Volume 96, Issue 97
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

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Monkeys, hunchbacks and salmon

Back bacon
Colin Butler
Gazette Staff

I'm not going to sugar-coat it – Major League Baseball is boring.

With stiff competition from more exciting TV like Sponge Bob Squarepants and Charles in Charge reruns, baseball could sure use some spice.

You may recall not too long ago that Brett Hull published in The Hockey News his hardhearted "Ten Ways to Improve the Game." Well I, like Brett Hull, am putting forth ten ways to improve the game of baseball.

Although, unlike Hull, I have the athletic ability of a bowl of oatmeal. Plus, I steal Bibles.


1. Equipment managers should be replaced with monkey butlers. Everyone loves those mischievous simians all dressed up in tuxedos – especially kids. It's important to give kids a reason to love baseball, because, well, children are the future – and we all remember what happened when we used to think the Amish were the future. Man, was that fucked up.


2. Pitchers should have to rub a hunchback for good luck. Sports are full of superstition because well, superstition makes sense: it's the basis for all facts. Instead of asking, isn't this demeaning to those with terrible, debilitating spinal cord deformities? Ask instead: how can you not rub that?


3. Batters should have to wear a 50lb Pacific salmon in their belt. Not only does it make fashion sense and turn heads in gay Paris, but it will give the vicious grizzly bear with a feverish thirst for blood a reason to chase the batter after he's just hit a home-run.


4. While running, players should have to navigate a gauntlet of land mines. It seems appropriate to couple America's favourite past time with America's favourite subterranean, anti-personnel high-explosive. Could this, like Dijonnaise, be a match made in heaven?


5. Five words: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. He's awesome. He can put baseball on a colour-coded alert system. My favourite is yellow – it's duct tape night at the stadium. I always freak out on duct tape night!


6. Every week in one MLB game, a mystery baseball appears. To keep fans and players on the edges of their seats, no one will know which ball it is, but sooner or later with the crack of the bat or smack of the glove the mystery ball will explode, releasing a cloud of angry bees.


7. TSN should begin a "Coach's Corner" for baseball, featuring Mr. T. Every game, Mr. T will pity his "Foo of the game" and subsequently beat him up and steal his clothes. Now that's edu-tainment!


8. Foster a return of the beeswax moustache. Remember in the 19th century, when players used to wear an elegantly coifed beeswax moustache? I sure don't. Man, now I look like an ass.


9. Conduct rookie drafts in the style of ABC's Are You Hot? Chances are, it should boost baseball's' ratings with female audiences. Also, a stern lesson from Lorenzo Lamas' flaw-finding laser pointer could be what gets some of those rookies to straighten up and fly right.


10. Extra innings should be replaced with makeovers. I just think the team makeup manager doesn't get enough credit.

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