“Good evening, everybody. I’m Joe Buck with Tim McCarver and we’re in the Chuck E. Cheese broadcast booth at Shell Oil Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, for the first game of the highly anticipated series between the eBay Eastern Division contenders, the Boston Market Red Sox and the Wal-Mart West-leading Texas Instruments Rangers.
“It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame. The game-time weather is brought to you by Aetna Insurance. Aetna: offering coverage for all climate events. The temperature is 78 degrees and it’s sunny with a slight breeze blowing out to left field. How do you think this will affect the game, Tim?”
“Well, Joe, my analysis, which is brought to you by Dr. Marvin Steinberg – Dr. Steinberg, when the only analysis that will do is Freudian - is that the combination of the warmth and the outward breeze should make fly balls carry. I expect to see a lot of Halliburton Home Runs tonight.”
“And Texas Instruments takes the field! Defensively for the Rangers, here’s the Adidas infield: Adrian Beltre at third, Elvis Andrus at shortstop, Ian Kinsler at second, and Michael Young at first. In the Oreck outfield: Nelson Cruz in left field, Josh Hamilton in center, David Murphy in right. And the Delco battery is Mike Napoli behind the plate and Yu Darvish on the mound. Darvish is 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA, but he’s 3-0 when the game’s first batter has a name beginning with the letter ‘P.’ In his last start, he had twelve strikeouts and his subsequent Facebook post had 47,287 likes, both career highs.
“Leading off for Boston Market is second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Dustin is having a good year, batting .305 with 8 home runs and 42 RBIs, and most impressively, he is second in the major leagues with 26,344 Twitter followers. As always, all player statistics are brought to you by Deloitte Touche: nobody crunches numbers like Deloitte Touche.
“As Yu Darvish stands on the Pepsi pitching mound and Dustin Pedroia steps into the Black & Decker batter’s box, I remind you that the game’s first pitch is brought to you by Sony – Sony Stereos, where the pitch is always perfect. Darvish winds and delivers. Pedroia lines it – foul ball, just to the left of the Ku Klux Klan left-field line. Gee, Tim, I still can’t believe Major League Baseball gave the naming rights for the white lines to the KKK.”
“You know what they say, Joe: Money talks and tolerance walks. Anyway, when Pedroia lines foul on the first pitch on a Friday night when the temperature is above 75 degrees, he’s only hitting .143, so Darvish has him right where he wants him.”
“Here’s the 0-2 pitch. It’s a called strike three, on the inside corner. Pedroia doesn’t like the call, and he’s taking out his tablet to tweet his complaint. ‘Get your cell phone, you missed a call #umpiresucks.’ Ooh, sharp barb from Pedroia.”
“Now the ump is taking out his phone, Joe. ‘Go sit down, Robin, and let a real Batman come to the plate #umprules.’ Pretty lame comeback and the crowd is booing. You know, I understand Commissioner Zuckerberg wants the players to embrace social media to keep the fans involved, but ironically, instant messaging really slows the game down.”
“This rhubarb has been brought to you by Birdseye Vegetables. Birdseye: why settle for rhubarb when you can have carrots? Young Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is now up. He’s really established himself at the Home Depot hot corner. Darvish’s first pitch – and it’s a long drive, deep to left. Cruz is back on the Wells Fargo warning track, back to the FedEx fence… and it’s a Halliburton Home Run trot for Middlebrooks!”
“As he rounds third, the fans are waiting for his signature move. And there it is, his Bank of America Backflip onto home plate! He finally got that trademarked last week after a long court battle with Ozzie Smith, who claimed Middlebrooks ripped it off from him. Middlebrooks only batted .211 on the days that court was in session. Now that the case has been settled, he could finally get a corporate sponsor for his move and his game has picked up.”
“Wait, Tim, something’s going on here. There’s a discussion at home plate. It looks like the camera crew from Middlebrooks’ reality show, The Phenom, missed the shot when Middlebrooks did the backflip, so they’re doing a retake and he’s going to circle the bases again. This Red Sox run is brought to you by Dunkin’ Donuts. Baseball ‘runs’ on Dunkin.”
“David Ortiz stepping up to the plate. Big Papi is hitting .311 with 16 home runs and his testosterone level is holding steady at a 2:1 T:E ratio, which is within the legal limits. First pitch is outside for ball one.”
“And Ortiz’s HGH blood test just came back negative. David’s batting a torrid .575 on days he receives negative drug test results.”\
“Curveball low for ball two. That was the tenth pitch of the game. Geico reminds you that a ten-minute call could save you 10% or more on car insurance.
“Ortiz fouls it back. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez is in the Office Max on-deck circle. Commissioner Zuckerberg just announced today that Gonzalez has agreed to start a webcam in his home to be broadcast on the Internet. He’s calling it Casa de Gonzo.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea, Joe. Remember what happened when Ryan Braun started a webcam? That was really unfortunate. Unless you were Mrs. Braun’s divorce lawyer, of course.”
“Strike at the knees. Call me old-fashioned, Tim, but I miss the good old days when baseball cards didn’t include a player’s penis si…”
“What’s the matter, dear?”
“Oh. I guess I was having a nightmare.”
“Red Sox were losing again?”
“No, much worse. It was a world overrun by corporate shilling, social media blathering, look-at-me posturing, meaningless trivia and a stunning lack of privacy. (Sigh.) Remind me in the morning to sell my season tickets. And my laptop.”
“You’re overreacting. Calm down and go back to sleep. It was just a dream.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
“Don’t forget, dear: your dream was brought to you by Serta Mattresses. Serta: helping you reach sweet dreams.”