"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, May 05, 2005

All the Game's a Stage

Weird tidbit of the day: the Twins scored five runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth inning on the fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth year of this millennium (that's today).

The Twins won today's game 9-0, on the back of a heroic pitching performance by Brad "Will Pitch For Run Support" Radke and a spurt of hitting by the Twins lineup. So effectively did they dominate both the offensive and pitching sides of the game that the Indians were reduced to little more than props around which the true dramas of the game took place.

Under the Teflon Roof
a play in three acts

Act One
Setting: the Metrodome, top of the first inning. Brad Radke enters stage left. His teammates are arrayed around the field, a batter at the plate.

Radke (aside) - I've given this team ten years of my life, and do I get any run support in return? No. Well, I don't need any. From this day forward, I depend on no bat!

Radke retires three batters and exits stage left. CC Sabathia lumbers in stage right.

Sabathia: (snarls)

Twins batters quake and retire after posting a hit and a walk. Sabathia exits, Radke enters. Radke retires three in quick succession. Sabathia returns, collects two outs and then drills Twins catcher Mike Redmond in the elbow.

Redmond (walking to first base) - I'll get you for this, CC Sabathia!

Rivas - I've got your back, Redmond! Rivas hits a single.

Stewart - As do I! Stewart hits a single. The bases are loaded.

Bartlett - Oh, crap--am I up? Wait for me, guys! Bartlett flies out to center.

Sabathia exits, Radke enters. Behind him, the Twins in the field murmur fretfully amongst themselves about Sabathia's tendency to hit batters, especially when facing the Twins.

Radke (aside) - See what I have to put up with? Bases loaded--nothing. And now they're all scared just because Redmond's got a little bruise. Pansies.

Radke pitches another hitless inning. Sabathia follows with a scoreless inning of his own, though he allows a hit and a walk. In the next inning, Hunter misses a catch on a shallow fly ball, breaking up Radke's no-hitter, and then bobbles the ball so badly the hitter reaches third.
Radke - Dammit! Guys, I don't expect you to hit when I'm around, but you better field!

Twins (chorus) - Sorry, Brad!

Act Two
Setting: the Metrodome, bottom of the fifth inning, game tied 0-0. Rookie Jason Bartlett strolls to the plate, carrying his trusty bat. The Indians are on the field, Sabathia on the mound.

Sabathia - (snarls)

Bartlett - You know, CC, that was intimidating the first few times I faced you, but it's starting to seem a little silly. I don't believe I'm afraid of you anymore. Bartlett hits a homer.

Ford - Hey, man, don't look at my ribs like that! I'm still afraid of you! Ford grounds out to third.

LeCroy - I've been hit in the face. I can handle anything! LeCroy singles.

Hunter - I have to make things right with Brad! Hunter singles.

Tiffee - I'm in the big leagues! Tiffee singles.

Cuddyer - I'd rather get beaned than go back to the minors! Cuddyer walks, LeCroy scores.

Redmond - Now I shall have my revenge! Redmond singles, Hunter scores.

Rivas - I do not like sitting on the bench! I must make Gardy play me! Rivas walks, Tiffee scores.

Sabathia leaves the game. A relief pitcher enters.

Stewart - Must get Cuddyer home! Stewart grounds into a force out at second, Cuddyer scores.

Bartlett - That homer to left was cool. I wonder if I can hit one to center? The field's deeper there. Bartlett flies out to center. Guess not.

Radke returns to the mound.

Radke - Wow. Five runs. I don't...I don't know what to say, guys. Radke wipes away a tear. Thanks.

Act Three
Setting: the Metrodome, bottom of the seventh, Twins now lead 6-0. Jason Davis is pitching for the Indians. There are two outs, and Rivas is on first base. Stewart is batting.

Davis - I do not like these Twins. Especially when they are beating us. We thought this game was in the bag, what with Radke pitching. They weren't supposed to get any runs! But they changed the rules, like the sneaks they are.

Davis hits Stewart with a pitch.

Stewart (walking to first) - You wouldn't be so brave if this was the National League, punk!

Bartlett - I gotta hit this ball before it hits me! Bartlett singles.

Ford - I'm only afraid of Sabathia! Ford doubles, Stewart scores, Bartlett scores. Davis backs up the catcher on the play, and he and Stewart come face to face as Stewart scores.

Stewart - Listen, punk-- Stewart's voice is lost in the commotion as both dugouts empty. The umpires restore order quickly. The home plate umpire warns both dugouts. Gardy comes running back onto the field.

Gardy - You gotta be kidding me! Why are you warning us? We're the ones who keep getting beaned!

Home Plate Ump - Your player yelled at their pitcher.

Gardy - You'd yell too, if you got plinked by a major-league fastball! If you warn my team, my pitchers can't pitch inside! We're being penalized for something we didn't do, you ass-scratching baboon!

HPU - That's it--you're outta here!

Gardy - WHAT?! Gardy stalks over to home plate and kicks dirt over it. You have got the worst case of cranial rectitis it's ever been my misfortune to encounter!


Gardy - Oh, I'm leaving. But one of these days we'll both be here again. And when that day comes, my catchers won't be so quick to grab those foul tips that can come up and catch an ump under the chin.

Gardy stalks out. The game continues peacefully until the top of the ninth. Radke returns to the mound, and Redmond joins him there.

Redmond - What do you want to do here, Ace? You're looking at Peralta, Belliard and Crisp.

Radke - I'm thinking about beaning Peralta.

Redmond - Aw, man, you've got a complete game shutout going. Why would you blow it for that?

Radke - But, they hit you! Don't you want revenge? And they hit Stewie, and he had to come out of the game. I feel like I should defend you guys.

Redmond - Listen, Ace, I got my revenge with that RBI single. CC and me, we're even. And Stewart didn't leave the game 'cause he was hurt--he played up a little bitty bruise so he could get off the field and sneak into the Indians clubhouse while they're all out here. He's putting Nair in Davis's travel undies as we speak. It's all good.

Radke - So you guys won't mind if I just wrap this thing up?

Redmond - Mind? Ace, we insist.

Redmond claps Radke on the shoulder and trots off the mound. Fade to black

The End

1 rejoinders:

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

Addition to weird tidbit: also the fifth day of the week.