Of Turf Artificial and Surface Au Naturel

It isn’t often that a big-league baseball player issues a statement of support on behalf of a fringe social movement, but that’s just what Johnny Peralta has done, perhaps unwittingly, with his recent and dare I say ballsy declaration that “I know I can play baseball naturally.”

As a volunteer moderator for several nudist websites – the fact of the matter is that except for the Cheetos crumbs and the Pepsi pop-tops, I’m completely nude right now – I can tell you that the naturist community is positively abuzz over Peralta’s announcement. (The naturist community is also kind of cold because, you know . . . winter.) At the naturist think tank Nudity Now! And Later!, associate fellow Louis “Swing Low” Johnson has penned a poetic paraphrase of Walt Whitman’s A Sun-Bath – Nakedness:

Never before did I get so close to Nature;
Never before did she come so close to me…
Except at the Rogers Center, obviously

Meanwhile, at Nudity Here! And There! But Maybe Not Everywhere!, associate fellow John “Peter” Thompson has thoughtfully paraphrased Henry David Thoreau in taking a more moderate and cautious position:

“We cannot adequately appreciate this aspect of nature if we approach it with any taint of human pretense, and to do so with any taint of the human body is to risk serious injury, especially on the turning of a double play. Seriously, can you imagine catching a metal spike the freakin’ chode?”

At the same time, the Mustachioed Porn-Actors Guild has issued a blistering rebuke to Nudity Now! Nudity Later!’s unbridled embrace of on-field nakedness, noting in a persuasive op-ed that John Holmes once bruised his sternum – “repeatedly, I might add” – while trying to beat out an infield hit.

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John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.

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Shouldn’t this be entitled “Of Merkins and Waxing”?

John Paschal
John Paschal

Yes, but only if journeyman pitcher Merkin Valdez — 100 percent bona fide genuine actual name! — is on the mound.