Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

Juan bobo

The Criollos de Caguas

Part II

CAGUAS, PR  –  Juan Bobo, the new manager of the Criollos de Caguas baseball team, has just announced his new line-up for the 2014 season.

“We are in a building year,” said Bobo. “The emphasis will be on youth and career promise.”

When reporters pointed out that the new players looked a little too young, Bobo responded “tell that to Vince Lombardi. Recruit the athlete, not the position.”

Criollos De CaguasThe new Criollos de Caguas

Bobo pointed out that his pitching staff is still stacked with veterans.

“Our starting pitcher, Don Q, will set the standard for the entire team, “said Bobo. “We will all benefit from his baseball wisdom…both on and off the field.”

Don Q is still undergoing shoulder rehab, and was not available for comment.

DrunkDon Q in rehab

Complete coverage of the Criollos de Caguas  and Don Q’s rehabilitation will continue on these pages.

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo and his

Star Player

After 521 innings, Juan Bobo was desperate to win the baseball game against the Barones de Barceloneta. Juan was tired of the opposing team manager, Adam Clayton Powell VI, who called a press conference every night for no apparent reason.
 

Powell press conference about something or other

He was tired of the Barones cheerleaders and their skimpy outfits, which kept distracting his first baseman.
 

The Barones de Barceloneta cheerleaders

Juan was definitely tired of the Barones’ 12-foot elephant, and the disrespect he showed toward the Criollos and their dugout.
 

The elephant undermines the Criollos’ morale

Finally, in the 522nd inning, the Barones looked like winners. They loaded the bases with no outs and Juan was finally going home…but then, all of a sudden, his centerfielder Papa Cool decided to become a hero.
Papa started running everywhere…he became a one-man outfield, caught everything left and right, dove for breathtaking shoe-stringers, speared fantastic catches over his shoulder, fielded infield grounders…and at one point, he charged a bunt for the force-out at home plate.
 

Papa Cool saves a home run

But finally with two outs, the Barones clean-up man belted a home run.
 
BOOM!
 
The ball soared high and deep into the foggy center field sky and Papa galloped after it like an African horse, legs pumping, every muscle straining, his black eyes popping even as he crashed through the center field wall and plummeted down a 25-foot embankment.
 

The hole where Papa crashed

Adam Clayton Powell VII charged out onto the field, howling and pumping his fist, until he saw that the stadium was still. The runners circled the bases in a strange, respectful silence. Everyone watched quietly as they found Papa Cool’s body, and hauled it back to the dugout on a stretcher.
 

Baseball huddlePapa Cool caught the ball, then died

Papa didn’t move. He wasn’t even breathing. A priest climbed down somberly to administer the Last Rites, and no one in the stadium stirred. The place was so quiet you could hear the priest’s every word.
 
“Blessed Father, I am here with Papa Cool, to unite his spirit with the passion of Christ, in the name of the father, the son, and…wait a minute…what the hell is this?”
 
Juan Bobo ran over as the priest opened Papa’s glove. “Ave Maria Purísima!” yelled the priest. “He caught it…he caught the ball!”
 
The priest waved the baseball and the stadium exploded. Six thousand fans screamed, Old Man Oye fainted, someone banged a Chinese gong, and a dozen kids leaped into right field waving their butterfly nets. A conjunto jumped onto the dugout and belted out a bachata.
 
And so after 522 innings the teams were still deadlocked – in the longest game in baseball history.
 
Juan Bobo started to cry.
 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo and the Longest       

Game in Baseball History

One day, Juan Bobo brought his friend El Brujo de Guayama (the witch doctor of Guayama) to the stadium.  El Brujo pulled a big black finger out of a coconut and rubbed it over home plate

El brujo de Guayama

The stadium was strange the next day.

Don Q fired his 98 mph heat…and the first batter hit the first pitch. He fired again…and the second batter hit the first pitch.  For the rest of the inning, every batter hit the first pitch. They weren’t all hits and no one scored, but every batter connected on the very first pitch.

