Byung Ho Park, the Twins’ big free-agent acquisition this offseason, has already shown why the Twins spent the $12.85 million posting fee to negotiate with the 29-year-old Korean slugger. On March 6, Park clubbed his first spring training home run, a fence-scraping grand slam against the Rays. Two days later, Park smashed a solo home run to left-center field against the Blue Jays. On Friday, Park homered again, this time off of the Marlins’ Andre Rienzo, to bring his spring-training tally to three.
Though the spring training camera angles are wonky, you can still get a sense of Park’s post-homer comportment; he swings, drops his bat demurely and begins jogging around the bases at a pretty quick clip. Upon returning home, Park slaps his teammates’ hands in a workmanlike fashion, not deviating from the traditional high-five. No tricky additions, no dabbing, no ostentatiousness whatsoever. Park is the picture of modesty.
Why, you may ask, do we care? Why are we dissecting how Byung Ho Park comports himself after a home run? Why must we harass the man before he’s even settled in to our dear country?
Well, because this is how Byung Ho Park used to react upon smacking a dinger.
So, what happened? Did Byung Ho somehow forget his joie de vivre in Korea?
The answer is far more sinister and it involves the shadowy cabal that ruins all that is fun and good in baseball: the Fun Police.
* * *
Since Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Cap Anson convened in a Whites-Only saloon somewhere in 19-Dickety-2 to ratify its bylaws, the Fun Police have meted out justice with the type of old-timey barbarism one would expect from such a rotten institution.
The process goes as such:
1. Perceive a slight, especially if the batsman looks different than you and is more talented.
2. Hurl the apple at the batsman with as much force as you can muster.
3. Spit invective—and chewing tobacco—in his general direction.
4. Complain about the fraying moral fabric of our once-proud country and long for the good ol’ days.
The beanball brand of justice has remained the preferred method since this fateful day; its practitioners have boldly refused to adapt to the times despite ample evidence of the archaic method’s deficiencies and a crescendo of public dissent—much like those Sam Elliot commercials for Coors. We’ve heard all the complaints and logic but we’re busy jamming our fingers in our ears, thank you very much.
Though their methods are dangerous and churlish, more enlightened sorts have grown to accept them and capitalize on their strategic shortcomings: simply accept the free base this insecure Neanderthal has proffered and move on, perhaps tossing some light slander his way in the press.
But the Fun Police are learning.
They have developed new, far more dangerous and diabolical methods—methods that portend a frightening new future where the Fun Police have succeeded in their unrelenting quest to suck all the fun out of baseball.
The Fun Police have precogs.
There had been rumblings of this dire development, but two incidents from last year have verified our worst fears.
First, two photos were authenticated, confirming that Agatha, the prominent precog from “Minority Report,” had a twin brother.
This twin brother had managed to hide his identity from the general public as he rose through the ranks of the Fun Police, ultimately attaining his status as sheriff.
See for yourself. Here’s Agatha:
And her twin brother:
The second incident of 2015 that verified the Fun Police’s development of precogs—and demonstrated the McCann Model’s formidable ability to detect and prevent pre-crime—occurred after the Twins earned negotiating rights to Byung Ho Park.
“No bat flipping. I got advice from other players,” Park told Miller.
Miller then asked if Park had reconsidered this preemptive prohibition, and the 29-year-old slugger’s response revealed just how strong the “McCann” precog is at carrying out the Fun Police’s bidding.
“No,” Park said, pointing to his head as he laughed. “No beanballs.”
Well, shit. Now the Fun Police are not just ruining baseball—they’re doing it before we even get a chance to enjoy it! They are sapping baseball of its joy, its heart, its silliness. We must spread the word to everyone: do not let the Fun Police win. Let’s shame these sanctimonious, self-serious jerks into relinquishing control of our beloved national pastime. (It’s not as if bat flips are a new development…)
The movement is gaining momentum, but there is still much work to be done. I implore you, dear reader, to help in the fight against the Fun Police. We cannot let them win in their attempts to ruin baseball. Let’s let the light in. Let’s let Byung Ho Park flip his flippin’ bat if he flippin’ wants to.
In this fight, our most powerful weapon requires no words—simply a URL. For the sake of baseball fans everywhere, pass it on.
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