Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm a couple of days late with this, but have you seen this prank pulled on Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick?

If you're like me, and don't always watch videos connected to blogs, I'll recap. Brett Myers got everyone on the Phillies to go along with this prank, including management, players, and the media, in which he convinces Kendrick that Kendrick has been traded to a baseball team in Japan. My initial anger over this has cooled somewhat, and I'm starting to find it more amusing than anything else, but I have some issues with it.

I'll start with the most serious issue (the rest are all petty), which is that this has to be the worst thing to pull on someone in baseball. I don't know Kyle Kendrick's family situation, where he's from, or anything about his personality, but I bet he doesn't want to be traded. I bet hardly anyone, unless there's an extenuating circumstance, wants to uproot themselves from a place where they are pretty comfortable, and relocate to somewhere else. It has to be a fear in the back of everyone's mind that this might happen to them, and to have that fear drawn out and paraded in front of everyone is a crappy move, in my opinion. (Some might say that's what makes an excellent prank.)

Not that I'm a stick in the mud - but I've never been a real fan of pranks, or hazing. Anything that puts someone else in a position where they are made to be an unsuspecting fool (or worse, where they are put in a dangerous situation, like some of the hazing incidents gone bad that you hear about) turns me off....maybe I have some unresolved issues from grade school. OK, not maybe - definitely. New York City public schools are tough, what can I say. But one of the few consolations I take from not having made it to the major leagues was that I never had to go through any sort of hazing ritual.

Maybe it's because my dislike of the Phillies has been ramped up in recent years, or maybe it's because I don't really like Brett Myers....but I thought this was all-around tasteless.

Other than that, here are some thoughts on this video:

-Didn't Kyle Kendrick suspect something was up when the cameras were all over the place documenting this trade announcement? Since when do cameras follow players into the manager's office for bad news?

-I got a kick out of Charlie Manuel pronouncing "Yomiuri". I'm not sure how it's pronounced, but I'm pretty sure when you have a drawl such as his, you're pretty much screwed when you attempt to say it.

-I don't doubt that Brett Myers is probably a jerk. But Kyle Kendrick acts like it's also the most natural thing (in addition to the constant camera) that Myers is in everyone's business. I'd have decked Myers by the time he starts telling Ryan Howard and everyone that I was traded.

-By the time the media is gathered around for the announcement, doesn't it look like Kendrick knows this whole thing was a joke? Case in point - "Do they have good food in Japan?" Who would ask that if they were really worried about having their life uprooted?

-The Philadelphia press, meanwhile, isn't getting any good samaritan recognition here. They're like the dorky kid who is just so glad they're not getting picked on that they laugh extra hard when someone else draws the negative attention. Seriously, some of those guys act like this is the most fun thing they've ever been a part of. Then again, it probably is.

-All told, the sigh of relief when Kendrick finds out it was a joke is probably the best part. He comes off pretty likeable, having handled the prank with class.

-Myers comes off even more unlikeable than he was before. The 'player' Kendrick was allegedly traded for was the competitive hot dog eater Kobayashi. Myers was probably most proud of that fact, as after revealing the prank, you see him saying, "That's the hot dog eater!!!" It's like that's all he knows about Japanese culture - man, that hot dog eater's name is totally Japanese. We should use that in a prank involving Japanese baseball!!

Back to the Mets player previews tomorrow - the pitchers are next.

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