Wilson: Baseball’s pranksters; it’s all about timing

From SABR member Doug Wilson at Blogspot.com on November 8, 2014:

A key component of every good team is chemistry. The baseball season lasts more than six months–a long time for a collection of 25 guys to spend in close proximity, traveling, playing and hanging out together; 25 competitive, uber-testosteroned guys in various stages of arrested development, struggling to play a difficult game in front of millions, with their results not only printed the next day, but analyzed endlessly on talk shows. In talking with former baseball players, certain names come up frequently when the topic of clubhouse personalities is broached. You can hear the tone change and a genuine chuckle as they recall the antics and pranks. Everyone loves baseball’s pranksters. As fans, we realize that it’s just cool because they can get away with it and we can’t. Imagine a guy getting up to make a presentation in a tense board room and suddenly his suit jacket falls off in shreds, or a surgeon ready to cut open a patient and feeling his foot burning because a nurse crawled over and gave him a hot foot. It’s just not the same.

It’s all about timing, the appropriate marriage of personalities, opportunity and atmosphere. Being on a winning team is a must. The ancient Romans clearly understood this and had a saying, “Sic transit gloria mundi,” which roughly translated means:  if you give Caesar a hot foot after a victory, you’re regarded as a fun-loving guy who keeps everyone loose, but if you do it after a defeat, you’re lion food.

A lot of guys pull the occasional prank, but it takes more than just a sense of humor and imagination to be considered one of the masters. It takes patience, feckless nerves of steel, the diabolical cunning of an evil genius, the audacity of a cat burglar, and a total lack of fear of the inevitable reprisal–no good prank ever goes unrewarded; retribution is swift and brutal. It helps to have a great poker face, the ability to innocently throw up the hands and, with righteous indignation, disavow any knowledge of the caper, all while the entire room knows exactly who the perp is. It also helps, perhaps, to have a lack of social decorum and inhibition.  

Read the full article here: http://dougwilsonbaseball.blogspot.com/2014/11/baseballs-pranksters-you-gotta-love-em.html

Originally published: November 12, 2014. Last Updated: November 12, 2014.