Baseball is back. The X-Files is (almost) back. As Ben Lindbergh said in episode 649 of Effectively Wild, “the teams are kind of like the monster-of-the-week episodes of the X-Files.” He may have gone on to have a larger point but we didn’t catch it. Here is every team in Major League Baseball paired with its closest comparable monster-of-the-week episode of the X-Files.
Baltimore Orioles – Eugene Victor Tombs, “Squeeze” and again in “Tombs”, Season One
Eugene Victor Tombs is one of the original MOTW (and one of my favorites), and one of three to appear in more than one episode. He was a genetic mutant serial killer who was capable of squeezing his body through narrow gaps, who also had an incredibly low metabolic rate, allowing him to hibernate for thirty years. After 14 years of hibernating, the Orioles came out squeezing out 93 victories, many of them one run (narrow win) games. They were still pretty hungry after getting a taste of the postseason that year, making it so close to the WS last year. Just like Tombs was eventually crushed by an escalator, the Orioles were crushed by a moving staircase the Royals in the ALCS.
Boston Red Sox – Betty Templeton and Lulu Pfeiffer, “Fight Club”, Season Seven
Two sisters, when in close proximity, create mayhem and piss everyone off. Everybody just starts fighting. They are both played by Kathy Griffin, making them incredibly easy to dislike. Like Kathy Griffin, the Red Sox are loud, a little annoying, and will create some mayhem when their bats are in close proximity to each other.. I am sure if Templeton and Lulu Pfeiffer were hitters, they would step out of the box whenever they wanted. What’s $500 to them?
Chicago White Sox – Colonel Wharton, “Fresh Bones”, Season Two
Colonel Wharton runs a Haitian refugee camp, where several murders have taken place. Wharton performs a voodoo zombification ritual over a Private to control him and do some bad things for the Colonel. Wharton used Voodoo to bring back people from the dead. Don Cooper, much like Colonel Wharton, uses some form of Voodoo ritual to develop young pitching and salvage pitchers who have either struggled elsewhere or were left for dead by other teams. Matt Thornton ring a bell?
Cleveland Indians – Edmund, George and Sherman Peacock, “Home”, Season Four
Home is a shockingly violent episode (which had the X-Files’ first viewer discretion warning, and is rated TV-MA) about the Peacock family. Edmund is George and Sherman’s brother…and father. Incest left the family members severely physically deformed. The brothers/father/sons brutally bludgeoned to death the sheriff and his wife, leading the agents to break into the booby-trapped Peacock home. The Indians’ starting pitching was amazing after the All-Star break, pitching to a 2.95 ERA. Pitching was the name of the game for them, however their defense brought them down. In Home, the agents prevailed, as the Peacock family’s defense got the better of them. Only time will tell if the same will be said of the 2015 Indians.
Detroit Tigers – Cockroaches, “War of the Coprophages”, Season Three
Mulder gets caught up investigating what could be alien-mechanical cockroaches with metal bodies. The apparent killer cockroaches were present at the scene of several deaths, including an exterminator, a drug-abusing teenager, and the local medical examiner. In the end, the cockroaches were not the threat everyone thought they were, they were just regular cockroaches. Everybody seems to think the Tigers are some great powerhouse, a real threat in the AL Central. While some people can have a real allergic reaction to a cockroach bite, in the end, they do not cause any real harm to a human. Like the cockroaches, the Tigers seem a mighty killer of teams, in the end, however, they may be ordinary. It is worth noting that Dr. Bambi Berenbaum, an attractive US agricultural researcher, points Mulder in the direction of Dr. Alexander Ivanov, who explains to Mulder that the insects may be robotic bugs sent to search Earth. So, maybe, just maybe the Tigers are more threatening than the average coprophage. It is also worth noting that “coprophage” means dung eater.
Houston Astros – Roland Fuller and Arthur Gable, “Roland”, Season One
In this episode, a cryogenically frozen head of a dead jet propulsion scientist controls his brother, who is developmentally disabled, through a psychic connection, allowing him to complete his life’s work. This scientist highly valued analytics, many times at the cost of public perception and human interaction. However, some scientists are trying to copy that work, which really pisses off the frozen head. A scientist sabotaged the cryogenic capsule, killing the frozen twin’s head, and severing the psychic connection. This is basically what happened last summer with Brady Aiken. Minus the murder and cryogenically frozen head.
Kansas City Royals – Darin Peter Oswald, “D.P.O.”, Season Three
D.P.O. (played by Phoebe’s brother Giovanni Ribisi) is a young, immature mechanic who was struck by lightning, and subsequently develops the power to control lightning. He causes the destruction and death of many using his electric talents. You know who else uses electric talent? The Royals. This team took the country by storm last October, utilizing blazing speed on the basepaths to catch teams off guard, and in the outfield to, well, catch everything hit in the air. However, in the end, it was a Giant electric arm that took them down.
Los Angeles Angels – Simon Gates, “Revelations”, Season Three
Simon Gates was a well-respected man. In fact, he was one of the richest men in the south when he took a trip to the Holy Land and came back on a mission to kill. Simon Gates was once respected, turns out the guy was not a respectable businessman. A jerk, even. This past week, with the mishandling of Josh Hamilton, Arte Moreno, Jerry Dipoto and team president John Carpino have also revealed themselves to be… well… jerks.
