Every so often, an idea comes along that revolutionizes the way the game is played. Doctoring the ball, greenies, revenue sharing, steroids, money ball. All of these represent attempts to rethink the way baseball is played, understood, managed, consumed.
This Spring, with a tough steroid drug testing program in place, and HGH testing on the way, players have taken the initiative, once again, to reinvent the game.
"I was trying to think, 'What can I do different? What hasn't been done before?'" explained AJ Burnett of the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I wanted to play the game in a way nobody else has before, but as a pitcher, I'm limited. I mean, I already use pretty much all of my body in the pitching motion. But then it hit me! I use pretty much all of my body to play baseball, except my face. That's like a good 10% of my body that is underutilized. I couldn't really use my face much for pitching, but now that I'm in the NL, I could use it for hitting!"
Other players soon followed suit. "When I saw what AJ was trying to do, I was inspired," explained Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. "I mean, if he can hit with his face, maybe I can use my face more too. I don't move so great, but I can throw my face in front of incoming balls. Why are you laughing?"
So far the experiments have not yielded great results. "I'm not sure I executed what I was trying to do properly," explained Burnett. "In two months, we'll try it again. Who has a low pitching IQ now?!"
Cabrera, however, seems less inclined to revisit the matter. "The doctor's said I have to stop using my face to catch balls. Seriously, what is so funny?!"