Bats are useful things. Sure, they’re made for hitting baseballs but that’s a pretty narrow view. For instance, you can spin in circles around them and then try to run a race. It’s not all that efficient but it’s sure fun to watch.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSu1yfEeOF0]
Other uses? Well, my brother keeps one in his car just on the off chance he gets in a scrape while driving. You might think it’s silly but, well, this:[youtube http://youtu.be/5SHJE62FKM4]
So, let’s review. Bats: useful for hitting homeruns, also useful for hitting people. Just ask Jose Offerman.
A couple of years ago a guy in Canada made the international news when he killed a fellow bus passenger for seemingly no reason at all. Even that probably wouldn’t have been enough except that he proceeded to cut the dead man’s head off and hold it up for everyone else to see.
Thankfully, this type of crazy remains relatively rare. Sure, we get the occasional nut job like Jose Offerman but he’s the exception rather than rule. And, to be fair, he didn’t cut anyone’s head off either.
Here in the US we also get our fair share of far-out nuts. These stories run the gamut from the tragic (Timothy McVeigh and the Columbine Killers) to the macabre (Jeffery Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy). However, every once in a while a story hits the wires that just can’t be categorized. For instance, Richard Elwood Sanden.
Honestly, I’m not even really sure where to start on this one. And I’m not even really sure why I’m bringing it up except to spread the horror a little wider in hopes that my own will dissipate. I mean seriously, who uses telephone dating services? That’s why the internet was created.
….Oh, you’re horrified for other reasons? Oh, yeah, ok. I guess I can see where you’re coming from. That part is pretty bad, too. But seriously, I didn’t even know that telephone dating services still existed or that anyone used them.
Too often we ignore tough questions and refuse to speculate on the “what ifs” we confront as a baseball loving community. You could make a strong case that this happened with the steroid scandal and it is inevitable that baseball will face other equally difficult problems in the future. Luckily, RSBS refuses to sit back and rest on our laurels. We will continue to push for consideration of all the too real issues facing the baseball community.
For instance, isn’t it time that we think about what would happen to baseball if the zombie apocalypse broke out? On a geo-political level, Daniel Drezner already addressed the topic and presented several different paradigms. Today, RSBS takes a look at possible MLB specific scenarios.
The Danny Boyle
As players continue to experiment with various PED’s and try to avoid detection by using previously unknown substances, we face a very real possibility of infection à la 28 Days Later. It doesn’t help our chances that baseball players are already genetic freaks with practically superhuman strength, speed and dexterity. In this scenario we have two avenues of salvation. First, we can hope that security reacts quickly and shuts down the stadium so the zombie baseball players don’t escape. Yes, this probably means several thousand dead fans before the problem can be, uh, eradicated but it’s a small price to pay to avoid the annihilation of all mankind. The second possibility is that zombification will affect the players’ brains to the point that they can be taken down easily with available weaponry like bats, t-shirt cannons and plastic knives.
The George Romero
The second scenario is a more classic zombie approach. If an infected fan were to enter the ballpark, the tight spaces, confined exits and various nooks and crannies present a zombie wonderland. Or house of horrors depending on whether you’re playing for the undead or Team Humanity. In this we’re once again lucky to have access to a veritable arsenal of zombie killing treasures and, as long as they remain uninfected, the services of trained head smashing machines like Jose Offerman. Let’s just hope it doesn’t start at Citizen’s Bank Park because Chase Utley’s batting average suggests he’ll be hitting more air than zombie heads.
Our final scenario draws on contemporary inspiration like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. Zombies are generally seen as terror-inducing eaters of brains. But recent popular culture reinterpretations have shown us that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. For instance, what if a zombie A-Rod stumbled across the mound while Dallas Braden was pitching? Or what if Manny Ramirez became a reanimated corpse? It might even lead to the new catchphrase, “That’s just Manny being a zombie.” Which would be funny because it was true. Sure, we’d have to keep an eye on the epidemic and make sure it didn’t spread. This might even lead to protests against the segregation of zombie baseball players in separate dressing rooms. But I think we can all agree that the comedic potential is definitely there.
Over here at RSBS we’re still hoping that the zombie apocalypse stays firmly rooted in the world of film and fiction. In our opinion, Woody Harrelson and Mr. Darcy are much more suited to zombie fighting than we are. But if the day of reckoning does come, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you were prepared. No, don’t thank us. It’s our job.
In a further sign that international diplomacy involves about as much maturity as A-Rod running the bases, the upcoming Islamic Games were canceled in a row over the correct name of the Persian….I mean the Arabian……I mean the Gulf. Sure, they may say that it was about health concerns, mainly Swine Flu, but make no mistake. This was all about the name of that infamous body of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.
