Lake Champlain southpaw Clayton Kershaw is dedicating his 2012 season to overcoming one of the most subtle forms of discrimination in the NABSL today.
Not racism, not agism, not sexism. No. In 2012, Kershaw hopes to overcome Cannibal-ism.
But what does Cannibal-ism mean? Have LCC pitchers been getting cranked on bath salts and painting barbecue sauce on homeless peoples’ faces? Well, no. Not as far as we know, anyway.
According to the Urban Dictionary, Cannibal-ism is the preconception, usually correct, that Lake Champlain Cannibal pitchers totally suck at pitching.
Normally this perception is not a problem, as research shows over 99% of LCC pitchers who have ever taken the mound have indeed sucked. In fact, independent studies show that putting an LCC pitcher near a rubber and a rosin bag is statistically almost as likely to cause sucking as putting Paris Hilton in front of a home movie camera. (Almost.)
However, there have been multiple examples of Cannibal pitchers who have spent an entire season sucking less than Hillary after Monica hit the news.
Multiple in the sense that “2” is multiple, anyway.
The following is the complete and unabridged list of cases of the greatest LCC pitching performances that ever went unrewarded in post-season awards voting (if you ask the Lake Champlain media, these are Clear Cases of Cannibalism):
- Brendan Donnelly, 2004 (19-6, 3.18, 17 saves). Donnelly led the Tastes Great in wins, and was 7th in the TG in saves. But he was shut out of both the Cy Young and the Fireman of the Year voting. Donnelly had more wins and a better ERA than eventual Cy Young winner Jason Schmidt of the Georgia Roadkill (16-8. 3.42). And while Fireman of the Year Eric Gagne of the Yorktown Schooners (1-7, 2.72, 37 saves) did have over twice the saves, Donnelly’s edge in the W/L categories (18 more wins, 1 less loss) might have at least brought his name into the conversation. While some feel the Donnelly awards shutout was because he was little more than a marrow-sucking vulture, tallying cheap mid-inning wins on the basis of an awful LCC starting rotation (the team had 77 starts by SPs with season ERAs greater than 5.80) and an extremely powerful LCC lineup (1129 runs scored, 1st in the league,) Lake Champlain conspiracy theorists have long held with another explanation: Cannibal-ism.
- Jonathan Sanchez, 2011 (23-5, 3.13). Sanchez led the Tastes Great in wins, struck out 225 hitters (10th in the TG), and tallied 3 shutouts (4th in the TG.) But the Cy Young hardware went to Lehigh Valley rookie Clay Buchholz (16-6, 1.77.) While Iron Pig apologists might argue Buchholz deserved to bring home the bacon (due to minor technicalities such as setting a single-season NASBL record for ERA - 1.77, only the 2nd time in NASBL history a pitcher has finished below 2.00), LCC homers ….errrr…. dispassionate analysts feel the LVI near-sweep of the 2011 awards (ROY and FOY to Buchholz, MVP to Albert Pujols) constitutes a form of imperialism that can only be fought through expressions of democracy such as voting for Sanchez for Cy (even though Sanchez was clearly only the 2nd best pitcher in the Tastes Great last year.)
So how best to halt the perfidious spread of Cannibal-ism?
Given that quasi-peaceful forms of protest such as last summer’s week-long Occupy Lehigh Movement (where LCC GM Stephen Beard occupied LVI’s kitchen and guest room for nearly a week) have failed to prevent actions such as the fair election of Buchholz, LCC’s Kershaw has opted for an old-school approach popularized by Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh back in the 80’s:
Crash: “Relax, all right? Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.” “Oh, hey, and another thing, Meat. You don't know shit, all right? If you wanna make it to the bigs, you'll listen to me. Annie only wants you so she can boss you around, got it? So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit. And don't hold the ball so hard, OK? It's an egg. Hold it like an egg.”