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A new way to think about outfield defense

As pitchers and catchers are finally in camp, rather than hanging out at the Capitol trying to decide exactly how stupid Chris Shays is, I thought I should share the baseball-related dream I had the other night–from which I woke up laughing.

I was at Fenway, following David Letterman around on a videotaped tour, and I learned two things.

First, from where we were standing (in the press box?), I was able for the first time to see why Manny Ramirez is such a bad fielder. Turns out that outside the foul line in left, just off-camera, where you can’t ever see him either live or on the broadcasts, there’s a hobo who’s always standing there badgering Manny for money. And Manny’s too nice to have security get rid of him. Who knew?

Second, there’s a giant apple in a hat just outside the outfield wall. Letterman asked Baseball Related Program Activities Hanger-on (and MLB employee) Dan Rivkin, “So, I know the one at Shea, when it goes up, it’s because the Mets have hit a home run. What does this one mean?”

“Well, Dave,” said Dan. “This one’s about government. When it goes up in the air, everyone in, like, Congress, and the Vice President and President, they all have to resign. And then the 37 Amazing Dudes, who’ve been sitting patiently on the bench for like years and years, they take over.”

That’s when I laughed out loud and woke up. It made a tiny bit more sense in my dream. The 37 Amazing Dudes were presented as if they were just this ordinary group we all knew about.

Let’s play ball.

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