Yes, this is going to be one of those meditations that attempts to find things wrong with Jesus’s favorite sport. If I were a newspaper columnist out of ideas and averse to reason, I’d call for a salary cap. If I were on a message board and had a poor grasp of tenability, I’d call for soccer-style relegation of the Pirates. I, however, am neither. So I propose this:
No, I’m not calling for more Chad Paronto (although that would be fine). Rather, I’m calling for the use of championship belts in MLB. On this point, I am as unyielding as a large, resolute, unyielding thing. You see, despite my occasional use of hifalutin prose and my New Yorker subscription, I am at heart something of a rube. And this rube — as a native of the fair state of Mississippi — was raised on professional wrestling.
I still count Ric Flair among my sports heroes. As a child, I had recurring nightmares centered around the dark ways of Joe Le Duc. I wept when the Freebirds blinded Junkyard Dog, and I believed the Iron Sheik was deeply hostile to the values of the Republic (whatever those were at the time).
An outgrowth of all of this is a deep and abiding passion for championship belts. How deep and abiding is this passion? I made a non-ironic purchase of a championship belt as recently as 2009. I am about to turn 39 years of age.
As such, I want baseball to adopt this most blessed thing and do away with the lamewad trophy for good and all. When it comes to baseball, I long to use the phrase “the belt and the title” in the most literal of senses. Mr. Paronto, who is obviously a gentleman of discriminating tastes, has the right idea.
I mandate, in my Judge Ito fashion, that the following changes be made immediately … Each member of the World Series-winning team will be presented with a championship belt. The players must wear their belts during all games and official appearances until some other team wins — wait for it — the belt and the title. At which point, those players on that team will rip the belts from the clutches of the fallen champions and wear them until the same happens to them. Some may argue that wearing a giant golden belt might restrict movement at the plate, in the field and — most especially — on the mound. I don’t care. Such are the burdens of a champion. Also, the manager and GM must wear them, too.
I defy anyone to find something wrong with this idea.
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