NEW YORK CITY — Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB), announced Friday that the use of baseballs would be banned for everyone except Major League Baseball players.
“It’s ours and we’re taking it back,” Manfred said, pitching a tantrum at Finnerty’s sports bar in New York City. “Nobody can have a baseball except us. It’s mine!” he added.
All sporting goods stores, department stores, wholesale suppliers, as well as schools and in particular Minor League Baseball, would need to immediately turn in all of their baseballs. Until that time they must not be touched, or even thought about.
The playing of all any baseball-like game will soon require permission from the MLB central office.
This includes softball, stick ball, kickball and even cricket, according to a source inside the organization’s legal department.
“If it has bases and a ball, you’re out!” said MLB chief umpire Gerry Davis. “Unless you’re in the Major Leagues. Screw the rest of you,” he added with a scowl.
Possession of baseballs would be allowed by anyone whose ball has the autograph of a New York Yankee from before 1950, or that of Turman Munson, the league said. But nobody would be allowed to throw, catch or hit the ball, no matter how much they paid for it.
Nationwide Dragnet for Alleged Violators
MLB will employ its vast network of spies and scouts, as well as drone, infrared and satellite technology, to make sure that nobody touches a baseball or pretends they are playing baseball. The nascent G5 system will be beta tested on the project and help ensure that baseballs are not abused.
All new baseballs will also be fitted with GPS tracking to make sure they are not being deployed outside of Major League stadiums during official games or practice. Possession of a baseball could subject the offender to fines of up to $10,000, as well as patent infringement liability.
“Isn’t this a little extreme?” asked Joan McCarter, mother of Little Leaguer Billy McCarter.
“We just bought Billy a new baseball and glove for Christmas and how we have to send back the ball. And how are they going to play Little League? With a rock?” she asked. “That’s dangerous.”
As if to overemphasize the point, MLB this week filed a lawsuit against Marty Spivey and hist brother Sam for repeatedly playing baseball in their backyard in 1938.
However, while both Marty and Joe are deceased, and the lawsuit would be dismissed as time-barred, the action was expected to have a chilling effect on children around the country, frightening them from ever picking up a bat again.
The league will also get a grip on metaphors. No longer will people be able to toss around phrases like “go to bat for,” “curve ball,” or “inside baseball” in casual conversation. Violators will receive pre-litigation settlement offers from copyright trolling attorneys.
Consolidating Their Monopoly
ESPN baseball commentator Keith Olbermann cut loose in a special comment Friday night, saying this move only served to “protect the fat cats at the top of the food chain, while denying baseball privileges to everyone else.”
“Baseball is everyone’s game,” Olbermann fumed righteously. “It’s an American tradition. This is treasonous. Just follow the money,” he added, before being cut off and replaced first by a commercial, then a shot of an empty chair.
Master statistician Bill James said this would be “like murdering the numbers with the blunt end of an axe.”
“How are we going to get any pitching and batting statistics out of the Minor Leagues, if there are no baseballs? I don’t get it,” he asked.
“This is raw, unvarnished greed,” said Bernie Sanders, presidential candidate and senator from Vermont. “Pretty soon, only millionaires and billionaires will be able to touch a baseball. I used to be America’s pastime. Now all we have are WalMart and opioids.”