It happened to both teams throughout the day. The entire game ran like a runaway train and, when the night lights came on, the scoreboard showed 178 innings.

The opposing team manager, Adam Clayton Powell VI, called a press conference to announce his feeling that “something funny is going on here.”

Powell announces that something funny is going on

The next day, the Barones pitcher quit when he saw a ghost standing next to him on the pitcher’s mound.  Powell called another press conference to announce that the Criollos were not playing fair, and had a recruited a ghost to intimidate his team.

Pressed for details about this ghost – its origin, whereabouts, motives, or financial interest in the Criollos – Powell was uncertain.

Huh?  

Two days later, the Criollos and the Barones were still deadlocked after 317 innings – the longest game in baseball history. 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo, Filadelfo

and His Magic Accordion

Every day, before every game, the Criollos de Caguas had to awaken Filadelfo the accordion player. He was always snoring in right field, wrapped in a tattered blanket, sleeping off a drunk.

Filadelfo had toured with Mantovani, but now he played only one tune when intoxicated – En Mi Viejo San Juan. When very drunk he also remembered fragments of Mendelssohn’s Spring Song.

Filadelfo when sober

As the only high-brow musician in the whole town, Filadelfo possessed a just celebrity. He was brilliant and industrious – his sons and daughters were innumerable – but the artistic temperament was too much for him.

On February 9, 2012, Filadelfo was passed out, and draped like an “L” over a bench. He refused to wake up. But the mayor of Caguas was there for  the big game, so Juan Bobo had no choice, and he ordered the ground crew to throw a bucket of ice water on Filadelfo.

DrunkHe refused to wake up

The accordionist sprang up in a rage, and placed a curse on both teams. “You’re all in a hurry?” he yelled. “Okay, so keep on hurrying!”

From that point on, the baseball game became very strange. Every batter on both teams connected with the first pitch, for either an immediate hit or an immediate out. 

They hit every pitch

The game proceeded at lightning speed and, by the end of the day, the game was tied at 24-24 after 59 innings. The Criollos pitcher Don Q was becoming a nervous wreck, and started drinking Bacardi in the dugout.

Everyone in the stadium had heard Filadelfo, and they started whispering that “the curse of Filadelfo” had taken over the game.

Juan Bobo had never seen anything like it.

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo Greets

Adam Clayton Powell VI

Adam Clayton Powell VI was the manager of the Barones de Barceloneta baseball team, and he was a very impressive figure in Puerto Rico.

His father had been a U.S. Congressman, and he had two brothers in the New YorkState legislature. Powell had gone to Harvard, he owned a Pepsi Cola distributorship, and he was the plant manager for Pfizer pharmaceutical in the town of Barceloneta.

All the Viagra consumed in North America was produced in Powell’s little factory.

Powell also loved to appear in the media, and held a press conference about something or other practically every week.

Powell press conference about something or other

On February 12, 2008, Powell marched into Caguas with his baseball team, ten cheerleaders, and a 12-foor African bush elephant. Juan Bobo greeted him wearing a colorful three-cornered hat, and they all marched together down highway PR-95.

Juan the PirateJuan the patriot

There was a funny thing about Juan’s hat. Every ten minutes Juan would turn down one of its corners – then a man would come running out of nowhere, and hand him a bag of cash.

After three men and one priest had done this, Powell was no longer thinking about his baseball team, or even about the elephant. He was perplexed by the hat and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Huh?  

Finally, Powell made a decision. He ran into the Banco de Ponce, withdrew $5,000 and bought the hat from Juan.

Of course the hat was a fraud, and Juan had staged the whole thing. But Juan figured that any man with a name as arrogant as Adam Clayton Powell VI, deserved whatever he got.

