If it seems like it’s been a while, devoted fans and admirers, it’s because it has. While I’ve been far too busy in various noteworthy pursuits to miss any of you, I do realize that my absence is unbearable for everyone else. Yes, you read that right. I, Rick Sutcliffe, the greatest man alive, am still humble enough to put myself in the disgusting shoes of the everyman, even after all I’ve accomplished in my 412 years on this planet. Incidentally, Billy Joel’s epic hit “Only The Good Die Young” is clearly mistaken, even if it is one of the greatest songs of all-time from a musical standpoint. I’d argue that only the poor and stupid die young, since it’s my very greatness that has allowed me to exist for centuries without showing any signs of aging at all.
But no matter! I’ve been tucked away these past several weeks in the underground Sutcliffe Laboratories working on a secret project, and it’s time to share my findings with you, the general adoring public. There are many problems in the game of baseball today. Before I politely retired to save baseball from heading right back into the Dead-Ball era, things were already going astray. Since I left we’ve had the steroids issue (would not have mattered if I had still been on the mound), all kinds of scheduling problems resulting from uneven divisions, and a 92% increase on teams making it to the post-season. All of these topics will be resolved once I take my eventual place as the game’s commissioner/president of the United States/emperor of the solar system, but to be honest, all of these problems pale in comparison to the subject matter I bring before you today: vampires.
There are vampires in the game of baseball, friends. Oh, yes. You thought the game you knew and loved to be safe, but it’s far from it. Thankfully, I’ve taken it upon myself to root out these vile aberrations of life and hunt them down one-by-one. Look, we all know vampires are a fact of life. Once thought to be eradicated from the face of the earth centuries ago, Bram Stoker’s fantastic 1897 academic research novel Dracula proved scientifically that they were back, and in full force at that. This continued through the 20th century, accurately noted in several future books and, increasingly, on the silver screen. Hollywood hunks Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, for instance, used the made for TV documentary Interview with the Vampire (1994) to reveal that they were both, in fact, blood sucking monsters. On a side note, both have proved to be very cunning and thus difficult to track so far, but I will get them eventually. My first plan to dress up as Angelina Jolie and infiltrate Pitt’s home backfired horribly, but I’ve got other ideas.
I won’t dally on Hollywood celebrities, though. It’s understandable for vampires to invade our entertainment culture, in a way. Like the rest of the world, I read and adored Stephanie Mormon Meyer’s fantastic Twilight series, and have even concluded that I will allow Edward and Bella to live; they make such a cute couple, after all. What is not to be tolerated, however, is the presence of these creatures of the night in the game of baseball. Baseball is too pure and virginal to allow this kind of insult, and the risk is too great. Who wants to see a young, beautiful Tim Lincecum drained of his precious boy-blood just because he happens to get the best of a vampire-in-hiding one too many times at the plate? That’s a potentially Hall-of-Fame worthy career, ruined, even though we all know Lincecum is fading fast and will soon have to turn to prostitution to make his living. (New idea: use Lincecum to impersonate Jolie, equip him with bomb that detonates once he gets inside; takes care of several problems all at once.) But you get the idea. Baseball represents all that is right with the world, and we can’t have those bloodthirsty fiends ruining that for us.
Needless to say, I don’t believe to have discovered all the vampires making a name for themselves in baseball, but I think I have a pretty good start. How did I find them, you ask? Well, it’s mostly instinct. Natural born hunters like myself tend to have a ninth sense when it comes to sensing unnatural forms of life. I’ve refined my vampire hunting abilities to the point where I can just smell it when I see one. Sometimes the signs are obvious: glowing red eyes, turning into a pile of ashes when used in a day game, or excessively long fingernails. Other symptoms are less obvious, except to trained eyes like mine: excessive speed, excessive power, excessive reflexes, or simply stellar performance during games played after the sun departs and unleashes the damned upon us all. It’s also worth noting that most any pitcher able to throw the ball over 95 MPH is likely a vampire. While my fastball regularly hummed at 138 MPH, that was extremely rare and resulted from my perfect genes and charming personality. No other pitcher should be hitting speeds like 96, 97 with any kind of regularity; it’s just not human. Now that you know some of the criteria involved, I’m going to share a few players that I know for a fact to be vampires.