Minnesota Twins – The Soul Eater, “The Gift”, Season Eight
A creature of Native American lore that could consume the diseases of others, along with all of their pain and suffering, without complaint. Mulder attempted to kill it out of an act of mercy, but it survived, continuing to live in pain. In the end it consumed Doggett’s body after he was shot, and regurgitated out
the 2015 Minnesota Twins a healthy Doggett. The Twins took on Ricky Nolasco, Ervin Santana, and Torii Hunter, and in doing so brought on all of their pain and suffering. They regurgitated a below average pitcher, a steroid suspension, and a homophobe. They did this without complaint.
New York Yankees – The Spirits of Excelsis Dei, “Excelsis Dei”, Season Two
The spirits of dead residents of the Excelsis Dei nursing home are being channeled into existence by the living residents of the home through a powerful herbal drug made of mushrooms cultured in the basement and illicitly given to them by an orderly. Whew! Hey, they did not know they were receiving the substances. All they were told was that they were taking supplements that would help them maintain their mental acumen. You may have heard that A-Rod is coming back from over a year out of professional baseball. We all know the reason, and while it may not have been the illicit use of mushrooms to stop or slow down the effects of a neurodegenerative disease, it was most likely the illicit use of something else. The Yankees are old, and they will need to figure out a way to channel the spirits of Yankees past if they want to take revenge on the
orderlies that wronged them AL East.
Oakland Athletics – The Flukeman, “The Host”, Season Two
One of the most famous monsters-of-the-week, the Flukeman was born in a “soup” of radioactive sewage from Chernobyl. He was a tapework-like humanoid that lived in sewers and enjoyed biting humans and injecting small flukes, which would eventually kill their hosts. It is bad enough that the Flukeman lived in sewage, what made it worse was that he ended up in Newark, New Jersey. Oakland is the New Jersey of the West. Whenever a visiting team plays in Oakland, they have to worry about sewage. And with that they also have to worry about a giant flukeworm biting them on the ass. In the end, Mulder chopped the Flukeman in half, leaving him to die. In a later episode, a newspaper reveals that while believing to be dead, the Flukeman in fact relocated to Martha’s Vineyard, which gives me great hope that the Athletics will also get to move out of the sewers and on to a better place.
Seattle Mariners – Greg Pincus, “Folie a Deux”, Season Five
Mulder, and several other people, are held hostage by an office employee who is convinced that his boss is a monster who has turned several of his co-workers into zombies. When the ordeal ends, Mulder, despite his initial skepticism, comes to believe the guy was not crazy, that in fact the boss actually is a cockroach monster that brainwashes everyone into seeing a person that is not, in fact, sucking the life juice out of everyone, leaving them as zombies. Much like Pincus, nobody saw that
Zdurjhkla Zurhdkiack Zurienkick Zduriencik is in fact a monster only pretending to be saber friendly. A terrible cockroach monster that turns prospects into zombies that only partially resemble real players.
Tampa Bay Rays – Central Operating System, “Ghost in the Machine”, Season One
The plot is simple: Mulder and Scully must survive in a building that is controlled by a murderous computer. Known as the C.O.S., the machine was a sentient artificial intelligence which controlled the corporate headquarters of a software company. Mulder and Scully won in the end, as the C.O.S. was brought down by a simple virus. The Rays, under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman, have been a sabermetric darling for years. However, with the departure of Friedman and manager Joe Maddon, the Rays seem a little obsolete. They lack depth, and are easily susceptible to injury. Much like the C.O.S., the Rays can be a little dangerous, but in the end seem like Windows 3.1x, while the rest of the East is using, at the very least, Windows 95.
Texas Rangers – Jenn, “Je Souhaite”, Season Seven
Imagine finding an ancient jinni (female genie) who grants you three wishes. Now imagine that genie granting those wishes literally. You want to be invisible? You got it! Now nobody can see you. BAM! You just got hit by a f$%*ing bus. You want peace on earth? That’s nice. Now you are the only person left alive. Jon Daniels seems to have located this same lady jinni. Apparently he found her back in early 2010. His first two wishes were for World Series trips. He got them. His third wish? Shin Soo Choo and Prince Fielder. How can trading for a short… um… husky first baseman that is owed $24 million over the next 6 seasons, and giving $130 million to a 32 year old outfielder with some injury history, backfire? Nothing can go wrong, right? I mean, right?!
Toronto Blue Jays – Big Blue, “Quagmire”, Season Three
Big Blue was supposedly a giant mysterious (and old) lake monster inhabiting Heuvelmans Lake. The guy (or gal) could eat. And eat. And eat. He ate a Boy Scout leader. He ate Scully’s dog Queequeg. Everybody just knew he was some massive lake monster. In the end, Blue was just a large alligator. Two years ago, the Blue Jays were going to be this beast of a team. They were “the team to beat”! They were going to win it all! If the World Series were something to be devoured, then the Jays were going to eat it. Like Big Blue, the Jays are old, hungry, and big. At the end of the episode, the viewer can see a plesiosaur-like creature rise up from the water to watch the agents walk away. Only time will tell if the Jays are the true Big Blue, or just a hungry alligator that isn’t as scary as we thought.
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