One of the most bizarre incidents in the annals of baseball occurred last night in Boston when an errant pelican dove into Fenway Park, attacked Home Plate, and ignited a 25-minute melee between the World Champs, Boston Red Sox, and perpetual "wannabees", the New York Yankees.
It was the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs as the Yanks were looking at a 4-1 win with ace reliever, Mariano Rivera searching for his 10th "save." The Beantown Sox, however, had other ideas as they scrambled to load the bases while slugger, David Ortiz settled into the batter's box. Ortiz had stretched the count to 3-2 when, just as Rivera launched his 95 mph fast ball, an obsidian-colored pelican swooped out of the clouds and headed straight for the future Hall-of-Famer's head. The confluence of player, bat, ball, and bird created a confusing blur of colors, squawks, and feathers, but when it lifted, there stood Ortiz unhurt as a headless pelican sailed over the fabled Green Monster in left field.
With that, Big Papi raised his arms in a Grand Slam triumph and sauntered around the bases as his team and the Sox fans celebrated an amazing 5-4 win over their hapless Bronx nemesis. However, Yankee manager, Joe Girardi, would have none of that. He raced to the plate and confronted the umpires, presumably arguing that it was only a bird that flew over the fence - not a baseball. His case must have been convincing because Head Ump, Nat Turner, signaled that there was no home run and called Ortiz out on strikes, thus handing the win to the Yankees on a silver platter.
Then the strange events became stranger and potentially deadlier. The entire Red Sox team, led by Manager Terry Francona, abandoned their joyous whooping and mercilessly hurled themselves en masse against Girardi and the umpires. The Yankee dugout emptied as the team flew to protect their manager and a good old barnyard brawl developed. Bats, balls, and helmets intertwined with broken fingers and gouged eyes. The mayhem lasted over one-half hour before the Boston police arrived with tear-gas and water cannons to repel the two teams.
About one hour later, a press conference was held at nearby Boston University's Tsai Auditorium. It was there that Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, initially ruled that Ortiz had struck out, that the Yankees had won the game 4-1, and that suspensions will be meted out like "condoms in a whorehouse."
As Selig was trying to make his exit, an aide approached the dais and whispered in his ear. At that point, Selig returned to the microphones and announced a complete reversal of his ruling. He stated that an autopsy of the pelican, completed at Massachusetts General Hospital, revealed that the Rivera baseball was lodged in the bird's gullet. "Based on this new information," amended Selig, "Ortiz did hit a Grand Slam home run, the Red Sox did beat the Yankees 5-4, and the pelican's remains will be enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown."