Remember back just a handful of weeks when Bucs’ fans were forming those Z signs with their hands in reverence of Zoltan, the space god from the dreadful film Dude, Where’s My Car? Apparently, every time the Z sign was flashed, Zoltan was summoned to inhabit the body of a Pirate’s player and temporarily boost his talent in a key on-field situation, kind of like an office work taking a shot of 5 Hour Energy to push through a critical conference call. Well, the 5 hours ran out in early August. Perhaps Zoltan got sick of being disturbed from his intergalactic peace to bolt to PNC Park and add an extra 20 feet to what would normally be a routine fly ball. Now he’s extracting revenge by leaving a pregame turd in each of the players’ lockers.
I have a slightly different theory, however. It starts with placing the primary blame on should-be-beer-league catcher Rod Barajas for being the first to publically flashing the Z on May 8th, after belting that walk-off home run. I believe that marks THE moment that the Pittsburgh Pirates sold their soul to Zoltan in exchange for three months of exceptional baseball. The problem is the Pirates didn’t have enough soul to sell in order to purchase the last two months of the regular season. (I’m surprised they had any soul to sell after first basemen Randall Simon clocked that racing sausage with a bat back on ’03.) I submit that Zoltan’s contract to the team expired on August 11th, during the 5th inning when James McDonalds gave up seven runs to the Padres.
Peek at the standings today—fourth place! Enraged Yinzer protestors are storming sports bars and burning the Jolly Roger. I saw a shaky YouTube video of an effigy of Eric Bedard being torn to shreds on Federal Street. Barajas worshippers went from kneeing in the direction of PNC Park and chanting “Rod is good,” to loading their hotdog guns with the beheaded bobble heads of faded prospects and preparing to storm Bob Nutting’s panic room.
You know, if you make the Z sign, and turn the top backhand 45 degrees toward your body, the Z morphs into an L?
I think Bucs’ fans have learned an important lesson, besides realizing that hope is like a corked bat that is bound to crack in half in front of an umpire. Sports teams, regardless of their shortcomings or utter lack of marginal talent, should never invoke a god to boost their performance. First of all, it’s unsportsmanlike. If Ryan Braun can’t inject HGH in his ass, the Pirates shouldn’t be injecting demigods in their bats, even if that deity has a minus 3 W.A.R.D. (wins above replacement deity). Perhaps poetic justice is being served by this late season collapse. I recommend that Major League baseball test for supernatural spirits in every clubhouse beginning next year. I’m pretty sure Lord Voldemort has been on the Yankees payroll for years.