This one’s obvious. Even the boys of StanGraphs were able to ascertain (on their previous site I’ve sworn not to mention) that Utley was a vampire when he gave himself away by slicking his hair straight back in 2009 playoffs. As if that wasn’t already obvious enough, his on-the-field performance was ridiculous. He launched homer after homer into the seats the entire post-season, including nine off of C.C. Sabathia in the World Series. That’s especially impressive, considering Sabathia is likely a vampire himself.
I don’t really suspect Tiny Tim is a vampire, but I still want him dead.
For years, El Vampiro was at the absolute top of my list. In fact, his performance was so other-worldly that I had him pegged as the head vampire, the one to go after in order to wipe out all vampires from existence forever. The last few years, much to my disappointment, have been steadily proving me wrong. It appears that Pujols is perhaps the lone exception in the sense that he was an incredible baseball player that is also human. Still, he’s been cranking out a few more homers recently, and I’ll be keeping a very close eye on him. This could all be an act because he knows I was closing in on him, and fast. Using money as an excuse to flee to a different part of the country is, quite frankly, a little suspicious.
Much too fast. I’ll have to get him soon, or the whole world is in danger. I’ve got an incredible one-liner just begging to be used when I, shall I say, reel him in. Hahaha!
Pay close attention here, loving fans. Nothing about this man is normal. He moves with a grace never before observed in a human. He’s currently hitting .359 with 12 homers in just 34 games this season. He also looks a bit like the vampire Laurent in the Twilight series, as Laurent is also black. Most importantly, though, is his recent trip to the disabled list. I came within inches of ending Kemp’s evil life the very night before he was placed on the DL, in fact. My aim was true, and my velocity was perhaps better than it was even in my playing days, but he was just too quick. The stake, previously right on line with the great vampire’s heart, ended up lodged in his left hamstring as he shot straight up into the air in an attempt to avoid his certain death. Even wounded, he was too fast to track after that, and I lost sight of him quickly. The next day, to keep up with appearances, he pretended the hamstring was causing him issues and the team placed him on injury leave. He’s since disappeared, but I will find him.
Halladay, a Mormon, is clearly in cahoots with Meyer in the vampire world. I’ve gotten word he is no longer a practicing Mormon, but that only makes his scent stronger; like so many before him, he’s discovered that I’m onto him, and he’s doing everything in his (considerable) power to throw me off his tracks. The majority of the Phillies’ rotation is also under investigation, but no doubt Halladay calls the shots around there. (Note: another potentially great one-liner could be used when I celebrate his destruction.)
Right. A 49-year-old “human” still playing baseball professionally. Unless you’re me, that just doesn’t happen. Dead.
The investigators had the right idea to hit with him with a suspension, but they got the substance wrong. He’s using blood, not PEDs. Rest assured, when I get to him, justice will finally be served.
This is getting ridiculous. Did you think I wouldn’t notice, Justin?
He’s doing well in his advancing age. A little too well.
No reason for this late career surge. Must be all that blood he’s drinking.
For various reasons, I can’t go into more detail for the time being. I may have already stirred the nest of the undead too much by saying all of this. It’s dangerous to out so many of my targets at such a high-traffic venue (thanks to me, StanGraphs just received its eight-billionth visitor yesterday), but at this point I feel it’s worth the risk. Don’t be surprised if a number of these players end up conveniently injured or otherwise out of action in the coming days. If I’m successful (and for the sake of the world, I pray I am), you’ll instead be hearing news of their deaths instead. It’s difficult being so brave, but I guess that’s just my cross to bear. There I go again, being clever! I’ve got vampires to kill, readers. You miss me already.