So, did you hear the one about the Animal and the Baltimoron? You haven't?
Let me set the story up for you so that you're not as confused as umpiring legend Frank Drebin was when he took a course in ejection etiquette.
On Friday night, Chris "The Animal" Carter hit his first major league home run against the Baltimore Orioles. He followed that up with his second major league home run on Sunday. Both home runs were three-run homers that helped the Mets extend the small leads they had at the time.
Usually, a team tries to recover any player's first major league hit and/or home run, as the Mets did yesterday when rightfielder Jesus Feliciano collected his first major league hit. However, although Chris Carter does have the ball he hit for his second major league homer, he still does not have the memento from Friday night's home run.
It's not as if the team didn't try to retrieve the ball for him. It's that the ball ended up in the hands of a Baltimoron, that rare creature who mutated from an otherwise polite group of Baltimoreans. How did this particular beast get the name "Baltimoron"? The answer is quite simple.
The Mets offered the fan who caught Carter's first home run autographed David Wright, Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez baseballs, as well as a bat autographed by The Animal himself. Of course, being a Baltimoron, the fan refused to give up the treasured ball because he was holding out for signed items from Orioles' players.
That's right. It wasn't enough to get three autographed baseballs from established All-Stars along with an autographed bat from the player responsible for hitting the ball causing this commotion. No, you need signed items from guys who play for THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL!
Let's re-enact this scene for you, in case you missed anything.
Mets: Thanks for catching Chris Carter's first major league home run. He'd love to have that ball as a keepsake to commemorate his first big league blast. How about we make a trade. We'll give you autographed baseballs of three of our biggest stars and an autographed bat given to you by the man who hit the ball. What do you say?
Baltimoron: No, that's not good enough. Throw in some autographs from players representing the worst team in baseball and you got a deal.
Mets: But these players aren't on our team. They're not in our locker room. They're not as accessible as guys who are literally standing ten feet away from me who are willing to do this for you.
Baltimoron: Yeah, that's nice and all, but I'd really like Cesar Izturis' autograph.
Mets: You do know that once we give you these autographed baseballs of our three All-Stars, if you don't want them, you could sell them for hundreds of dollars and probably buy every Cesar Izturis baseball card ever made?
Baltimoron: Okay, you took too long. Now I want a Julio Lugo autographed glove as well. I also want our mascot, The Bird, to show up at my son's next birthday party. Have him bring Mark Hendrickson in a clown costume when he comes. And if you don't hurry up, I'll want Juan Samuel to sign this photo of himself so I can keep it next to the lock of his Jheri-curled hair that I stole from his barber back in 1988.
Mets: (Door slam)
Baltimoron: Hello? Hello? What if you just added a Lenn Sakata baseball card to the mix instead? He wouldn't even have to autograph it. You can even keep the stick of bubble gum...
So there you have it, my friends. Chris "The Animal" Carter has been denied the opportunity to have the ball he hit for his first major league home run. And all this is because of a Baltimoron who wanted too much for it.
It's okay, Baltimoron. You can have the ball. We'll just take the three victories from your putrid team and while we're at it, we'll hold on to that Lenn Sakata baseball card as well. At least you can take comfort in the fact that you still have Juan Samuel's hair from 1988.