Many American pundits have exercised their American punditry of late by claiming that baseball, like the gourmet cupcake, is a dying thing. Wearing their NFL lapel pins and NBA commitment rings, these finger-on-the-pulse authorities have cited among other factors the troubling demographic of American baseball fandom, pointing out that a full 140 percent of Pastime enthusiasts drive Chrysler 300s; listen to Perry Como 8-track tapes while driving those Chrysler 300s; complain frequently about the thermostat setting; watch syndicated reruns of Mannix; prefer hard candy to soft; advise teenagers to get off their respective lawns and, while they’re at it, get a haircut; and spend an inordinate amount of time perusing the Wall Street Journal while completely naked in the locker room at the local gym.
To that accusation, Major League Baseball has issued a formal statement: “Hand me that ceramic dish of ribbon candy, please, and my blue sweater.”
And so, in efforts to rid the Pastime of that distinctive old-man smell and draw younger enthusiasts to a new enthusiasm, we hereby advise that Major League Baseball enact the following measures in each remaining ballgame this season:
With one out in the top of the first, show Frozen.
With one out in the bottom of the first, keep showing Frozen.
In the top of the second, dress the infielders as an astronaut, a fireman, a policeman and, perhaps ironically, an NFL football player, respectively.
In the bottom of the second … cupcakes!
In the top of the third, restart Frozen.
In the bottom of the third, suggest a sing-along to the songs of Frozen.
In the top of the fourth, dress the fielders as Ariel, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Tiana, and Elsa and Anna of Frozen. Serve princess-themed cake with princess-themed ice cream. Frozen-themed napkins are strongly encouraged. Whenever a bunt is hugging the line, coax the singing of Let It Go.
In the bottom of the fourth, dress the hitters as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Aquaman, Manfred Mann and Thomas Mann. After failing to make an impression with Manns Manfred and Thomas, replace them with cupcakes.
In the top of the fifth, encourage the players to fart. Suggest that they fart very loudly and, if at all possible, in a closed space or while sitting in a tub.
In the bottom of the fifth … explosions!
In the top of the sixth, “slime” the first baseman.
In the bottom of the sixth, begin piercing ears – or at least discuss it.
In the top of the seventh, hand out earbuds and suggest that age-appropriate users blatantly ignore their elders and punctuate their disdain with eye rolls.
During the seventh-inning stretch, have the tween du jour sing the traditional God Bless America. Afterward, give out haircuts identical to that of the tween du jour while also emphasizing the need “to be yourself, all of you.”
In the bottom of the seventh, give out new haircuts.
In the top of the eighth, announce that teachers are “kind of lame.”
In the bottom of the eighth, announce that parents are “also kind of lame,” and that they are “really pretty clueless” and “should just, like, get a clue.”
In the top of the ninth, hide SI swimsuit issues under a select few seats.
In the bottom of the ninth, promise a car.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.