The Daily Swill, SEATTLE, Wa - Michael Jackson vs Vanilla Ice? Paris Hilton vs. Jessica Simpson? Sounds like a popularity poll, but in actuality it may be a popularity stunt coming to a Saturday night Major League Baseball game near you.
In a bold move to combat the recent barrage of negative press surrounding steroid use in Major League Baseball, MLB commissioner Bud "Nothing Lasts Longer Than A Bad Haircut" Selig announced today that Celebrity Kick Boxing Matches will replace the 7th inning stretch at selected Saturday MLB games for the rest of season.
Despite angry opposition from peace activists and numerous religious organizations that have promised boycotts and protests, Selig staunchly supported his stance and insisted that the project is set in stone.
"Our fans deserve good old-fashioned honest entertainment, and boxing has been a big part of our fine country's history," claimed Selig, "and these matches are MLB's tribute to our fine young men and women in our armed forces as well. Hand to hand combat has, is, and will always be the most basic, natural way to settle differences."
While Selig is close-lipped on the names of the majority of the celebrities who will participate, he has announced the three inaugural matches to take place this coming weekend in New York, Baltimore, and Boston. "I have decided to start on the East Coast to ensure we capture the largest possible national audience. "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!" boomed Selig a la Michael Buffer.
Through reliable sources, the Swill has uncovered the names of this week's participants. Apparently choosing to start off with a baseball theme, Selig has chosen to go with retired baseball players duking it out, as follows, with the Swill's predictions:
In the "Real Life Bad Blood" category", John Roseboro faces Juan Marichal, recreating perhaps the most infamous fight in baseball history that occurred on August 22, 1965 in which the Roseboro, the Dodgers catcher, whizzed numerous throw backs to pitcher Sandy Koufax past Marichal's (the Giants pitcher) right ear as he stood in the batter's box. Roseboro was upset over Marichal's brushback pitches to Maury Wills and Ron Fairly earlier in the game. Marichal, not needing a haircut and valuing his ear more than Van Gogh or Evander Holyfield, proceeded to smite Roseboro on the head with his bat despite Roseboro's reputed martial arts skills, opening a two inch gash that required 14 stitches and starting a bench-clearing melee that lasted 14 minutes.
Swill's Prediction: This will be a close one. Roseboro has maintained his martial arts skill, and Marichal will not have a bat this time, but Marichal's famous pitching wind up leg kick is still in fine form. Slight edge to Marichal.
In the "Mismatched Mass" category, retired Astros pitcher J.R. Richard battles Eddie Gaedel. The 6'10" 225 lb. Richard was known for his incredible fast ball and was destined for a Hall of Fame type career when a life threatening stroke ended his career at the premature age of 30. Gaedel, on the other hand, was destined only for shortness until Bill Veeck, the colorful owner of the pitiful St. Louis Browns, decided to "shake the tree" and pulled off perhaps the biggest baseball publicity stunt of all-time: he pinch hit Eddie Gaedel for Frank Saucier vs. the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951. What made this so unusual is that Gaedel was a 3'7" 84 lb midget (whose uniform number was 1/8) whose sole purpose was to increase the Brown's fan base. He walked on 4 straight pitches and proceeded to walk out of baseball forever.
Swill's Prediction: Even though JR has the obvious height, weight and strength advantages, Gaedel's quickness and agility cannot be underestimated. Hitting below the belt is being waived for obvious reasons. Watch for Gaedel to land an uppercut to the "head" and look for J.R. to become horizontal in a huge upset.
In the "Missing Limbs" category, former St. Louis Browns one-armed outfielder Pete Gray faces Red Sox Hall of Famer's Ted William's head. Gray had a short major league career but considering that he lost his right arm in a childhood train accident, his accomplishments are extraordinary. Williams, on the other hand, had a "full limbed" career and lost his body post mortem, and currently has only a cryogenically preserved head.
Swill's Prediction: While Williams had a career that far exceeded Gray's in both length and quality, none of that matters now. Grey is supposedly in great shape for a dead guy and has the advantage of legs to kick box with, but Williams has learned to levitate and has a hell of a bite. Advantage to Williams due to fear factor.
Selig would neither confirm nor deny the identities of the above listed participants, choosing only to smile smugly and say "we have reached the next frontier for Major League Baseball."
When asked if Jose Canseco would be eligible to participate to pay off his recent $1,000,000 judgment, Selig answered "Canseco can kiss my jock."
Canseco replied through his pro-bono attorney that he would accept Selig's offer for a $1,000,000 appearance fee, 294 home runs added to his career total to be the all time home run king with 756, and complimentary facial plastic surgery so he would not look like his twin brother Ozzie.