NEW YORK–As of press time, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had yet to decide on what appalling blunder his team would commit in game one of the World Series. Per the expanded postseason rules instituted this season, every team playing the Yankees in a playoff series must commit at least one mind-meltingly stupid error per game and submit it to the league office by 3 pm EST prior to game time.
“It’s a tough call,” Manuel told reporters. “I’ve been thinking about having Jimmy Rollins catching a ball in foul territory, then flipping it to a fan in the stands, even though there are only two outs, so a runner could score from second. I might also have Shane Victorino run from first to third base in a straight line. Of course, Chase Utley’s still not over his case of the Knoblauchs, so gives us another weapon to work with.”
The manager also noted that any ball hit near Ryan Howard “opens up a whole world of gaffe possibilities.”
Manuel remained cagey when pressed by reporters. “Maybe it’ll be a fielding error,” he said. “Maybe it’ll be a baserunning blunder. Maybe Cliff Lee will trip on his shoelaces and commit a balk to force in the winning run. You never know. I ain’t gonna show my hand so easily!”
When asked about Manuel’s reticence to choose an error before the deadline, Yankees manager Joe Girardi seemed unperturbed. “I have great respect for Charlie and his team,” he said. “They’re the defending champs, they’re a great ballclub, and they play hard. We just have to be ready to capitalize on whatever hideously idiotic mistake Charlie chooses. Or we could forget how to hit with runners in scoring position and have another 15 inning game. That might be fun.”
Manuel’s brain cramp of choice wasn’t the only unfinished detail prior to game one. As of press time, the umpiring crew had not yet decided in which inning they would commit a disastrous blown call. Crew chief Dana DeMuth could not be reached for comment, as he was receiving treatment for a injury sustained while trying to eat his breakfast.
“We believe that, rather than try to eat pancakes with a fork, he got confused and did it the other way around,” an MLB official said. “This has happened a lot this year, which is why we recommend to our umpires that they don’t eat until they’ve got a Breakfast Buddy to help them.”