by Larry Hodges (alias LarryTT)
October 27, 2014 - The World Series ended yesterday and it was not between the Yankees and Red Sox as a team from Baltimore swept some National league team in an event that nobody from ESPN watched. We were distracted by highlights from the World Ping-Pong Championships on ESPN2, which included a player whose cousin was from New York.
"Actually, I watched it," said an ESPN intern. "What happened was--" He was interrupted as nine ESPN executives pitched him out the window. The intern did not understand that continental USA ends once you leave the New York-Boston metropolitan areas.
What the fans were really waiting for, of course, were the holy ESPN Power Rankings. Knowing they would come out right after the World Series, fans struggled to keep their eyes open through four games as the Orioles hit 44 home runs and pitched four shutouts, including a supposedly perfect game by some rookie, though ESPN can't verify as we were watching ping-pong. Such a close series from outside the United States meant that the result had no effect whatsoever on the all-important Power Rankings. And so, as expected, the Yankees and Red Sox finished 1-2, just edging out the Athletics, wherever they are from, with their far superior record but much less ESPN appeal.
"The Yankees definitely earned the top spot," said a neutral ESPN executive as he caddied for Derek Jeter. "They finished fourth in the division, while the Red Sox finished dead last. If you want to finish ahead of the Yankees in the power rankings, you have to finish ahead of them in the standings and be the Red Sox. Otherwise, what's the point of the Power Rankings?"
"The Orioles did earn their 29th spot," said another neutral ESPN executive as he prostrated himself before a statue of Mark Teixeira. "The Rangers, wherever they are from, had the worst record in baseball and the Orioles deserved to be one spot ahead of them. They really did, no matter what anyone else from ESPN says." (The executive furtively looked back and forth and then quickly slunk out of the room.) The Orioles Power Ranking had dropped the last month of the season like half the Yankees and Red Sox reputations will when the next Biogenesis report comes out, despite winning their last 30 games in a row and finishing with the best record in baseball . . . not that anyone cared.
"Some of those wins were by only five or six runs," said another neutral ESPN executive as he lay down on a puddle to allow David Ortiz to walk over him without getting his red socks and minkskin shoes muddy. "Sometimes they won, but sometimes the other team almost won."
"We are the ESP Network," mumbled another neutral ESPN executive as he licked Dustin Pedroia's shoes clean. "We knew in advance it was going to be between the Yankees and Red Sox. Everyone in New York and Boston thought so. But what happens on the field stays on the field, so we'll report it as we covered it all year. Let's just say the Yankees won. Just smile and wave, fans, smile and wave."
Another neutral ESPN executive chimed in as he cut Masahiro Tanaka's hair. "Of course it should have been the Yankees and the Red Sox in the World Series. But both teams were hampered by unforeseen deaths. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Jimmy Foxx, Tris Speaker . . . all dead. Unbelievable. He shook his head sadly as he gently massaged Tanaka's shoulders. "Such bad luck."
"The Orioles just don't have a good team," said a knowledgeable ESPN baseball source as he flipped burgers at a McDonalds. "They have no pitching. They have no defense. They have no hitters. They don't even have a decent quarterback." He paused as he dropped fries into a fryer. A tear rolled down his face. "It should have been the Yankees against the Red Sox. But we saw some good ping-pong."
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