Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Virtual All-Star Break! Sanchez Takes the Home Run Derby—Is Helped Off Field. Weird Goings On At the Ravine—Oh, This Headline Is Long Enough Already!

Virtual baseball swung into its festive All-Star break activities today, starting with the Home Run Derby.  In something of an upset, Gary Sanchez of the Yankees claimed first prize over Pete "Ursus maritimus" Alonso.  After a last, mighty clout to left field, Sanchez took the contest—but had to be helped off the field, clutching both his groin and his obliques.

There was no word on whether or not Sanchez would start tomorrow night's game, even though he was voted the starting catcher on the AL team.  Also voted into the starting lineup were Gleyber Torres and D.J. LeMahieu, while Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, Gerrit Cole, and J.A. Happ were all selected by Astros manager Dusty Baker, in the hope, as he stated, "that those mothers all do somethin' to themselves."

The contingent for the Mets, who are still mired deep in fourth place, was considerably smaller, consisting of Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Jacob deGrom.

Off the field, the thoughts of Yankees fans were directed, as always, to pus Aaron Judge, who had already checked into Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for a series of tests to determine what was causing the terrible stabbing pain in his right heel.  Judge is said to have asked specifically to have his bed next to that of the Yanks' own Rip Van Winkle, John Sterling, even though it would be in the coma ward.

"Anything to be close to The Master and, maybe, in some small way, comfort him with my presence," said Judge.  The gentle giant reported that it was "restful" in the coma ward, when it was not "giving me the f———king willies."

Elsewhere in baseball news, both Hal Steinbrenner and Jeff Bezos delayed press conferences on the future plans for their respective teams.  Hal conceded that his team was going "back to the drawing board" to come up with a plan "that would really speak public interest," while Bezos told reporters that "It's none of your damned business!" before further, angry hand gestures and obscenities were lost in the sound and fury of his helicopter taking off.

But what really captured the most attention of the baseball world was the bizarre malfunctioning of the Dodger Stadium scoreboard, which appeared to show a brief, blurry highlight reel of Walter O'Malley's life: his father shaking down impoverished peddlers for money, Walter seizing the Brooklyn Dodgers from Branch Rickey, The O'Malley trading Jackie Robinson, poor Mexican-American squatters being forced out of Chavez Ravine to make room for his new stadium, Ronald Reagan leading a telethon to give the Dodgers their free government handout—and, climactically, what appeared to be a live shot of O'Malley himself in the Fourth Circle of Hell, swimming in a lake of fire.

(Just behind him were George Steinbrenner, and M. Donald Grant.)

"You think you will escape my fate?  You think you will all escape the blood ruin that awaits you? Just wait until tomorrow!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!" the demon-red O'Malley roared from the video screen—then turned to ask Steinbrenner, "Hey, George, you wanna ladle some more of that hellfire on me? That's the ticket!  You come to love this stuff after a few decades."

The screen then went blank, and could not be started again for its astonished audience, for the rest of the evening.

MLB owners and Commissioner Manfredmann dismissed the terrifying manifestation as, "Nothing more than the work of a few Russian hackers," and said they had made no plans to postpone either the next night's game or the annual all-star meeting.

Fans and reporters leaving the park were told to ignore the repeated tremors, and the 500-foot-long fissure that split the parking lot.

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