Monday, April 17, 2006

Phillies Hire Hypnotist For Myers: Every Start Is "In Coors Field"

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies completed a 4-2 road trip with a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Brett Myers went 7 2/3 innings to even his record at 1-1. His impressive performance inspired the front office and manager Charlie Manuel to decide on an unorthodox course of action before each of the pitcher’s starts. Prior to every outing, the Phillies will engage a hypnotist to convince Myers that he is pitching in Coors Field.

The decision was made due to the great success experienced by Myers at the Colorado ballpark. The Phillies right-hander is 4-0 lifetime at Coors Field with a 2.63 ERA. Aside from John Elway, no one has been more powerful in Denver since Blake Carrington in the heyday of Dynasty. It remains to be seen whether Myers will inspire any cat-fights between Joan Collins and Linda Evans.

The performance of Myers is particularly remarkable given the park’s well-earned reputation as a hitter’s paradise. The first two games of the series were more indicative of fans’ expectations, with final scores of 10-6 and 10-8. The ballpark has been a boon not only to downtown Denver, but to local therapists who enjoy regular business from Rockies pitchers. Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle, successful starters elsewhere, fell to pieces on the Coors Field mound. When recently asked about the ballpark, Neagle curled up in the fetal position and echoed Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, whispering “The horror, the horror.”

Sunday’s game was just the second 1-0 outcome in the history of Coors Field, which opened in 1995. Afterward, many atheists in the ballpark converted to Christianity, having been convinced that a miracle actually could take place on Easter Sunday. Colorado’s Aaron Cook was the hard-luck loser, yielding the only run on Ryan Howard’s seventh-inning homer. Not only eggs were hidden on this Easter – so was the offense.

Prior to Sunday, Myers had only lasted five innings in each of his first two starts of the season. However, Coors Field had a revitalizing effect for him, just as the Silver Bullet Train energizes all whom it passes in the Coors Light commercials. Surely “Love Train” was playing as Myers and his teammates arrived at the ballpark yesterday. As is usually the case in life, troubles were solved by looking to beer commercials for inspiration.

The Phillies will not have any other trips to Coors Field this season, but they certainly want Myers to pitch the same way in other ballparks. Therefore, they have employed the hypnotist to work with the right-hander before every start. As he strides to the mound, Myers will repeatedly chant, “This is Coors Field. I will win the game.” The club feels confident that the hypnotist will help Myers become a legitimate ace – something most observers feel the Phillies need in order to defeat the Braves and Mets in the National League East. Team officials assured reporters that there would be no dangerous side effects from the hypnosis, as was the case with Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun. They guaranteed that Myers would not attempt to shoot the queen of England. Unless she does some really obnoxious heckling.

Myers will try out this new approach in Philadelphia on Saturday versus the Florida Marlins. If he is successful, expect the Philly fans to rally behind the hypnotist. And suggest that he work with David Bell.