The sport of baseball, heralded as an American pastime invented by and for Americans, was knocked on its rear end today when a Major League pitcher named “Benoit” representing the great American city of Detroit relieved Justin Verlander. The slap in the face to all Americans named “Smith” and “Jones” was magnified since the game was telecast across the nation on the American ESPN television network.

“This is the biggest insult baseball has ever known,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “I regret I wasn’t paying attention to the infiltration of this foreigner ‘Ben-wah’ into baseball because I was too busy figuring out how to explain the need for 30 playoff teams next year.”

INS investigators questioned the player named “Benoit,” asking him to explain why his name isn’t spelled phonetically like the names of people who live, work and pay taxes in this country.

“I asked him if he was from France or Canada,” INS investigator Fred Stevens said. “He didn’t have a straight answer so I had him locked up and he’s going to be deported in the morning. I don’t know where he’s going, but he can’t stay in this country.”

The player named “Benoit” reportedly pronounces his name “Ben-wah” without a single O, I or T to speak of, yet he spells it that way.

“This game is predicated on players named Ruth, Gehrig, Sosa, McGuire, DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, Cabrera, Aaron, Santo, Williams, Banks, Jenkins, Hundley, Eckersley, Beckert, Smith, Sutter, Buckner, Sandberg, Grace, Sutcliffe, Moreland, Campaneris, Flanagan, Rodriguez, Jeter, Perry, Seaver, Jones, Agee, Clendenon, Matsui, Koosman, Ford, Rice, Yaztrzemski, Ordonez, Konerko, Humber, Lillibridge, Danks, Pierzynski, Pena, Suzuki, Guidry, Guillen, Dent, Tiant, Buehrle, Rios, Mauer, Fukudome, Thome, Cuddyer, Morneau, Valenzuela, Jackson, Hooton, Perez, Weaver, Dean, Marichal, Gibson, Reese, Hodges, Stengel, Berra, Garagiola, Aparicio, Fox, Doby, Pierce, Cash, Gooden, Gomez, Gomes, Peralta, Johnson, Isringhausen, Tekulve, Powell, Kluszewski, Padilla, Palmer, Andujar, Plummer, Maloney, Bench, Grote, Armbrister, Driessen, Geronimo, Morgan, Gullett, Kirby, Billingham, Concepcion, Rose, Foster, Kingman, Griffey, Cuellar, Ryan, Reyes, Wright, Soto, Capuano, Ellis, Bradley, Ramirez, Franco, Castro, Barney, Byrd, Soriano, Clemente, Stargell, Sanguillen, Moose, Sievers, Minoso, Eastwick, Borbon, Robinson, Hall, Belanger, Griffey Jr., Yount, Diaz, Ogilvie, Fingers, Kittle, Porter, Banister, Fisk, Vuckovich, Verlander, you get my drift,” Selig said. “There is no reason why we should allow this foreign guy ‘Ben-wah’ to rake in millions of American dollars in the Major Leagues.”

Verlander was outspoken on the subject, and although he is known for standing up for his teammates, he was glad to hear the commissioner reprimand and disbar his teammate Benoit.

“I’m just a small town boy,” Verlander said. “Born and raised in South Detroooit. I took the midnight train going annnywheeere.”

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he doesn’t object to having a player named “Benoit” who pronounces his name “Ben-wah” on his team.

“I’m so freaking old now I already gave up on everything in this country a long time ago and I just don’t care about anything anymore,” Leyland said. “I’ve been smoking cigarettes to my death all of my adult life and I can’t even tell you why I’m still alive.”

By Rob C. Christiansen