Welcome to Football Friday (Season Two). The wildly popular weekly column has returned for a second year of diving into the theories, analysis, and fun of baseball. Every week we here at Football Friday will use all of our integrity and other things that sound impressive to deliver the best baseball column you’ve ever seen or ever will see. We at Football Friday, Inc are honest, truthful, and most of all we’re serious journalists. Every single one of us.
This past week, the Rockies suffered somewhere between four and 14,000 injuries to players in Major League camp. Included in these injuries was Ian Desmond’s hand falling off, Tom Murphy’s wrist exploding, and Rayan Gonzalez having his elbow transported to The Upside Down where it is currently being held hostage by at least one Demogorgon. All of these things are awful in their own right, but the fact they occurred one after the other while the Rockies prepared to start a very important season in the team’s history is a tragedy.
Injuries happen, they especially happen when you really don’t want them to, and they always seem to happen in stupid scenarios. Nobody ever gets hurt clinching the World Series or saving kittens from a fire. It’s always because they slid funny or that they tripped over deer meat (or possibly a dog or down some stairs or whatever the thing was that happened to Clint Barmes). These are just things teams need to adapt to and overcome. It’s a part of the game, as they say.
But, what if it didn’t have to be? At least in Spring Training.
What if we made Spring Training....
[wait for it]
If Spring Training was safe, if we didn’t have to worry about the health of these guys in practice games, wouldn’t that make things better? Wouldn’t that benefit all of us?
I’ve come up with some ideas to make sure Spring Training is safe for the players so that they never get hurt and in turn, neither do our hearts.
Idea #1: No games are played, we only talk about what would happen if games were being played
The easiest way to get hurt in baseball is by playing baseball. So the best way to avoid injury is to stop playing these practice games!
There is literally no reason to play actual full practice games for six weeks other than for ticket sales and it gives people more reason to say things like “this guy is having a rough spring.”
So just do away with all of it!
The players will still report on February 13th or whatever, the games will still be talked about but that’s all they’ll be: talked about. Everyone will just decide how the game went and that’s what we’ll talk about.
“Ian Desmond had four hits again! Jon Gray struck out 17 in five innings! The Rockies won by uhhh four runs! Wow, what a day at Spring Training! The players definitely played! Nobody got hurt.”
I don’t see how this plan will fail. But just in case, I’ve come up with some other plans.
Idea #2: The players play the game, but they’re fitted inside bubble wrap armor
Ok, now this is a bit out there.
The idea here is that the game is inherently dangerous and we must protect the players from the dangers involved. If they have to play, we have to keep them safe.
Each player, before every game, would be fitted with bubble wrap armor. Having trouble seeing how this works? Don’t worry, I’ve created a prototype.
I think it looks pretty good!
Obviously, we’d have to adjust as players moved around and outfielders would need less bubble wrap so they could run. Look, I’m not an engineer; I’m an ideas guy. This is a good idea.
Idea #3: Stunt doubles
This is a plan that has worked for nearly a century in Hollywood, so let’s just incorporate it here in MLB.
Basically, Nolan Arenado comes out, does batting practice, takes some ground balls, maybe jogs the poles for a little bit, gets announced as a starter and walks up to the box. Then, his stunt double jumps in. This way, if anything goes awry with the pitch, it’s his lowly unimportant stunt double who takes the hit and gets hurt. Nolan is perfectly fine.
This was executed to perfection in the film Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in which assassins try to kill Padme Amidala. Only, it’s just a body double that dies and nobody cares. Senator Amidala is still kicking, trade federation continues to have its largest enemy in the Galactic Senate.
Now, I’m not expecting anyone to try and kill Nolan Arenado but we need to protect against any rebel trade federations looking to impose their will economically on sovereign planets. Also, wild pitches that hit players and cause legitimate damage.
This might be the most expensive plan just because the daily minimum pay for stunt doubles in Hollywood is 859 dollars (American). So you’re going to start running up a pretty big bill depending on which players need doubles on which day and also, you need to run a big talent search to get the right doubles that will fool people.
It’s a lot, but I think MLB has the funds to pay for it.
★ ★ ★
The Good Tweet of the Week
Each week, I will personally scour Rockies-related Twitter feeds for good tweets on food, music, movies, or even bottled water. I will feature anything that I look at and think "that is a good tweet." This week, the good tweet comes from the Hartford Yard Goats. The YG’s are the Rockies AA affiliate but they’re at least AAA tweeters.
Uhhhh, yeah I would like a hot dog named after me at Dunkin Donuts Park. Are you insane?
The Yard Goats are having a contest where you enter to get a hot dog named after you. You put your favorite toppings in, they pick the best one, you get a hot dog. Here’s mine:
Cheddar Cheese shreds
Frank’s Red Hot
It’s going to win and will be celebrated all over the world as the best hot dog ever. Be sure to enter a hot dog yourself and tell me about your inferior hot dog.
★ ★ ★
So, This Happened
There are few things funnier than a man getting inadvertently hit in the nuts. This is great. This home run flies right into this poor man’s crotch and yeeowtch folks!
You can tell that the pain doesn’t hit him for a few seconds because he stands up and looks at his friends and is like “wow that definitely hit me right in the ol jewels didn’t i-OH MY GOD IT WAS A BASEBALL INTO MY JUNK.”
Except in Japanese.
I don’t know if such a thing is funny in Japan, I’m not an expert on Japanese culture and humor (though I would think it’s pretty much the great equalizer in comedy). But I would’ve been laughing for upwards of an hour if I had seen this in person.
One time, one of my buddies overran a fly ball and it hit him in the face and I STILL laugh about that almost ten years later. If he had been hit in the gears I would be commissioning famous artists to paint me laughing once a year so I could send them to him for his birthday.
This is awesome. I could watch this all day.
★ ★ ★
NEXT WEEK, AN ANNOUNCEMENT
Football Friday will be IN SALT RIVER, celebrating Spring Training with the Rockies. I’ll be bouncing around the back fields begging for the Rockies to lift the restraining order and give me a press pass. We’ll see what happens folks.
In any case, keep an eye out for content from Salt River Fields as Football Friday goes on the road!