Yes. I'm going there.
I was vacillating all day between whether or not I was going to tap into a new level of crassness---which for me really says something---and go ahead and make puerile Michael Jackson jokes the day after this sick, twisted man-child/pedophile died; or whether I was going to take the high road, conduct myself with a modicum of class and professionalism, display something akin to human decency, and let these jokes remain festering in the recesses of the warped mind of my imaginary sportwriter alter-ego.
So the decision has been made, and at the risk of inciting and alienating, perhaps, half of my nine readers (I'm pretty sure my wife, Liz, will not leave me over this, although there are hundreds of other good reasons ready for her to pluck), I now present to you, dear Reader, "The Imaginary Sportswriter's Suggestions for Ways Major-League Baseball Can Honor the Memory of The Moon Walker":
1. An expansion team called The Never-Never Land Underoos. They'll build a stadium on Michael's old ranch, and obviously, boys under 12-years-old get into every game for free. The uniforms will consist of classic underoos---The Hulk, Batman, Spiderman, etc.---and no one on the roster can be over the age of 19-years-old (manager included). Instead of a Rally Monkey or a Green Monster named Wally, the mascot will be An Elephant Man named John, who wears a canvas hood over his head and freaks out the little boys in the crowd. During the seventh inning of each game, aspiring musicians will perform "Bad" in falsetto, and I'm also envisioning a giant cutout of Michael Jackson, a sentry watching over the right field fence, and if a home run knocks the cutout in the area where the nose should be, the hitter wins a free pair of parachute pants. The Underoos, however, will probably struggle nightly with the decision of whether to pitch or catch. Yup. I went there.
2. A silver-sparkling batting gloves. When I think of a player to pilot the batting glove, only one name comes to mind: A-Rod. It would also allow umpires to get a good look at any of bitch slaps as he prances down the first-base line. Also, it would be a fitting tribute if players spun around and yelled "Oeow!" each time they adjust their cup in the batter's box.
3. The Michael Jackson Award. They seem to have post-season honors for everything. Why not a Michael Jackson Award for one player in either league, who has an exceptional statistical season and is noteworthy in one or more of the following criteria: A.) Was both mentally and physically fucked up by their old man, pushed so hard as a kid that the game is no longer enjoyable for them B.) Racial ambiguity C.) Displays bizarre, often baffling behavior on and off the field (although a 50-game suspension would have a severe impact when it comes down to the voting, Manny) D.) Has been acquitted of a felony they're clearly guilty of committing (perjury counts, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds) or E.) Dates/marries a celebrity female as a smokescreen for their true sexuality (um, Jeter). This award will not be voted on by the sportswriters, rather the imaginary sportswriters, i.e. ME!
Note: I now have nine people who follow my blog, conveniently the same number of players on a baseball field. I will, however, be giving special recognition to the tenth person who joins my blog. Seeing this is a baseball blog, you will the recipient of The Nate Graziano Imaginary Sportswriter Tenth Man Award. So quick. Join. Be a winner.