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo Meets the

Barones de Barceloneta

Most people think Barceloneta is a suburb of Barcelona, somewhere in northern Spain. Actually, Barceloneta is a small town on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, that has some of the cleanest water on the planet.

The water is so pure that four pharmaceutical companies produce billions of dollars worth of drugs in Barceloneta, every year.

All the Viagra consumed in North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico) comes from one factory in the town of Barceloneta.

All made in Barceloneta

The town has become quite prosperous, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical sponsors the Barones de Barceloneta baseball team. The Barones have brand new uniforms, a state-of-the-art stadium, and a dozen cheerleaders called “The Diamond Girls.” 

StadiumThe Barones baseball stadium

The Barones even have a mascot – a twelve-foot African bush elephant.

ElephantThe Barones de Barceloneta elephant 

In 2008, the Barones also had the most spectacular win/loss record in the history of the Puerto Rico Winter Baseball League, with a winning percentage of 85%.

On February 12, 2008, the Barones marched into Caguas to challenge Juan Bobo and his baseball team. The game lasted 628 innings – the longest game in baseball history.

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo and His   

Baseball Stadium

Criollos de Caguas had a very colorful baseball stadium.

Fifty skinny boys sat on the right field wall. They shimmied up a palm tree and waved dozens of broomsticks with butterfly nets on the end. They rarely got a ball, though. The Criollos de Caguas had not hit a home run in two years.

The field was full of holes, ruts, and countless other hazards. An ant colony wiggled under first base. Insects bigger than silver dollars bounced off the bulbs and zoomed around all the players. Two panels behind home plate were covered with cardboard. 

Out in right field, just below the butterfly nets, a sloping mound of red dirt served as the outfield fence and behind it (to keep out the boys) a twelve-foot wall of barbed wire topped a pile of garbage cans filled with broken beer bottles and a narrow hole, partially covered with Johnson grass, that was home to a rattlesnake.

The outfield snake 

Way out in left field lay Filadelfo the accordion player, wrapped in a tattered blanket, sleeping off a drunk. Filadelfo had toured with Mantovani, but now he played only one tune when intoxicated – En Mi Viejo San Juan. When very drunk he also remembered fragments of Mendelssohn’s Spring Song.

Filadelfo was the starting pitcher’s twin brother, and people often confused the two.

DrunkFiladelfo the accordion player 

The field was so run down, and the Criollos lost so many games, that people told Juan Bobo he should quit trying to manage them and find a real job.

But Juan loved baseball. It was a great game for redemption, since it was so full of failure. Just like life. 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo and his

Star Player

After 521 innings, Juan Bobo was desperate to win the baseball game against the Barones de Barceloneta. Juan was tired of the opposing team manager, Adam Clayton Powell VI, who called a press conference every night for no apparent reason.
 

Powell press conference about something or other

He was tired of the Barones cheerleaders and their skimpy outfits, which kept distracting his first baseman.
 

The Barones de Barceloneta cheerleaders

Juan was definitely tired of the Barones’ 12-foot elephant, and the disrespect he showed toward the Criollos and their dugout.
 

The elephant undermines the Criollos’ morale

Finally, in the 522nd inning, the Barones looked like winners. They loaded the bases with no outs and Juan was finally going home…but then, all of a sudden, his centerfielder Papa Cool decided to become a hero.
Papa started running everywhere…he became a one-man outfield, caught everything left and right, dove for breathtaking shoe-stringers, speared fantastic catches over his shoulder, fielded infield grounders…and at one point, he charged a bunt for the force-out at home plate.
 

Papa Cool saves a home run

But finally with two outs, the Barones clean-up man belted a home run.
 
BOOM!
 
The ball soared high and deep into the foggy center field sky and Papa galloped after it like an African horse, legs pumping, every muscle straining, his black eyes popping even as he crashed through the center field wall and plummeted down a 25-foot embankment.
 

