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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 10/10/2012

Play ball! And if necessary, cheat


Showing his competitive streak, Bryce Harper prepares to swing at strike four. (Jeff Roberson - Associated Press)
We’re abuzz and atwitter and agoggle here in Washington as our beloved team, the whatchacalls, the Nationals, a team we’ve followed religiously since roughly mid-August when we realized they might make it to the post-season, today meet the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in the first playoff game in Washington since, like, the Fillmore Administration. When our team was called the Washington Whigs.

I’m nervous about this game. We’re not exactly on a roll, are we? We lost the last game 12-4, forgetting how to hit and pitch and run the bases. Our star teenager, Bryce Harper, struck out about 9 or 10 times, swinging the bat as if trying to ward off gnats swarming in his face. Our ace pitcher, Gio Gonzalez, was so wild in Game 1 he kept having to stop to ask for directions to the strike zone.

We’re just a little off our game in general, as if our guys have never had the physical experience of playing baseball in October. And that’s largely true. St. Louis is the defending World Series champion. The Cards know what playoff pressure is like. But they don’t know what really bad traffic is like. We got that in Washington and should use it to our advantage. Let us pray that the Cards get stuck in traffic and most of them actually miss the first few innings, and it’ll be just a few of them against our entire lineup, and we’ll pound the ball all over the field and their few pathetic fielders will have to chase the ball everywhere and we’ll get out to, like, a 37-0 lead (!!!!!) before the rest of their team even shows up.

Also we should cheat. I know it’s “wrong.” It know that’s not “fair.” I know we all believe that “it’s not whether you win or lose that matters, it’s how you play the game.” This is a policy best enforced after we’ve already won the World Series. Honor can wait for the offseason.

Right now, if we fall behind in a game, we’ll need to implement some workarounds, such as trapdoors in the outfield so that at a key moment of the game a Cards player will simply vanish. We need to get out the special mirrors to flash sunlight in the batter’s eyes. We can activate the motors under the pitcher’s mound so that when their guy tries to pitch the entire mound jiggles.

We should tell our batboy to beat up the other team’s batboy, and then sabotage the bats. Switch ‘em out with fake bats. Picture this: Their big slugger gets up to the plate and discovers his bat is drooping.

This is a glorious moment for Washington baseball. Let’s take the appropriate desperate measures.

By  |  12:30 PM ET, 10/10/2012

 
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