coming days bring. Will you use the knowledge for good or evil? I don’t care, so long as if you make any money off the knowledge, you cut Ol’ Matt a little piece, so that I may continue to build upon my already formidable collection of ancient Egyptian erotica … and by “build upon” I mean “start.”

Today’s article comes to us from the great distant future of nine months from now, a time controlled by dinosaur robots and a cannibalistic powdered-wig-wearing overlord. What’s that? That’s 11 months from now? Oh. Well ignore all that then. That has nothing to do with this article about baseball. Best we forget the dinosaur bit all together, shall we?

No, our story comes from a far more frightening time, a time where Dodgers fans and Giants fans, Yankees fans and Red Sox fans no longer fear being caught unprotected amongst their opponents. The collective hatchet has been buried; rallying cries of Mike Stanley, Leo Durocher and Dave Anderson (really? Dave Anderson, whom I had never heard of and had to look up for this article; he’s a rallying cry?) ring out against a common foe … the other rivalry.

Now, I know what you’re thinking as you are reading this: “Matt, these fan bases hate each other. I know this Dodger fan, Ricky, (I’m assume you all know a Ricky) who every year, when he blows out the candles of his birthday cake, wishes for McCovey Cove to be filled with more sharks than water on game days for the home run-fetching kayak-jockeys that populate the area. ‘Welcome to Shark Park!’ he’d cackle, then full-body laugh until the other guests politely ignore him in favor of sweet, sweet cake. They’d never unite under any circumstances.”

Well, that’s where you’re wrong, foolish hypothetical you … you cur. Sorry to fly off the handle there.
No. The sides came together to take the other out, a power move to get a greater share of the nation’s baseball power, fully aware that they’d go back to hating one another as soon as the whole ordeal was over, not unlike the USA and Russia teaming up to take out that angry yelling fella back in your grandfather’s heyday. And sure enough, as soon as those two were done, BOOM, it was all Olympic boycotts and space racing. (Incidently, space racing is the topic of another “News from the Future.” And you know who’s really good at it? Somalia. I know, crazy.)

See, this is nine months in the future, but future you will already know that this particular cold war started back in the 90’s. Economists or physicists or whoever is supposed to study these things believe the East Coast camp threw the first ruthless punch, spiking the otherwise ineffective protein supplement being developed at BALCO.  Dastardly, I know. Poor Barry Bonds never did see it coming.
The plan backfired though, as Bonds went on to make sure that every potential opposing pitcher had chronic nervous nose bleeds and a well-stocked collection of soiled trousers, not just because of his clout with a baseball bat, but for his horrifyingly huge noggin. The man was his own bobblehead, yet, due to baseball’s hard stance of “Don’t sweat it. Look, that guy knocked a dinger!” he never served a suspension for performance enhancing drug use. Chalk one up for the West Coast.

The Yanks and Sox got one back by breaking up the Dodgers-owning couple, the McCourts. It was a bit of a hackneyed sitcom-esque plan, stealing Frank’s anniversary gift so that Jamie thought he’d forgotten. But it seemed to have brought to the surface some trouble that had been brewing all along, so when Jamie McCourt did not get her baby seal coat, or whatever rich people buy for each other, it set off a firestorm of tirades between the two that resulted in a midseason sale of the team to forgotten Batman rogue’s gallery member, Donald Sterling. Bad times for all.

Oh, and it didn’t stay off the field either. It turns out Tim Wakefield became a spy for the West Coast sometime around 2003. Neighbors were always quoted afterwards saying, “He was such a nice guy. Very well mannered. I can’t believe the jovial, well-meaning soft-tosser next door could be so sinister.” Don’t be so naïve. There are more spies in this game than in a mispackaged Stratego box. You see, it’s always the knuckleballer. Look at Scot Shields of the Angels and R.A. Dickey of the Mets, planted by members of their league in case this thing expanded. I’m just saying, if there is a knuckleballer in your farm league, or worse, on your team today, don’t let him near your personnel manifestos … or your wife. R.A. Dickey indeed.

So here we are, nine months later at an apocalyptic standstill. (Maybe. These things are hard to read. So let’s just assume it is.)  I for one have always been in favor of a baseball-themed apocalypse, just not so soon. I’d prefer if I was already on death’s door, and THEN we had a baseball apocalypse – an entertaining final scene  -- but beggars cannot be choosers I suppose is the right way to sum up all this imminent death. Can we fix this in time to save the country, nay the entire galaxy? I suppose we could all become Cleveland Indians fans. But really, which is worse?

Matthew Donato listened to The White Panda's "Rematch" while writing this, and hopes the Indians outperform expectations this season.


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