Hello there, sports fans! Chris Berman here, aka Boomer, aka The Big Dog, aka Leatherman, aka The Back-Back-Back Guy, aka Sheila under the right circumstances. It’s certainly a thrill for all of you to view me again in my annual sojourn into America’s pasttime, The Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, a rash of injuries has caused many of the game’s biggest stars to bow out of this year’s All Star Game. Jose Reyes has a hamstring issue, Alex Rodriguez is getting knee surgery, Shane Victorino sprained his douche-bone, and Derek Jeter came down with a case of I-Dont-Wanna-Go-to-Arizona-in-July-itis. But this is still technically the Midsummer Classic, and it should still be a barburner, ain’t that right, Krukie?
I ATE MY OWN WEIGHT IN GRAVY YESTERDAY, BOOMER.
Great, so the diet’s working! As I mentioned, a good number of stars have bowed out, but we still want to honor those team players who decided to show up. That’s why we’ve organized this new event called the Scramblethon. The game’s grittiest, most pint sized players will compete against each other in a series of thrilling skills competitions. First, we’ll see who can beat out the most Baltimore chops and swinging bunts. Players will be penalized for any ball hit out of the infield. Then, we’ll see which players can make a throw from shortstop to first without bouncing it. And finally, each uniform will receive a special black-light scan to determine which one has the most accumulated caked-in dirt. The winner will receive the coveted Bronze Lunchpail and a $50 gift certificate to Lowe’s.
LOWE’S IS GOOD PEOPLE. THEY NEVER GIVE ME A HARD TIME WHEN I SNACK ON THE DRYWALL LIKE THOSE JERKS AT HOME DEPOT DO.
Special event captains David Eckstein and Joe McEwing have picked out a stellar lineup of tiny, tiny players for this event: Sam Fuld, Matt Young, Augie Ojeda, Aaron Miles, Jamey Carroll…the list goes on, but frankly, I see no point in continuing to read it. Dustin Pedroia lobbied to be included, but was disqualified for having hit more than 5 home runs in his career.
PEDROIA PLAYS THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY: HUNGRY. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO MAKE A JOKE ABOUT HOW HUNGRY I AM BUT I WON’T BECAUSE I JUST ATE AN ENTIRE CAN OF PIE FILLING THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Now the players are being carted out onto the field and unpackaged. Remember, most of these guys are made of extremely delicate material and must be stored on dry ice in between games.
INTERESTING FACT, BOOMER: MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE ACTUALLY THE UNFORTUNATE RESULTS OF SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS, AND THE MOST OF THE OTHERS ARE PUPPETS WHO BECAME REAL LIVE BOYS.
The first up is Sam Fuld, who’s originally from Durham, New Hampshire but makes his winter home in a fur storage facility in Boca Raton. And here’s his first try, it’s a beautiful check-swing, and that one’s going backbackbackback, all the way past the pitcher’s mound, they’ll never throw him out! Oh, wait, he’s wheezing just shy of the first base bag. My best guess is he may have collapsed a lung; they are made of papier maché, after all.
THEY REALLY HAVE TO OUTLAW THOSE PAPIER MACHÉ LUNGS, BOOMER. THEY’RE WORSE THAN ASH BATS AND NOT NEARLY AS DELICIOUS.
Well, this is certainly a bleak turn of events, and I for one am at a loss to think of a quote from a dinosaur rock song to properly mark this occasion, so it looks like it’s time for an injury timeout. When we come back, we’ll have the Clap-Off. Participants stand on the top step of the dugout and cheer vociferously while a more talented teammate bats! We’ll be right backbackbackbackbackback…oh please Lord, take me now.