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Spoofs & Satire

The Third-Inning Blooper Reel

Contract disputes, managerial changes, players testifying on Capitol Hill about steroid use: With only a month until spring training, baseball didn’t get much of a rest this off-season.

Nelson Bachelor of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch… and a midair collision with a bird results in an explosion of feathers! Both Bachelor and Erik Rennick, the catcher, slowly walk toward the scene of the carnage, shaking their heads in disbelief.

Lonnie Lothrop of the Seattle Mariners trots backwards, looking upward, tracking a pop fly. Suddenly he stumbles! Refusing to take his eye off the ball, he gyrates his arms wildly, attempting to regain his balance. He succeeds for a few moments before collapsing, his backwards momentum propelling him into a reverse somersault. The baseball strikes the field feet away, uncaught.

Darryl Larock of the Chicago Cubs bunts, but inadvertently sends the ball dribbling directly to the pitcher. Larock saunters toward first base with a disgusted expression on his face, assuming that he will be thrown out. But the pitcher fumbles the ball! Realizing that he may make it to base after all, Larock lurches forward… only to trip over his own feet and land face-first in the dirt! He clambers to his hands and knees and crawls to first base as quickly as he can; the pitcher fumbles again before getting a grip on the ball. Larock beats the pitcher’s throw by a fraction of a second. He jokingly rests his head on first base, as if it was a pillow and he were exhausted from his frenetic crawl.

Kurt Szeto of the Baltimore Orioles slides into third base, twisting his leg in the process. It hurts terribly but he adopts a stoic expression, determined to betray no weakness. When the next batter hits a sacrifice fly, Szeto sprints home, worsening the injury and causing irreparable harm to the ligaments in his leg. His impulsive machismo ultimately cuts short his career by years.

Both Oleguer Rivera and Ted Packett of the Pittsburgh Pirates race to catch a pop foul ball. While Packett seems aware of Rivera, Rivera pursues the ball with such abandon that he is oblivious to Packett’s presence, and crashes into him while looking into the sky! The two tumble in a tangle of limbs, but Rivera thrusts his glove out at the last possible moment and intercept the dropping ball before it touches the ground! The crowd erupts in cheers and whistles.

Over beers one night in Cleveland, Clinton Innis of the Tampa Bay Rays reveals his sexual orientation to teammate Perseo Alarcón. They have known each other for so long that Innis assumed that Alarcón was already aware, but, in the days and weeks that follow, Alarcón becomes increasingly distant. Innis hopes Alarcón didn’t interpret the confession as an advance—Innish finds Alarcón’s steroid-enhanced physique repulsive—but he doesn’t know how to broach the subject again. When Alarcón is traded to the Florida Marlins later that season, Innis sighs with relief and resolves to never again confide in his professional colleagues.

But as he snaps his arm backwards, the baseball pops loose! He steps toward first base and whips his arm forward, but has nothing to throw. Hugh Gutierrez of the San Diego Padres buys the iPhone the first day it is available. Months later, the iTouch is announced, Gutierrez regrets his early-adopter mentality, as the newer device has all the functionality he desires at a much lower price.

Darren Coldren, shortstop for the Houston Astros, fields a line drive, tags second base for the force out, and then moves to deliver the ball to the first baseman, completing the double play. But as he snaps his arm backwards, the baseball pops loose! He steps toward first base and whips his arm forward, but has nothing to throw. Coldren stares at his open hand, wondering what happened, while the ball rolls around impotently at his feet.

Darren Yawn of the Detroit Tigers marries his college girlfriend, a grasping, materialistic gold-digger that he would have broken up with years ago were it not for his crippling lack of self-esteem. Soon they have two children, neither of which Yawn much cares for. He spends as much time on the road as possible.

Nathan Palomo of the Oakland Athletics attempts to drive home after drinking entirely too much at a party. He travels less than a mile before drifting over the median and effectuating an automobile accident that kills three people, including himself.

At the video store, Ted Boser of the New York Yankees rents the 2001 film One Night at McCool’s. But when he starts to watch it that evening, he remembers that he’d seen it in the theater, and it wasn’t good enough to merit a second viewing. Boser instead watches television crime dramas until 10:30 and hits the sack early.

Javier Richart of the St. Louis Cardinals applies for a adjustable-rate mortgage and purchases a home much larger than he can afford, contributing to the eventual collapse in the housing market that plunges the world into a global recession.