Tucked in to a slate of rule changes designed to make baseball marginally less boring to watch, Major League Baseball announced a new policy to keep fans entertained: a Houston Astros player must stand, defenseless, at home plate for every ceremonial first pitch.
“My decision not to vacate the Astros’ wins and World Series Championship after multiple seasons of cheating apparently didn’t go over well among fans,” stated MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “Hopefully, the opportunity for those disgruntled fans to throw at an Astros batter will restore my credibility.”
The change was announced several weeks into spring training. So far this pre-season, the Astros have led the league in batters hit by pitches, a circumstance which caused Astros Manager Dusty Baker to plead with MLB to step in and protect his players from retaliation.
After Manfred’s announcement, Baker agreed that giving individual fans and special guests the opportunity to bean an Astro with a weak, poorly aimed ceremonial throw was a much better arrangement than having professional pitchers hurling 95 mph fastballs at their heads during game play.
Since the announcement, all 30 teams have reported an unusually large increase in applications and requests to throw out first pitches.
“It brings a whole new level of excitement to the game,” stated a 6 foot 4 inch, 220 pound man wearing a wig, glasses, and a fake moustache and going by the name of Harold S. Chatman. “I really hope they pick me to throw out the first pitch on opening day. I’ve been dreaming about it all off-season.”