NEW YORK, NY – I have absolutely no clue what’s happening with this site this week. I can only assume that it has something to do with blizzards and bald guys in Vegas (judging by yesterday’s late post, I was correct). Whatever the case, I’m going ahead with today’s column as planned. I simply have way too much integrity to not give it my best shot for the devoted followers (drunks, angry loners, and the unemployable) of Meet The Matts. Let’s get to it.
The news of Major League Baseball’s pitchers and catchers reporting this week was absolutely dwarfed by the sudden and unexpected retirement announcement from Pope Benedict XVI. To be clear, the Pope didn’t actually use the word “retire.” Borrowing liberally from the Gospel of former NY Met (and Grote2DMax fave) Derek Bell, the Holy Father told his faithful followers that as of February 28 he was “going into Operation Shut Down.” It’s been widely speculated what’s behind his decision. However, well-placed Vatican insiders say the Pope was never happy being named after former Braves backup catcher Bruce Benedict. He’s very much looking forward to going back to his old and much tougher name, Joey Ratzinger. In the meantime, Tony LaRussa, Keith Hernandez, Bake McBride and the rest of the College of Cardinals will soon meet to select a new Pope. No word on early favorites for the position, though it’s been reported that Peyton Manning and his business associates are offering the church big bucks if they name the new guy Papa John. Stay tuned.
Let’s get back to pitchers and catchers reporting. This week hundreds of ballplayers will look sincerely into the eyes of their wives and loved ones and say, “Gotta go somewhere nice and warm to play catch with my buddies and drink my face off every night. Sorry, there’s no way around it. See you in a couple of months.” How insane is that? Think especially of all of those families in the Northeast with kids firmly entrenched in scho0l and blizzard season upon us. How does this announcement go over with those guys? Whoever first came up with the idea of Spring Training should be worshiped as some kind of genius male demigod in baseball circles. It’s like a month-and-a-half-long Spring Break for dudes. And the whole “pitchers and catchers report early” deal sounds like something cooked up by a couple of pitchers sitting at a bar. The rest of the position players were probably like, “F**k! Why didn’t we think of that?!?” Sure, some families probably tag along, but what about all those guys who just get to go down to South Florida and out to Arizona and lose themselves in baseball, booze, and strippers? What would the female equivalent of this possibly be? The closest you could guess would be a ballplayer’s wife telling him that she’s taking a couple of months to go to a combination upscale shopping mall/spa where she’ll watch reality TV all day long while being worked over by swarthy Latino guys named Ramon. And even that isn’t anywhere in the same ballpark. In any event, enjoy Spring Training, fellas and never forget just how good you have it.
Other big news this week included Kim Jong Un shooting off some fireworks, Carnival Cruise Line introducing the world’s largest floating toilet and Michael Bourn signing with the Indians rather than the Mets. But I’ll leave it to you guys to connect the dots on those three items. I’m outta here. Come back tomorrow for another kinda firecracker, Lori Levine.