Wow, Jim. Thanks for passing along Johnny Damon’s statement about his hair being, in part, an attempt to do everything the opposite of the Yankees. That is just about the only thing that could possibly make his hair and beard better. Well, other than them, say, defeating President Bush or leading efforts for world peace.

And I forgot–one more good Damon note before I move on to whatever exciting baseball news happens today. During Sunday night’s game, about two-thirds of the way through the game, ESPN dug up a photo of Damon from when we last saw him. They placed it side-by-side with a new photo from that day. The entire audience at the Rocketship gasped. As the noise died away, Jon Miller’s voice cut through, saying, “How do we even know that’s Johnny Damon out there?” It got a good laugh.

Which ties in with an idea I’ve had for a long time: say you’re the Cardinals. You’re playing a big game against the Cubs, and you’re down by a run with two guys on in the bottom of the ninth. You’ve got So Taguchi coming up. People start heading for the exits.

But you’ve got Albert Pujols on the bench. He’s even got a bat in his hands, because, well, that’s how he is. Why not put Pujols in Taguchi’s jersey and send him to the plate as Taguchi? Sure, he’s not Taguchi. Everyone knows he’s not Taguchi. But he and the manager and the rest of the team swear up and down that without a doubt, swear on Tony LaRussa’s Pure Beef Heart, he’s So Taguchi.

What’s the umpire going to do? Obviously, he’ll have no choice but to let him bat. I’m picturing buttons popping off a way-too-tight jersey as Pujols/Taguchi hits the ball into the Mississippi. Think how much the hometown crowd will get into this! Sure, the opposing team will lodge a protest, but I don’t think the Basic Agreement allows for DNA testing. Barring that, who can be certain that the hitter who won the game for the Cardinals wasn’t Taguchi? David Hume and Bishop Berkeley would be with me on this, guaranteed. Certainty is impossible.

Clearly, the keys to the success of this strategy are three. 1) Have Albert Pujols on your team. 2) Make sure that everyone involved–from LaRussa on down–absolutely refuses to budge in their certainty that this hitter is So Taguchi. 3) Don’t have any of those problematically honest born-again Christians on the team.

If you were really serious–and commensurately willing to be impressively offensive–you could even put Pujols in bad makeup to make him look Japanese. Like Mickey Rooney, only worse.

Original comments…

thatbob: Actually, I think the born-again Christians would be very open to the uncertainty argument. If I was Tony LaRussa, I would say: “Although you think you just watched Pujols put on Taguchi’s jersey, isn’t it possible that this illusion was created by a miracle of God? Or that, by a miracle of God, Pujols is now Taguchi? Or do you deny the possibility of miracles, and claim to know the mind of God? Now since you can’t claim with certainty that Taguchi is Pujols, I would ask that, for the sake of the team, you hold your tongue on the matter.”

See, this is why I would have made such an excellent Jesuit. Is it too late for seminary?

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