We’ve been warning our readers about the impending zombie apocalypse for a while now. In fact, we even went so far as to make some suggestions on how to prepare. Well, it turns out it’s a good thing we did so because on the zombie apocalypse clock, we’re about a millisecond from midnight.
The signs have been there for several years but it took some crackerjack sleuthing by the RSBS interns to sift through all the grisly stories and distill out the horrible truth. If you go back nine years ago, to 2003, you find the infamous case of the man who decapitated himself while trying to flee an arrest (link contains graphic photos). Or is that what happened? As we all know, you have to decapitate a zombie to kill it so maybe the “fleeing arrest” story was just a coverup to keep people from freaking out about zombies.
However, even if you dismiss the man on the fence, the events of the past couple weeks should assure you that the apocalypse is upon us. First, in late May, Canadian police began to find blood-soaked packages in the mail containing human body parts. You know who else likes to dismember people? Zombies.
A couple days later we heard about the Maryland college student who not only killed a man who had been living with his family but also ate his heart and brain. Ate his brain?!? There’s only one other being I know of that likes to eat brains. Zombies.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you, how about the man conveniently known as the “Miami zombie” who was shot while trying to eat a homeless man’s face? I can only think of one reason to eat someone’s face and that’s because it’s the easiest way to get to their brain. I’m pretty sure there’s another group that instinctively knows the quickest way from point A to point B (as in brain), is a straight line. Mathematicians. And zombies.
Now, just in case you think I haven’t done enough to prove that the apocalypse, zombie or other, is upon us, think about this. Currently the Orioles and White Sox are leading their respective divisions and the Pirates are in second. Yeah, kind of makes you want to stock up on bottled water and sawed-off shotguns, doesn’t it?
When Jeff and I discuss our views on the past, present and future of baseball, we often disagree but rarely allow the dissent to become mean-spirited. Sure, there may be the occasional ad hominem attack comparing the other person to Neville Chamberlain but it’s all in good fun. Baseball, like most aspects of life, evolves over time and as choices get made, we see how those choices affect the game and debate the effects.
What happens when your debate can never be settled, though? For instance, what happens when the the debate itself is grounded in faith and a belief that things work one way or another in the afterlife? I’m not talking about zombies here, because we (and others) have already made preparations for that. If and when the zombie apocalypse comes, the fact of whether or not we were ready will be easily observable.
Instead, I’m talking once again about religion and what happens when someone challenges the orthodoxy. For Galileo, it meant facing the Inquisition. For Martin Luther, it meant excommunication. For Rob Bell, no one knows as of yet. That doesn’t mean the religious establishment hasn’t automatically turned their guns on him, though.
For me, the argument is moot since I don’t believe in god. But the fact that Mr. Bell has decided to address the sticky question of what happens to those who don’t believe in the christian god but also never heard about him, exhibits a little less disingenuous thought than one commonly expects from the hardcore evangelicals. It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.
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.