Stepping foot on the mound as a major league starter for the first time, newly manufactured humanoid Sandy Koufax ~ Bot was the unknown quantity in the Brooklyn Dodgers pitching rotation. Artificially intelligent manager Chuck Dressen decided to play him on Jackie Robinson Day, and Koufax-Bot easily rose to the task, baffling opposing batters all afternoon.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Brooklyn Dome also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the teams homecoming, the Trolley Dodgers edged out their opponent the Saitama Seibu Lions in extra innings. During his telepathic press conference after the game, Koufax-Bot tried to explain his binary mindset.
“Pitching is the art of instilling fear,” and with a slight facial twitch he continued on to say, “A guy that throws what he intends to throw, that’s the definition of a good pitcher. And yeah it was a good game, but I just went out there and did as programmed.”
Koufax-Bot had 30 Ks in a humid 11 innings, going for a complete game. Temperatures hovered around 89° throughout the day. Dodger shortstop Caesar Hartkopf smacked a line drive off the ivy wall in right during the bottom of the 11th, driving home the winning run from second. Left fielder Rusty Cobb, who stole 3 bases on the day, slide head first into home-plate just beneath a tag from the Lions catcher to score that winning run, ending the game in a magnificent cloud of dust.
After both teams cleared their locker rooms we telepathically contacted Dodger General Manger, Pee-Wee Reese IV, who informed us he was pleased with his newly acquired humanoid pitching star, “Sandy was impressive enough in spring training to earn a spot in the rotation. Today, he only allowed one earned run. He yielded two hits but 30 strikeouts more than makes up for that. Preventing the opponents from any big innings, it’s what we’re looking for from our starting pitching this season.”
Leaked telepathic exchanges between Brooklyn front office reps reveal GM Reese plans to offer Koufax-Bot an astonishing 27 year deal, at an estimated 40,000 Bitcoins guaranteed, with Bitcoincash signing bonuses and several performance incentives.
Breaking history in more ways than one, Koufax-Bot stands to be the first player in global MLB history to be paid in cryptocurrency, the first android member of a starting rotation, and the highest paid player ever with a contract worth an approximate 5.2 Billion U.S.N.A Dollars at today’s exchange rate.
A recent trend has developed in other major international sports. Teams are paying their players in Bitcoin, or some other equivalent cryptocurrency. The International Football League, F.I.F.A, and the World Basket League have all embraced the idea with entire rosters paid in crypto. The Players & Agents Union, and I.F.L Commissioner Hightower Bundy have strongly endorsed the change, saying it helps them reduce contract costs, lure the next generation of fintech savvy players, and otherwise make operating on an international scope an easier prospect.
Sports reports covering the Dodger beat have questioned the largest crypto deal with robotic Koufax, pointing out the immense risk of being first movers on such a venure, when the teams human elements could use an overhaul. Critics are quick to point to the lack of free agent signs and the teams poor defensive ranks last year.
Today’s games was little different other than Koufax-Bot, as Brooklyn’s outfield wasn’t sharp defensively helping the Seibu Lions score their lone run. An error by Gordon in right field allowed Yamakawa to score from first on Nakamura’s double in the 5th inning. In the 7th, the Dodger outfield was unable to cut off a ball hit to deep center, resulting in a lead off triple. Koufax-Bot was able to escape the frame with a series of fastballs he danced about the strike-zone.
Some beat writers blame the field’s irregular diamond shape and overall layout inside the Brooklyn Dome for the poor defense. A New Model Super-stadium, packing in an estimated 260,000 people every home game, the Dome is an architectural gem inspired by the Pantheon itself while retaining elements of Buckminster Fuller’s design from decades past.
Bothersome to the outfielders has been the linear park environment allowing the building to play a part in the game, and the fans to once again be up close and personal like the heydays of baseball’s classic parks.
Standing room, picnic space, and a place activated during games for raucous fandom and maximum viewing, the stadium offers a forum for people to gather at any time. The Brooklyn Dome has all the latest amenities, telepathic communication towers, 3-D food printers spitting out franks, burritos, and pretzels. The grandstands have become a transformative place, really building a community among fans. “It’s magnificent in an understated, overstated, baseball-only, real-grass, retractable megadome, quirky, cozy, comfortable, cool, sci-fi sort of way,” wrote Simulacrum Sportscaster-bot Tim Kurkjian in a glowing SportsWorld Illustrated review.
Despite stadium troubles, the Dodgers were able to fend off their bitter rivals from Japan, the Saitama Seibu Lions, who were last year’s WORLD~WORLD Series Champions. The game was rough and tumble throughout and the benches nearly cleared on several occasions. Koufax-Bot threw inside heat and brushed back many batters. On the basepaths the Brooklyn offense was equally aggressive breaking up several double plays.
Dodgers manager A.I. Dressen credits the teams renewed commitment to toughness, grit, and the return to old fashion baseball.
Dressen also praised the MLB for readopting some rules from of his old playing days, recalling the past from his chromium memory banks. This year Baseball Commissioner Stubbs DeMarco rolled back changes to both Baseball’s game-play and rule book. Today’s match-up resembled more the style of Jackie Robinson’s day, only ensconced in the modern cocoon of technological wonder.
Many fans are happy to see all rules that previously barred physical contact revoked. Thus players can now slide cleats first again to break up any double plays or tag plays, base runners can once again brush into fielders along the base-path, and can even collide into the catcher guarding home-plate. In addition to the devolution baseball has seen so far, this year’s technology roll back will be even more drastic. All video and telepathic replays have been eliminated, the laser strike zone is gone, and touch sensors on player uniforms and inside the bags on the diamond have been removed.
Fans are allowed increased involvement and interaction with players. All advertisements on the outfield walls have been taken down. Goodbye designated hitter. All tech has been removed from game-play and two more human umpires have been added, 1 infield and 1 outfield.
Whatever the result of this time traveling rules experiment, there are more than 130 games remaining. And with crowds swelling to their largest attendance numbers in years, things are only going to get better this season. Today’s game was an excellent showing for the the re-budding pitching ace Koufax-Bot and an solid overall performance for the Dodgers.
The Lions have plenty of times to work out their kinks and will be a contender down the stretch as always. People, androids, and all intellects artificial or not, left the stadium humbled to witness Koufax-Bot retake the single game strikeout record in the name of Sandy Koufax the man.
Baseball is more green, more democratic, more free than it has ever been in United States of North American history. It’s fitting on Jackie Robinson Day to recognize the monumental strides made toward equality. Recognize things in this world can always improve, should improve, but also to recognize some things in past were treasured for a reason. So it wise of baseball to allow any intelligent being, regardless of race, religion, being carbon based or not, that is capable of playing the game well, to do just that.
And so baseball marches into the future while rediscovering the brightest parts of its past. So does society. And society and baseball have a lot in common. Walt Whitman once said, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.” Baseball gives us all a place to ponder, a place to debate, a place to stare at green grass and hope, a place to be breath, and a place that life can seem to stretch out and linger, fending off the inevitable.
By Jesse Omega Owens
Brooklyn Dome & Seibu Dome