You want context? Think about what would happen if the delightful residents of Chicago decided to start referring to Lake Michigan as Lake Illinois. Yeah, that just wouldn’t fly. Besides, everyone knows that Illinois is just a third-rate state that only pretends to be American. It only makes sense that the lake is named after the the obviously superior State of Michigan. In fact, that’s the reason why Lake Superior is so aptly named; it’s in the superior state of Michigan.
Now, if you think the preceding paragraph presents a clear and coherent viewpoint, congratulations! You just might have what it takes to be a diplomat! However, if you think it sounds absolutely ridiculous then I’ll present you with one more possible solution. We send Jose Offerman into the next meeting of the Islamic Games’ governing council and let him settle things the way that only he can.
Sometimes it’s nice to go through life knowing certain constants remain… constant. You know, like the sun will always rise in the east; Republicans and Democrats will always hate each other; Jose Offerman, as a player, coach, manager, whatever, will do everything possible so that he can continue to assault people on the baseball diamond.
Oh sure, this time the weapon has changed — preferring a clenched fist over a maple bat. And the victim is one of the men in blue instead of the opposing pitcher. But the one reassuring constant in this matter is that no one in professional baseball seems to care that Jose Offerman is a complete psychopath.
If I were running a team in the Dominican Republic or the Independent Leagues or even the Majors, and Jose Offerman was involved with my club somehow, I would make sure that he always remained secure in one of those Hannibal Lecter type restraining device get ups.
I would let him take his swings or go out to the mound to talk to his pitcher or argue with an umpire if a play called for it; but I would definitely make sure the creep was strapped down to a board so tight that his every word would just barely squeak out.
Pedophiles are strongly advised to stay away from playgrounds.
Washed up, asinine, troglodyte excuses for baseball players who can’t resist attempted murder during a game should be kept just as far away.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz you know I’m right.
You know what this baseball season is lacking? A good brawl. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw a baseball brawl that really made me stand up and cheer. I mean, there are classics like Pedro taking out Don Zimmer and Jose Offerman charging the mound with a bat. But these happened years ago. Where’s the good stuff these days?
I’m not saying I’ve lost hope. The next few days will be all about the Yankees and Red Sox renewing their rivalry and we all know there’s no love lost between those two teams. Maybe Beckett throws some high heat and Melky takes exception. Or it could be Mariano throwing behind Youkilis and Big Papi comes charging out of the dugout to right that wrong. It could happen.
But most likely we’ll just see some baseball. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, New York and Boston squaring off is a time-tested showdown. Once again they’re one and two atop the AL East and seem to be heading for another late-season showdown.
Is it wrong, though, that I want to see the fire? I love the idea of A-Rod saying the wrong thing to Papelbon and the whole thing disintegrating into yelling, shoving and then flying fists. Maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan and the only thing we have going for us there is hockey. But Papelbon and Rodriguez throwing down brings a smile to my face.
Maybe, though, it’s just a natural reaction to other world events. When female Russian handballers are going at it like Tyson and Holyfield while baseball players are meekly sitting the bench when their teammates get beaned, well, you know something is a little mixed up in the world. What, you don’t believe me? Well, believe this:
My money is on the blonde.
-Video via Deadspin
You know, just a week ago I was lamenting the lack of baseball related drama and filling up space with videos of kids on (legal) drugs. Man, things sure changed in a hurry. A-Rod, Tejada, Abreu, Oswalt, Dunn. All of them hit the news in the past week, although under very different circumstances. Add in pitchers and catchers reporting today and you got yourself one heck of a week in baseball.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the week in politics (our bread if you consider baseball to be our butter) got a little crazy, too. Stimulus plans, Juan Williams invoking Stokely Carmichael and Michelle Obama and more cabinet nominee hyjinks were just the beginning. Seriously guys. If y’all could parcel this out over the course of a couple weeks instead of just one, I’d really appreciate it.
However, it’s times like these when we really need to concentrate on what’s important. And those things, in no particular order, are:
-Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday was yesterday. I think you’ve heard of him before. Really? Not ringing a bell, huh? 16th President. Born in a log cabin. Face on the penny and five dollar bill. Still nothing? Thank god for Wikipedia.
-Despite the fact that Erin Andrews doesn’t do it for me, apparently she does it for quite a few other people. (via Deadspin but you may not want to open that link if you’re at work or your computer is monitored)
-Despite lying on national television and then turning around and eating a big ol’ slice of humble pie, A-Rod will still get more action in one night than I will see in the next year. Possibly two.
-But the most important news item is that RSBS has reached its paper anniversary and in honor of that (and because I need a vacation), I will be heading to Chicago tomorrow to hang out with Mr. Lung. There are a few ideas simmering in the ol’ crockpot and if it all works out, we hope to serve up a nice, thick RSBS stew next week. Man, if that metaphor was Whitney, I guess that would make me Bobby.