by Alex Poletti
To celebrate Independence Day, the Washington Nationals have signed a wild bald eagle to a one-day contract. According to sources in the Nationals clubhouse, he will receive his own jersey and locker for the day, as well as take batting practice and potentially pinch hit for the team.
“We are thrilled to announce that Baldie the Bald Eagle will become a member of the Washington Nationals for a day,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo says. “We think there is no better metaphor for the state of our country right now than to let a feral bird fly around a baseball diamond shitting everywhere.”
Rather than take a trained bald eagle from captivity, the Nationals decided it would better represent the freedom of our country to sign a bird that had hitherto roamed the continental US freely. Of course, this made Baldie’s clubhouse presence absolutely atrocious. Pre-game video shows the bird scratching teammates and coaches, trying to fly away with a bat and screeching at the fans.
“He’s still a better teammate than Jonathan Papelbon,” first baseman Ryan Zimmerman says.
While it was initially thought that Baldie would just spend the day in the clubhouse, the Nationals started to consider him as a possible bullpen arm.
“He has no idea how to throw a ball, no baseball IQ and he literally shits himself when he goes on the mound,” Washington coach Dave Martinez explains. “He fits in perfectly with the rest of our bullpen.”
As Baldie’s name was said by Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hurska, the crowd leapt to its feet to give the bird a standing ovation. Ever the showman, Baldie tipped his cap to the fans before returning to the dugout.
Although Baldie didn’t appear out of the bullpen, he was given a pinchitting appearance late in the game. In the most American at-bat in the history of sports, Baldie swung an AK-47 to hit a ball made of fireworks for a home run, scoring Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and a cheeseburger. After the homer, the rival Marlins didn’t know how to respond.
“I still don’t believe it happened,” Marlins coach Don Mattingly says. “I think that all the coke I did in the ‘80s just came roaring back for a second.”
Truly, America’s pastime was played today.