A joke a friend of mine sent me made me think of something profound. It is as follows:
Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in the woods. A small tree begins to grow between them, and the beech says to the birch, "Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?" The birch says he cannot tell. Just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling. The birch says, "Woodpecker, you are a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The woodpecker takes a taste of the small tree. He replies, "It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the best piece of ash I have ever put my pecker in."
See, this is one of those kinds of jokes that your grandmother e-mails you assuming (a) She’s Alive (b) She’s lucid enough to actually use e-mail or (c) She wants to show that for an octogenarian she’s still “hip” and “with it” and send you sexy jokes. Naturally, because of the source, this make you think of “SEX” and “GRANDMA” in your mind VERY EXPLICITLY and generally makes you want to take a soldering iron to your eyes and acid to your face. Regardless, it helped me to come up with something profound.
The stuff they can do with technology and genetic engineering is crazy these days, and baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry that is always seeking to increase any edge their players can use within the limits of the game. Why not have an enterprising team genetically engineer trees to make the wood that they produce, like, super wood? I’m talking wood that is so hard and light it’s like carrying a metal bat in your hand, but it’s made of wood.
So how is this done? I’m not a scientist, exactly, but I think magic might have something to do with it. Or injecting steroids into seeds and planting them with radioactive fertilizer. But come on. I think the Boston Red Sox need to do this, and if at all possible, do it immediately. Why?
1. Boston’s proximity to some of the world’s finest academic institutions can allow them put pressure on the scientists who can actually pull this off. And by “pressure” I mean, holding the geeks off a balcony like it’s Shug Knight vs. Vanilla Ice all over again.
2. Boston’s proximity to the great forests of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Southern Canada (also known in some areas as “Maine”) give it plenty of testing ground, as well as the element of secrecy. Whitey Bulger has been hiding out in these areas for years, and if they can’t find him, a few glowing trees with spring-like leaves won’t freak out any locals. At least not any who aren’t already whacked out on maple-moonshine.
3. Larry Luchino’s dollars make Boss George look like Boss Hog in comparison. This is high-end genetic engineering, here, and will be very, very expensive. Paying the scientists and buying fissile material aside, bribes will be made, and people need to be silenced. Imagine if during the test phase, one of these bats comes alive and eats Julio Lugo? Someone’s going to have to buy off his family. Then again, the way Lugo is hitting this might actually be an improvement. Don't forget they’d have to build their own lumber yard to actually make these bats as well.
And besides, is there any other team that needs to satiate such a rabid fan base? Red Sox Nation (and I use the term very lightly, if they are a nation, it’s probably one like Haiti) reminds me of an impersonal Japanese corporation. Remember back in the 80’s, and we heard all these stories about Japanese employees who were so fantastically devoted to their companies that they would run around the office, come in on weekends, and ignore their families? The only difference is the employee gets paid, while a member of Red Sox Nation actually pays the Sox to belong. This new performance enhancing wood will provide historic levels of offense, and is the one way to actually fulfill the completely unrealistic expectations of the pizza-throwing lunatics that call themselves fans. The new wood would even let the Red Sox franchise catch up to the Yankees, at least in terms of championships. Because believe me, it’s not going to happen any other way, and that is no joke.