The hole where Papa crashed

Adam Clayton Powell VII charged out onto the field, howling and pumping his fist, until he saw that the stadium was still. The runners circled the bases in a strange, respectful silence. Everyone watched quietly as they found Papa Cool’s body, and hauled it back to the dugout on a stretcher.
 

Baseball huddlePapa Cool caught the ball, then died

Papa didn’t move. He wasn’t even breathing. A priest climbed down somberly to administer the Last Rites, and no one in the stadium stirred. The place was so quiet you could hear the priest’s every word.
 
“Blessed Father, I am here with Papa Cool, to unite his spirit with the passion of Christ, in the name of the father, the son, and…wait a minute…what the hell is this?”
 
Juan Bobo ran over as the priest opened Papa’s glove. “Ave Maria Purísima!” yelled the priest. “He caught it…he caught the ball!”
 
The priest waved the baseball and the stadium exploded. Six thousand fans screamed, Old Man Oye fainted, someone banged a Chinese gong, and a dozen kids leaped into right field waving their butterfly nets. A conjunto jumped onto the dugout and belted out a bachata.
 
And so after 522 innings the teams were still deadlocked – in the longest game in baseball history.
 
Juan Bobo started to cry.
 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo, Filadelfo 

and His Magic Accordion

Every day, before every game, the Criollos de Caguas had to awaken Filadelfo the accordion player. He was always snoring in right field, wrapped in a tattered blanket, sleeping off a drunk.
 
Filadelfo had toured with Mantovani, but now he played only one tune when intoxicated – En Mi Viejo San Juan. When very drunk he also remembered fragments of Mendelssohn’s Spring Song.
 

Filadelfo when sober

As the only high-brow musician in the whole town, Filadelfo possessed a just celebrity. He was brilliant and industrious – his sons and daughters were innumerable – but the artistic temperament was too much for him.
 
On February 9, 2012, Filadelfo was passed out, and draped like an “L” over a bench. He refused to wake up. But the mayor of Caguas was there for  the big game, so Juan Bobo had no choice, and he ordered the ground crew to throw a bucket of ice water on Filadelfo.
 

Juan Bobo & Don QHe refused to wake up

The accordionist sprang up in a rage, and placed a curse on both teams. “You’re all in a hurry?” he yelled. “Okay, so keep on hurrying!”
 
From that point on, the baseball game became very strange. Every batter on both teams connected with the first pitch, for either an immediate hit or an immediate out. 
 

They hit every pitch

The game proceeded at lightning speed and, by the end of the day, the game was tied at 24-24 after 59 innings. The Criollos pitcher Don Q was becoming a nervous wreck, and started drinking Bacardi in the dugout.
 
Everyone in the stadium had heard Filadelfo, and they started whispering that “the curse of Filadelfo” had taken over the game.
 
Juan Bobo had never seen anything like it.
 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

    

Juan bobo

Juan Bobo Meets the 

Barones de Barceloneta

Most people think Barceloneta is a suburb of Barcelona, somewhere in northern Spain. Actually, Barceloneta is a small town on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, that has some of the cleanest water on the planet.
 
The water is so pure that four pharmaceutical companies produce billions of dollars worth of drugs in Barceloneta, every year.
 
All the Viagra consumed in North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico) comes from one factory in the town of Barceloneta.
 

All made in Barceloneta

The town has become quite prosperous, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical sponsors the Barones de Barceloneta baseball team. The Barones have brand new uniforms, a state-of-the-art stadium, and a dozen cheerleaders called “The Diamond Girls.”
 

The Barones baseball stadium

The Barones even have a mascot – a twelve-foot African bush elephant.

 The Barones de Barceloneta elephant 

In 2008, the Barones also had the most spectacular win/loss record in the history of the Puerto Rico Winter Baseball League, with a winning percentage of 85%.
 
On February 12, 2008, the Barones marched into Caguas to challenge Juan Bobo and his baseball team. The game lasted 628 innings – the longest game in baseball history.
 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo