NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball, in its continuing effort to promote and expand the game in fun and exciting ways, today announced the launch of the Citizen Player Program. The most radical change in over 100 years, some experts are already predicting that this modification could totally revolutionize the game.
Modeled after the "citizen journalism" craze that's currently sweeping through the media business, the Citizen Player Program is actually the brainchild of the Tribune Company, the owners of the Chicago Tribune Newspapers and Chicago Cubs. The idea basically is that instead of having all the fuss of a minor league system and all the rigmarole of huge contracts and negotiations, players for a particular game would be selected based on the Google link popularity of their blogs.
Commissioner Allan (Bud) Selig said, "Major League Baseball has been looking at the best ways to prepare for the 21st century and fortify our relationship with our audience. If this is what they want, whatayagonnado?"
Chicago Cubs President John McDonough issued the following statement: "The Chicago Cubs are terribly saddened by this decision. I mean we're not really known for winning but you don't have to humiliate us. Why doesn't the Tribune just sell us and move on?"
The Cubs current manager Lou Piniella added, "Hey, I am getting paid either way. What the hell, it's not like we're going to do much worse."
The full details of the changes have not yet been disclosed; but according to an insider there will be minor rule changes and field alterations. First base will be moved to 10 feet from home plate. Player/bloggers will each get 30 strikes. If an opposing pitcher even looks at them funny and exhibits "troll" behavior, the player/blogger will get to take first base and the pitcher will be thrown out of the game. All other professional players will be fitted with special 20 lb. weights for their arms and legs.
The Cubs will play the first game under the new Citizen Player Program against the Pittsburg Pirates on May 8. The Cubs' preliminary roster includes: Robert Scoble, Steve Rubel, Shel Holtz, B.L. Ochman, Debbie Weil, Shel Israel, Brian Oberkirch and Brian Solis. They will variously rotate as pitchers, catchers and infielders. Minor leaguer Steven "Vapors" Streight has been unanimously selected as their way outfielder; and old timer Jeff Jarvis has been signed on as the new pitching coach. Of course, all this is subject to change at game time.