Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cut scene from a Werther's Originals commercial, A.D. 2045

Luke Hudson III: Poppa!
Luke Hudson I: Lukie, my boy! Come, sit on my lap. . . . There you go. Would you like a candy?
Lukie: Yes, Poppa. Thank you.
Poppa: Any time, my boy. The toffee is refreshing, isn't it?
Lukie: Yes, sir. Would you tell me a story before I go to bed?
Poppa: Ab-so-lutely! What would you like to hear? The time I played drums for Iron Maiden?
Lukie: Could you tell me about the best game you ever pitched?
Poppa: Ah, the best game I ever pitched. . . . Well, that would have to be August 23, 2005, against the Washington Nationals.
Lukie: Washington Na-tion-als?
Poppa: Ah, yes. That's what the Washington Smulyans were called for a little while.
Lukie: Oh.
Poppa: Yes, it was a fine evening in Washington. Not too hot, so the ball wasn't going to be "jumping," as they said back then. I hadn't been pitching well, but I had a good feeling about this game. Remember the time the battery died in Poppa's pacemaker and you and daddy and mommy and Nanna had to rush me to the hospital?
Lukie: Yeah, I was scared.
Poppa: Ha ha, I was too! I was too. Anyway, Washington's offense was sort of like that battery . . . not much juice, you know?
Lukie: So the ballplayers all had to go to the hospital?
Poppa: No . . . Well, one of them did, I think. Or maybe he just had to go home. He had a sinus infection.
Lukie: Yuck!
Poppa: You said it, my boy. But unlike that guy, things went my way. I pitched really good---
Lukie: You pitched really well, Poppa!
Poppa: Yes, indeed. Nanna's such a stickler for detail, isn't she? . . . I pitched really well, making it through seven innings---
Lukie: Woooowwww! Seven whole innings???!!!
Poppa: Seven innings, my boy.
Lukie: But starting pitchers don't throw more than four . . .
Poppa: Back in my day, the players were tougher, my boy. The pitchers definitely were. We'd have eleven or twelve guys on our pitching staffs. Sometimes thirteen, but never fifteen, like today. So, the starting pitchers would have to go longer. Some pitchers even completed the whole game.
Lukie: Wooowwww!!!!
Poppa: Wow, indeed.
Lukie: Even to go for seven innings, you must have been really good!
Poppa: Yeah . . . good. Well, I was on that night, anyway.
Lukie: Did you ever think you weren't going to pitch so well that game?
Poppa: Hmmm . . . Well, there was this one point of the game. It was the bottom of the fifth inning---Washington was the home team of course---and their lead-off man reached base. Up to the plate next came their shortstop, Cristian Guzman.
Lukie: Was he any good?
Poppa: Not really. In fact, he was pretty bad. Remember you were a little boy, much younger than you are now, and your dog Rufus started acting funny?
Lukie: Yeah, mommy said he was really sick and needed to go to a better place. I was really sad.
Poppa: I know, my boy. Life can be rough sometimes. Remember how Rufus was acting before he went to the better place?
Lukie: Mmmm, he was really slow, and he'd fall over and bump into the walls. And sometimes he'd go to the bathroom on the floor, and mommy would get really mad.
Poppa: She'd get really frustrated with Rufus, because he was making things difficult for her. And that's the way it was with Guzman. He wasn't really a good player anymore, and people would get mad at him.
Lukie: So you got him out?
Poppa: No, he got lucky. He tried to bunt . . . Here, show me how you bunt . . . Very good, Lukie! . . . Well, Guzman bunted badly, popping the ball in the air. But he got lucky and reached first base.
Lukie: Oh no!
Poppa: Oh no is right! The next guy up was the pitcher. It had been Tony Armas---
Lukie: The scientist??!!
Poppa: The very same. But it was years before he'd devote his life to studying the causes and cures of dehydration. Back then, he was just a pitcher with a bum shoulder. And on that night he had given up four runs before leaving with a sore shoulder. And their pinch-hitter in the fifth inning was this guy named Jamey Carroll.
Lukie: What was he like, Poppa?
Poppa: Oh, he was okay, but not great. You know how you make fun of your little brother for being a "runt"? Well, Jamey Carroll was even smaller than that.
Lukie: Really?
Poppa: Nah. But he was tiny. So we were expecting him to bunt the runners over. Fundamental baseball, we called it. Instead, Washington's manager called for a hit-and-run. You know what that is, right?
Lukie: Uh huh.
Poppa: Well, it really surprised us, and Carroll just hit the ball foul. This time I got lucky.
Lukie: What happened, Poppa?
Poppa: They tried it again, my boy! And were we ever ready for it! Carroll swung and missed, and our catcher threw out the runner going to third. A slow old man, sort of like me. Except he was a slow old man back then! He was out by a country mile!
Lukie: Ha ha!
Poppa: And you know what the funniest part was, Lukie?
Lukie: What, Poppa?
Poppa: The second hit and run was all a mistake! They weren't supposed to try it!
Lukie: Then why did they?
Poppa: Well, you know how mommy and daddy sometimes get mad at each other?
Lukie: Yeah. I get really worried and think it's all my fault, but they tell me it's a "miscommunication."
Poppa: Precisely. Don't get worried, by the way---and it's never your fault. Anyway, they miscommunicated here.
Lukie: Who did?
Poppa: The manager and the third base coach, the guy giving the signs. They had a mix-up!
Lukie: Ha ha!
Poppa: So the old slow guy, Castilla, was out. And I felt much better about things.
Lukie: And then what happened, Poppa?
Poppa: I struck out Carroll, and then the next guy, too. And I got out of the inning.
Lukie: Go Poppa!
Poppa: Yes, indeed. From there onward, it was smooth sailing, and I ended up getting the win.
Lukie: "Getting the win"?
Poppa: Ah yes, Lukie. Back then, the rules of baseball assigned a "win" to a pitcher from the winning team and a "loss" to a pitcher from the losing team. It was called a pitcher's "record"?
Lukie: Did they give hitters "wins" and "losses," too?
Poppa: Nope. It was just a statistic for pitchers.
Lukie: That's kinda stupid. Coach always tells us it's a "team game."
Poppa: From your mouth to God's ears, my boy. Well, eventually, they did away with "won-lost record" and now give out the Cy Young Award based on stats you know, like VORP and Win Shares.
Lukie: Were people mad when they did away with that?
Poppa: Some were, yes. There was this guy named John Kruk. He used to be on the television. He got so upset, he immolated himself on live TV.
Lukie: What's "immolated"?
Poppa: Um . . . . hey, what's on the TV now? Why it's President Screech! Let's see what he has to say.

Lukie: Okay, Poppa. And thanks for the candy.

kruk immolating himself. priceless!

we get werther's commercials over here too!
::waking up screaming::
Brilliant!!! Absolutely brilliant!!!
Can we expect a John "My Boy" Patterson Stork Chocolate Reisen commercial?

I was a little disappointed we didn't get to here howTony "Don't call me the 4th, we all have different middle names" Armas was doing playing at 5th base for the San Jacinto Xplozion
Hmmm, that's definitely an angle with promise! (And I like the Xplozion team name; unfortunately, that might actually be realistic, given how the names are degenerating into meaningless blabber.)

Twenty bucks says Vinny Castilla (The First) will be San Jacinto's power hitter forty years from now.
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