WASHINGTON, DC- Amid increasing calls for action, President Barack Obama met with cabinet leaders this morning to address what he calls the "increasingly devastating amount of baseballs on the surface of the moon."
Outrage has been heard from all sides on this issue, from environmentalists to baseball manufacturers. Since 2003, Scott Baker has given up home runs at such a blistering pace that scientists estimate the Moon's surface may already be 2 feet deep in baseballs. Despite public awareness campaigns, petitions, telethons and mediated discussions with U2's front man Bono, Scott Baker continues to give up the long ball.
Until this year, the Minnesota Twins played beneath a domed roof, which analysts say reduced the amount of home runs that actually hit the surface of the moon by roughly 18%. However, starting in 2010 they have been playing in an open air ballpark, thus greatly increasing Moon surface clutter every 5th day. Target Corporation, who has naming rights to "Target Field" has been boycotted by environmental groups who accuse the company of standing idly by while Baker destroys the lunar ecosystem.
Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spoke with the media shortly after today's cabinet meeting concluded. Said Gibbs, "The President feels the time for talk is over, that leaving the increasing number of baseballs on the Moon's surface only delays the problem."
The President and Cabinet members were able to lay out a plan that will leave the surface of the moon clean and clear of baseballs by 2018. "This plan, while daunting, cannot be accomplished without Scott Baker throwing on a downward plane and keeping his pitches in the zone." Gibbs went on to say, "Without Baker improving his mound presence and stepping up his game, our only hope is his retirement from the game of baseball, or continued elbow soreness."
The President has reached out to Mr. Baker before. The two have held a number of post game phone calls to discuss the growing "Moon Ball" issue. One aid, who wished to remain anonymous, shared that Baker continually cites "trying too hard" as the culprit. This aid also notes Baker's insistence that he plans to "trust his stuff" more in his next start, and "stay within himself." But Obama's patient is fading, much like the remaining open square footage on the surface of the Moon.
Once prematurely dubbed "Big Spot Scott" by Paul Allen of the AM radio station KFAN, Baker has since earned the moniker "Moon Shot Scott" for his propensity to give up home runs that are so well and easily hit, they reach the surface of the moon. This new alias was coined by "The Common Man" Dan Cole, and although it began as a joke, he is quick to note the severity of the problem at hand. "Oh sure, after a couple of 13, 14 home runs we decided to make a joke of it, you know, taking sort of a contrarian perspective on an otherwise good kid who had been pitching well for ‘da club. But seriously though, come on, this is becoming a big problem. I mean, I know we're not building golf courses on the Moon yet, but if we ever want to, we need to stop bombarding the place with dingers and clean it up, doh'kay?"
There has been no shortage of ideas on how to approach the massive cleanup effort. The Twins organization has partnered with NASA to identify ways to help the community once the "space-balls" have been safely removed. One plan includes fashioning the baseballs together to create an underground reef for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean. Another plan calls for the baseballs to be donated to the Little League Association of America. This would eliminate the need to purchase new baseballs for at least 15 years, saving the Little Leaguers a considerable amount of money. Pat Neshek, Twins reliever, has led an unsuccessful campaign for the rights to auction and trade the baseballs on his blog.
NASA plans its first scheduled launch for later this year. The first trip will include identifying the amount of surface area to be cleaned (current estimates at roughly 76%) and will include the start of the cleanup process. Twelve round trip shuttle missions are planned for 2011, and every year after until the Moon is clear of baseballs.
In a statement to the press, the President declared an end to the lunar waste. "The time for waiting and hoping for mechanical adjustments is over. We will no longer stand complacently by while our beautiful and natural night-light is littered with baseballs. Our treasured celestial neighbor is and will continue to be a priority for this administration. Change is coming to the Moon."