It’s not really fair to say that a Minor League Baseball team with a performing, five-member mascot band and a hot dog vendor who is half ostrich has “lost” their mind, but it’s safe to say the Reading Phillies have been consistently out of it for years and the Baseballtown All-Star Home Run Derby is the next harrowing step of their descent into madness. Picture of me at a school desk in R-Phils Mascot Band bassist Bucky the Beaver’s home unrelated.
Anyway, Reading is either trying to make the concept of a home run derby as chaotic and dangerous as possible or throwing in with Mutant League Sports, you decide: they’ve put a dunk tank, a crane, a trampoline and a “gaff ball picker-upper” in the outfield affixed with any number of unfortunately-placed interns that will earn you “hundreds and hundreds of points” if you hit them. Believe it or not, a teenager hanging from a crane with a baseball glove trying to catch fly balls isn’t the worst idea: 500 fans are going to be IN THE INFIELD having a VIP party with food and drinks and crafts and what-the-hell-ever-else while the Eastern League All-Stars hit home runs over them. There’s a net, you see. A net I’m sure will keep pop-ups from reigning down on the head of some dude elbows deep in ribs, or onto any of the various fire-related or electrical equipment they’ve got set up.
And THAT’s not even the worst idea: Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist David Cullen will be sitting in front of home plate, playing guitar as guys hit home runs over him. Nothing says “sports fun” like a guy getting brain damage while trying to pluck his way through f**king Woodsongs, I guess.
If you’re in Reading on the 10th of July, go to this and send me a report. Try not to die from a fly ball to the dome between point A and point B.