May 20, 2009

OK, Where's the Camera?

I admit, this is a really good gag. In fact, the 2009 Washington Nationals season may be the most elaborately conceived and exquisitely executed prank in the 50+ year history of Candid Camera and its progeny. Imagine orchestrating the opening 40 games of a major league baseball season just to capture the incredulous reactions of the fans as their team invents new and ever more gut-wrenching ways to lose. It's pure genius. Somewhere Alan Funt is smiling.

But even a great joke must come to an end. So bring out Ashton Kutcher, or Howie Mandel, or whoever is orchestrating this masterpiece. (Is it Clint? Is that what he's been doing this whole time?) Raise the curtain, reveal the hidden cameras and we can all have a good chuckle. Look, I understand, it's a global recession, times are tough, everybody needs something to raise their spirits. Really, I'm not even mad.

Just send the actors you hired to play our bullpen home, give us back a half-dozen league average relievers, and we'll call it even. I must say, that whole sub-plot about Owen Wilson signing on to play a Washington relief pitcher was brilliant. Misinformation at its finest. After all, when you're looking for a big star, who would even notice seven or eight character actors? It's not like anyone knows what relievers look like anyway.

Should we have been a little suspicious when "Joe Beimel" showed up from Hollywood just before the season started to "stabilize the bullpen"? Maybe, but Rizzo was really convincing. And was it a little too convenient that "Julian Tavarez" and "Kip Wells" happened to be available as last minute free agent additions? Perhaps. But the real masterstroke was keeping Joel Hanrahan around to make it all look official. While you're packing up your gear, be sure to have someone tell him that he can stop acting like a terrible closer now. The joke has run its course.

In conclusion, I'd like to say "Bravo!" Job well done. If you have any plans for a Season Two, I highly recommend Philadelphia. Those guys love "gotcha" humor. So thanks again for the laughs, but it's time to let us get back to traditional mediocre Washington Nationals baseball now, ok?


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