You’ve read News of the Weird, right? Well, what’s weird is that this news is weirder – so weird, in fact, that fiction is no longer subordinate to truth.
Beginning this week, former slugger Jose Canseco will embark on a 10-week, 17-city tour in efforts to break the official world record for the longest home run. At the same time, former slugger Rafael Palmeiro is embarking on a similar tour in efforts to break the official world record for the longest denial.
As part of its 2014 Series 2, Topps has produced baseball cards that feature sabermetric stats such as TZR and WPA. In a similar marketing ploy, Upper Deck is releasing a series of Cubs cards that feature LOL and WTF.
Early last week, after a contentious weekend game, Baltimore’s Manny Machado apologized for throwing his bat at Oakland third baseman Alberto Callaspo. Later this week, Callaspo will apologize for not throwing it back.
On Sunday, Seattle first baseman Logan Morrison responded to a fifth-inning failure – a pop-up with runners in scoring position – by smashing his bat. Meanwhile, former Seattle forward and 11-time father Shawn Kemp responded to a string of successes by smashing his balls.
Following the announcement that the Cardinals will host a Jon Hamm Bobblehead Night, the Mets have scheduled a Bartolo Colon Bobbleham Night. With ticket stubs, fans can follow Mr. Colon to his home, where, in the overnight hours, they can watch his attempt to make a flavorful sandwich in the dim light from the refrigerator.
The Brewers this week auctioned a game-used bowl of Hank the Ballpark Pup. Next on the auction block is a game-used cup of Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff.
After demoting former All-Star Trevor Cahill to Single-A last week, the Diamondbacks turned their attention to other baseball names. Now, in the aftermath of the latest Single-A demotion, Hall of Famer Hank Aron, formerly known as Hank Aaron, has filed a $20 million lawsuit, alleging that the Diamondbacks willfully deprived him of his place in the phonebook. Joining Mr. Aron in the lawsuit is Mets pitcher David Ardsma.
Last week, Braves pitcher David Carpenter plunked Colorado’s Corey Dickerson after Dickerson accidentally hit catcher Gerald Laird with a backswing. Later this week, Carpenter will punch a middle-aged Atlanta man for inadvertently wearing his rally cap wrong.
Late Thursday, after surrendering four runs in the 13th inning of an eventual 4-0 loss to the Mets, Milwaukee pitcher Carlos Torres sat in the dugout and punched himself in the head. In a separate development, a middle-aged Atlanta man is planning to expedite matters by punching himself in the mouth.
The Rangers are using scoreboard messages to encourage fans in drought-stricken Texas to stop doing The Wave. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are using similar messages to discourage a spectator craze called The Clean And Breathable Air.
Last week, Emory Sports Marketing Analytics released the results of a study that determined that Phillies fans are the biggest bandwagon fans in baseball. The group later revised the findings to include the fact that Phillies fans are now No.2, just behind the million of fans who enjoyed the original results.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.