It was a sunny, slightly humid afternoon in Minneapolis. It was that blissful time of summer, after the ice had finished thawing and before the mosquitoes emerged in droves to mangle the unsuspecting folk.
Nick Blackburn was preparing to pitch the final game againts the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was only minutes before he must transform into the wily Dr. Cakeburn, hero of the land, pitcher of awesomeness and lover of cake. Being crafty and somewhat nefarious, Blackburn knew that the pirates would leave no stone unturned, no cannon unfired, no swash unbuckled, until they had returned home with all of the booty Carlos Gomez was hording in his paper nest in the locker room.
He needed to send them home defeated - but how?
"Well," offered fellow superhero and master of supraction Michael Cuddyer, "The best way to victory is to do something both surprising and distracting. Something so unexpected they'll never know what hit them."
"...Like pitch an entire shutout game?" inquired Blackburn/Cakeburn.
"...Yes..." Cuddy mused for a moment, his dimples fading momentarily as he stared mistily off into the distance. "In fact.. it may be the only way."
"You know," said Blackburn/Cakeburn. "It's really hard to take you seriously when you're wearing teddy bear pajamas." But he paused, thinking about what Cuddy had said. "I've never accomplished such a feat."
"Ah," said wise old Mike Redmond, shuffling into the locker room. "Few have...few have. I have seen only a few in my time. But I've heard the stories..."
"I like stories!" squeaked Carlos Gomez.
"Dude just go, um play in your nest for a while," Cakeburn instructed the wild-eyed outfielder. "This story is for me. You'll listen if you know what's good for you - especially if you want to keep all those hotel shampoo bottles you have stockpiled in your special corner." Gomez grew silent.
"I've heard that those who pitch entire shutout games are rewarded with their heart's desire," Redmond continued.
"...sure like cake. Why not cake? But I mean, it's just a story."
But Blackburn had already started dreaming of rooms piled high with every kind of cake imagineable. Cake, as far as the eye could see, and the smiling face of GoGo when he realized it was Cakeburn who had saved his treasure from the attacking Pirates.
"OK," said Cakeburn. "I'll do it!"
And he did. Almost. He gave up that one run in the 9th but it was so close that the baseball gods decided to give him cake anyways.
I'm also pretty sure that Adam Laroche actually belongs in Minnesota or possibly Wisconsin. I have a lot of co-workers who go hunting in Wisconsin on the weekends - they are DUDES. Adam LaRoche is also a DUDE. This video, sent to me by south-fl-steel at Honest Wagner, pretty much proves my point.