This is the time of year – post-World Series, pre-pitchers ‘n catchers, circa happy hour – when baseball writers, gazing into the nullity of topics for which to engage their QWERTY, begin pulling baseball stories out of their respective badonkadonks. It’s also the time of year when baseball players “avoid arbitration.” This is a legal term meaning “evade arbitration.”
For baseball writers in search of story ideas, such arbitration avoidance, or “arbitration evadance,” is a Baseball Gawdsend, even if said writers must access the lower ends of their alimentary canals to produce the associated stories. For example, a writer-who-shall-not-be-named suffered a perforated lower intestine and painful anal fissures recently when he wrote that the Pirates had avoided, or evaded, “aaaaaarrrrrrbitration” with Clint Barmes.
And yet at the risk of a weekend visit to my weekend proctologist, who is much less gentle than my weekday proctologist, this baseball writer is hereby reporting that the Pirates did enter into:
– Arbytration with Starling Marte, meaning that Marte will receive 162 pounds of Horsey Sauce and the Louie Anderson Stamp of Good Health.
– Barbietration with Jason Grilli, meaning that Grilli will create unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, body dysmorphia among big-league closers.
– Jamie Farrbitration with Pedro Alvarez, meaning that Alvarez will dress like a 1950s-era human female while seeking a seat in Section 8.
– Fubarbitration with Neil Walker, meaning that Walker will receive 85 cases of Natty Light, bro.
– Binks, Jar Jarbritration with Russell Martin, meaning that Martin will be subject to relentless if well-deserved ridicule.
– Har-de-har-harbitration with Travis Snider, meaning that, yeah, sure, the Pirates will pay Snider an additional $18 million if he wins NL MVP.
– David Carrbitration with Francisco Liriano, meaning that Liriano will get crushed by an exceedingly large adult male every time he releases the ball.
– Marlbitration with Mark Melancon, meaning that Melancon will gaze pensively toward the sunset while slowly developing lung cancer.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.