This is fun: Last Monday, in the seventh inning of a Spring Training game against the Reds, Indians manager Terry Francona used a conventional method – i.e., emitting words from his mouth hole – at an unconventional time – i.e., during a pitching change on the mound – to inform right-hander Blake Wood that he (Wood, not Francona) had made the Cleveland rotation.
Less fun, at least for NotGraphs President and CEO Carson Cistulli, is this true fact: While Wood celebrated his achievement and Francona told the tale, the aforementioned mogul was forced to relive the many and various ways by which he, as a young and dream-filled ballplayer, learned that he had not made the team.
What follows is a truncated list:
– in a hand-drawn cartoon on a Hi-C juice box
– in a whisper from Mickey during a visit to Disneyland
– in a Golden Ticket inside a Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar
– in an onstage announcement during a Spice Girls concert in Concord
– in a telegram from Carl Yastrzemski
– in a brief statement from a trained parrot during a visit to Busch Gardens
– in a passing mention from a younger cousin who had made the team
– in an onscreen message during a “very special episode” of Who’s the Boss?
– in a second-period announcement over the school loudspeaker
– in a brief communiqué in his alphabet soup
– in a short announcement in the church bulletin
– in a ranger talk at the summit of Mount Washington
– in a phone call from Christina Applegate
– in a limerick from the leprechaun during the St. Paddy’s Day Parade
– in a message on an airplane banner during Spring Break at the Jersey Shore
– in a proclamation on the YMCA bulletin board, correcting a previous proclamation
– in a first-inning announcement on the Fenway Park PA system
– in a dramatic enactment during a mime show at the mall
– in an abrupt mention just prior to what would have been his first kiss
– in a typed, double-spaced and notarized letter wedged between the Hostess Twinkie and the Hostess Ding-Dong in his official Full House lunchbox
– in a message spelled out on hand-held placards during halftime at the Rose Bowl
– in a brief word from Glinda, The Good Witch of the North, during a school production of The Wizard of Oz
– in a message delivered by falcon during a falconry exhibition at Six Flags
– in a catchy tune from Happy The Clown
– in a mention from “Ben Franklin” during a field trip to Independence Hall
– in a dinner announcement from Bodhi, the cool counselor at sleep-away camp
– in a speech by Coach Thompson during an after-school pep rally
– in a song from the animatronic band at Chuck E. Cheese
– in a letter from Santa
Author’s Note: It is entirely possible that the aforementioned Aforementioned Mogul, being utterly mogul-ish, will soon dispatch a termination notice via text, email or remorseless henchman.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.