The 2011 Cubs were already set to be the beneficiaries of some rare good fortune, with injuries plaguing St. Louis and Milwaukee and no discernible plan for winning being enacted in either Pittsburgh or Houston.
Houston has literally taken action on the field, though, hiring mini-golf course/laser-tag arena designer Skip Humburger to turn the already-treacherous Minute Maid Park outfield into something that looks even more like a tourist attraction.
“We took the one thing we had to our advantage and ran with it,” said manager Brad Mills, referring to the numerous hills added to the outfield. “Carlos Lee has been instructed to begin each AB at the top of a hill and get a running start. We’re hoping guys like Soriano will just stand there, paralyzed with fear.”
And if that doesn’t work, each player’s uniform has now been equipped with a button to engage the whistle on the train that runs over left field.
Houston had even more plans in the budget had they not been forced to keep a full roster of 25 players.
“Baseball has always been left up to the elements,” said Humburger. “Rain, wind, why not a grove of cherry trees? I don’t see how it’s terribly different from erecting a brick wall and disguising it with ivy.”
By Dan Bradley. Photoshop by Kurt Evans