Act One: The Recycled Recap Joke
So, thanks for having me in for this audition. I've been working up this bit for a few weeks now, and I think I have it down. This bit's a family affair, and I have my kid -- my son -- come in first. He's upstage holding a bat, and I throw him a couple pitches: he lines out, lines out again, and flies out. So then he switches spots with me, and my wife and daughter line up behind me in the batter's box. First time he pitches to me, I fly out. My wife comes up and pops up. And so it's looking okay for the kid until my daughter comes up, and -- here's the first gag -- she just goes yard on him. Kid gets just royally screwed by his sister. Then I come up and I keep it coming with his mom -- single, single, single, home run. And he's just dying out there before he gets a pity fly out.
So skip to the fourth inning, and the kid is just a mess. Score's 8-0. Kid's covered in sweat, dirt, and the shame of pitching like a punchline at the end of a WC Fields bit, and he gets his sister up to bat again. And she sends one right over his head into the corner -- really sticks it to him. Meanwhile, his mom and me are double teaming the effort, hitting singles and doubles, even RBI groundouts, and finally just the last double, the kid is bent over, destroyed, just in pieces out there on the mound. And the manager -- you ain't seen this guy yet cause that's part of the joke, that he's just never there -- the manager comes out, puts his hand on the kid's shoulder, socks him in the gut, before turning to the audience and grinnin' before hauling my other son out there to be humiliated for a couple more innings. Then we all start piling on him, the mom, the daughter, me, hell, the other son too! Just non-stop, no mercy, for five more innings.
My God, that sounds like an unholy monstrosity. What do you call this act?
Act Two: Aristocrat is Translated as Philly in Ancient Greek
Plato: What is the art of baseball, Gorgias?
Gorgias: The mechanics of play, Plato, is baseball's art.
Plato: Then am I to call the Philadelphia Phillies mechanics?
Gorgias: Yes, Plato, and good ones too, if you would call them that which, in Manuelian language "Y'know, those guys who come out to play hard, like, every day cuz it's, like, their job."
Plato: And are we to say that the Phillies are able to make other men mechanics?
Gorgias: Yes, that is exactly what they profess to say, not only at Citizens Bank Park, but in all places.
Plato: Very good then; as the Phillies profess to be mechanics, and makers of other mechanics, let me ask you, with what is mechanics concerned: I might ask with what the Eagles are concerned, and you would reply (would you not?), with the making of misfortune?
Socrates: And the Sixers are concerned with the composition of tanking?
Gorgias: They are.
Socrates: So answer me in like manner about mechanics: with what are mechanics concerned?
Gorgias: With the creation and prevention of runs.
Socrates: What sort of run creation and prevention, Gorgias? -- such creation and prevention that would allow the Phillies to win the division?
Socrates: Then mechanics does not always concern successful run creation and prevention?
Gorgias: Certainly not.
Socrates: And yet mechanics makes men able to play baseball.
Socrates: And to understand the ways in which they exist as baseball players?
Gorgias: Of course.
Socrates: But does not the art of successful run creation and prevention, which we were just now mentioning, also make men able to understand and speak about winning the division?
Socrates: Then successful run creation and prevention also treats of mechanics?
Socrates: Run prevention and creation that concerns the undesirability of losing?
Gorgias: Just so.
Socrates: And does not Eagles also treat of the prevention and creation of points concerning the loss or victory of a game?
Gorgias: Very true.
Socrates: And the same, Gorgias, is true of the other arts: -- all of them treat of creation and prevention concerning the winning of losing of the games with which they severally have to do.
Socrates: Then why, if you call mechanics the art which treats run prevention and creation, and all the other arts treat of successful creation and prevention, do you not call them arts of mechanics?
Gorgias: Because, Socrates, the knowledge of the other arts has only to do with some external action, as of the attainment of a championship; but there is no such action of the division or the league in the medium of mechanics which works and takes effect only through the Phillies' efforts to create and prevent runs.
Socrates: I am not sure if I entirely understand the Phillies, Gorgias.
Gorgias: Indeed, Socrates, I cannot say that I understand the Phillies, myself.
Act Three: Get Out of Dodge
In a surprise move tonight, the Phillies have traded fan and blogger Trev223 to the Tigers for cash or a Blogger to Be Named Later (BTBNL). Trev223, who had been writing in the AAA division of The Good Phight, had overcome a mid-season slump to pull his APW (Articles per week) up to 3.82, fourth in his league.
While the Phillies had been known to be shopping some of their premiere players, the trading of a relatively anonymous fan comes as a bit of a surprise. Jon Heyman tweeted, "stunned at this trade. no warning. also no idea who this guy is" and Jayson Stark tweeted that "Trev223, if he is in fact a real person and not a joke or something, could maybe help someone. bold move by #Phillies."
When asked for comment after the game, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr told reporters that Trev223 had been perceived as unhappy after the Phillies "recent run of miserable play, so bad that it made the Hindenberg look like the latest Pixar tearjerker," and that the trade was in direct response to the 10-0 two hitter thrown by Max Scherzer, Al Alberquerque, and Evan Reed of the Detroit Tigers. "The home runs and endless stream of hits that were sucked from our inefficient and anonymous bullpen," Amaro added, "couldn't have helped either."
While it is not clear if Trev223 forced a trade, it is clear that he is being traded to a contender in the Tigers at a very depressing moment for the Phillies organization, though less clear if this moment will last. "Yes," Trev223 said to reporters, "I'm sad that I'll be shipped out on the very eve of the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez era, and that I won't get to see what Ruben gets for Michael Young and everyone, if anything. It's a shame."
After pausing for a minute, he added, "But it's pretty unbelievable over here. I mean, seriously, like, literally beyond belief. Did you know that the Tigers have not just one good hitter, but like five? I mean, that Tuiasosopo guy plays part time and has an OBP over 400. He'd basically be king of Philadelphia by this point. And the guy who pitched tonight might not even be their best starter? I mean, wow. Is this what baseball's supposed to look like?"
"I'll be sure to let everyone know back home," he remarked, "by way of the various tin cans that Detroit has very reasonably set up as internet hotspots. I hope they properly convey this Fangraph."
More from The Good Phight: