Baseball's gods must be crazy


"Wilkins, wake up. They want to see you."

"Who? Wha'? Huh?"

"Splash some water on your face. You look like you slept under a farmer's porch. They want to see you ... now."

"They? You mean ... the God?"

"No, the vice-God in charge of marketing and product development, you great block of cheese. The God."


"Yes, Creator Of The Universes and Master Of All Eleven Dimensions?"

"In here. Now."

"I hear and obey, Sir and/or Ma'am. How can I serve you?"

"I wanted to talk about the last couple of nights. You were on the baseball desk, weren't you?"

"Yes. Have I displeased You with my work?"

"Not at all, Our son. We are very pleased."


"Very pleased indeed. Your work this past month has been divinely inspired."

"Well, I do work for You, Sir and/or Ma'am."

"Try not to be a smart ass, Wilkins. You could be back in Natural Disasters with a twitch of Our cosmic eyebrow."

"My most abject apologies."

"We should hope to shout. Anyway, Our compliments on your work. Downright diabolical, you little torturer."

"Well, I tried."

"Nonsense. You were brilliant. You know how much we value the Cubs and Red Sox and the way they make their fans believe in Us. You have no idea how often they have told Us they would stop drinking, whoring, coveting and generally screwing around if only We would grant them a World Series."

"True, Sir and/or Ma'am, but aren't they likely to keep their promises and become better people if their teams ever do win?"

"Of course not, you na´ve little ball of plankton. The minute either one of them wins, they'll be standing naked on cab roofs, drinking bad beer out of a policeman's boot and swearing like the entire Russian navy on leave. They'll behave like pigs with low self-esteem."

"Well, I'm confused now, Sir and/or Ma'am."

"Don't be, Wilkins. It's the promises we like. The dialogue. We don't expect them to actually do any of the things they say. If they did, We'd be up to our ears in Mother Teresa imitators. But it's the thought that counts, you know, and they'll be extra prayerful this offseason, let Us tell you.

"I mean, We loved the base-running gaffes in the Oakland-Boston series. The dropped fly ball and the play at the plate to end the Giants-Marlins series. We thought you might have overplayed your hand with the Steve Bartman thing, but he's been begging Our forgiveness like the College of Cardinals since Tuesday. But to get both teams to within five outs of winning ... to have them blow late leads ... and then, Aaron Boone gets the homer after hitting about .037 the rest of the time ... Us Almighty, We nearly had a seizure. You really are a vicious little creep when you need to be."

"Well, when you want the job done, you want it done right, my dad used to say."

"Yes, he used to say that right before he ordered up three more shots at Fang's Bar'n'Grill. But We digress. The point We're trying to make here is that you now have more people believing the Cubs and Red Sox are cursed than ever, and people who believe in curses tend to be more likely to hit their knees, light candles, and ask Us to lighten their burden."

"But there isn't really a curse, is there?"

"Please. Do you honestly think a team that has been cursed for 95 years can free itself with a little bit of Joe Borowski? Does a team that hasn't won in 85 years get off the hook just because We granted them Todd Walker? What kind of curse would that be?

"A real curse would have had Trot Nixon turned to a pillar of salt right before he hit that home run in the second ... oh, and by the way, where were you when that happened?"

"Uh, I stepped away to get a candy bar."

"So Our will could have been thwarted because you needed a Three Musketeers? The divine plan ruined because you can't pack a lunch for work? Maybe you don't know how many years went into the Buckner thing ... the years of overtime just on Bucky Dent alone. Oh, and nice touch there ... Bucky F------- Dent, Aaron F------- Boone ... New England ought to have fun with that for a few decades."

"Yes, I must admit to a bit of sinful pride there, Sir and/or Ma'am."

"Smugness does not become you, Wilkins. Neither will this lightning bolt up your keister, so hold your tongue, or I shall give it to a telemarketer to hold for you."

"I beg Your forgiveness. Now will You need me for the World Series?"

"No, Wilkins, I think your work has been exemplary, but your work is done there. Besides, We need you to help set up for the basketball coaches meeting at 2. We'll be speaking to them about the difference thinking you are God, and actually being God."

"I'm sure they'll get a lot out of it, Sir and/or Ma'am."

"Don't be an idiot, Wilkins. They won't get anything more out of it than the football coaches did. After all, We may be God, but there are some things even We can't do right away."

Ray Ratto is a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle and a regular contributor to ESPN.com