LOOKS LIKE I CLEARED THE BATTER EYES AGAIN. BATTER MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER, LIKE FRIED CHICKENS AND HENS.
It seems there is some confusion about what you should do if you are fortunate enough to catch a home run ball at Target Field. For example, former Twin and future Hall of Famer Jim Thome hit a spectacular dong over the batter's eye on Wednesday night, and someone threw it back. Clearly, some ground rules need to be put down in writing so people know how to act when they find themselves in this situation. Here's a Q-and-A that should settle the debate:
- Was the home run hit by a member of the Minnesota Twins? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. (Extenuating circumstance: you have a clear shot to peg TC Bear in the back. You take that shot.)
- Was the home run hit by a beloved former MInnesota Twin? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. (Extenuating circumstance: if it's a J.J. Hardy homer, keep it, find whatever corner office Bill Smith is in, enter without knocking, say, "I hope you're happy," and drop it on the floor in disgust.)
- Was the home run hit by Delmon Young? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. (Extenuating circumstance: you are sitting in the left field bleachers. When he comes out to play the field the next inning, throw it back at him and say, "L'Chaim, Delmon!" The torrent of anti-Semitic slurs he unleashes will make you a trending topic on Twitter for a day.)
- Was the home run hit by A.J. Pierzynski? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. There are no extenuating circumstances here. Throwing it back is what he wants you to do. Don't give him the satisfaction. Like they said on Battlestar Galaga, If you give in to the dark side, it'll make him more powerful than you can probably imagine.
- Was the home run hit by an AL Central rival? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. Again, no extenuating circumstances. The AL Central, with the exception of the White Sox so far, is pretty bad again this year. Do you want to be responsible for lowering Yuniesky Betancourt's self-esteem? He plays for the ROYALS, guy. This is just needlessly piling on.
- Was the home run hit by a member of the New York Yankees who isn't Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. He's probably going to be in the Hall of Fame at some point, so hold onto it and sell it to someone for money. (Extenuating circumstance: one of the Make-A-Wish kids is sitting next to you, and her one wish is to throw one of Mark Teixeira's home run balls back at his giant goddamn head. You give her that ball and you feel good about it.)
- Was the home run hit by Derek Jeter? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. Morneau beat him out for MVP. That's enough. (NOTE: the ball will not give you the steely determination and leadership skills of a true champion, as the ball does not come with east coast and national media determined to constantly remind you of its steely determination and leadership skills.)
- Was the home run hit by Alex Rodriguez? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. He owns a painting of himself as a centaur. This guy's psyche is such a unique hellspace is such that you throwing his home run ball back couldn't possibly be more insignificant.
- Was the home run hit by any other player on any other team? IF YES: KEEP THE BALL. Do you see where I'm going with this?
- Even Luke Scott? Yes, even though he's a dink.
- Ok, hypothetically, Josef Stalin is re-animated, signs with the Diamondbacks, and hits a home run. Can I throw that ball back? YES.