Yo, everybody! Remember Mad Libs? I may have been a complete loser in elementary school, but I loved the hell out of that game. They’d be like, yo, K-Mo, give me an adjective. And I’d be all “stinky!” or “deliberate!” Those were simpler times.
The good news is we can still do it. See, every spring training, beat writers send the same stories to their editors. Over and over. Over and over. The formula is old, but people eat it up! Ah, sports journalism.
I must admit, I am committing the very sin I am damning journalists for. Last year, in a larger piece called “Rites of Spring Training,” I alluded to this very fact. But that was just in passing, everyone. So, let’s all relax and do some Mad Libs. I’ll even fill in my own at the bottom.
So, step one, choose a team. I’ll do the Baltimore Orioles, for all my Marylanders out there. Step two, choose players from the team you picked to fit the parenthetical dictation I’m putting there. You’ll see: I’ll put my answers at the bottom of the column.
For the (MLB team), there is no shortage of hope this spring. After a disappointing finish in the (Division), they will look to rebound. With a revamped (pitching staff or lineup or defense, whichever suits you), the team has a new makeup.
“We’re really looking to return to the fundamentals,” said (manager’s name). “You know – the little things. Those go a long way. Hit-and-run, bunting, defense, we’re not going to be a station-to-station team anymore.”
(Note to readers: should you select the Chicago White Sox, be sure to alter the text so many f-bombs and homophobic epithets appear.)
The (team) will pin their hopes on new acquisition (player). Acquired via (free agency or trade) from the (team he used to play for), (player) is looking to get his ring.
“I’ve been around this game long enough, and I just want a ring,” said (player). “I think we can get it here. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t have come.”
While the mood around the (team’s) clubhouse will be serious, don’t expect (goofy guy) to let up on the pranks and pie tossing!
“Yeah, we’ve got to be serious,” said (goofy guy). “But that doesn’t mean I can’t tape (some rookie’s) ass-cheeks together and have a good time, you know? Wouldn’t be baseball without that.”
(Goofy guy) even has a Twitter feed. While he may be limited to only 140 characters, at least his gems won’t be relegated bit pieces in the beat reports. (Manager) will have to set tweeting limits.
“Yeah, they might tweet in the clubhouse or whatever the hell you call it,” said (manager). Like I said, I’m not a big technology guy. OPS, GPS, Twatter, what’s the difference?”
(Manager) is just an old-fashioned guy. He doesn’t want any newfangled metal products – he wants the most important one: a trophy.
Ahem, my answers:
1. Team: Orioles
2. Division: AL East
3. Revamped: defense
4. Pin hopes on: Kevin Millwood
5. Manager: Dave Trembley
7. Goofy guy: Luke Scott
Maybe that wasn’t fun. I don’t know. I think that just means we all want baseball to start.