Friday, July 21, 2006

Ways Hillenbrand & Gibbons Could Have Settled Dispute

On Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays dismissed designated hitter Shea Hillenbrand from the club, leaving them 10 days to either trade or release him. Hillenbrand’s banishment was the culmination of a long-running feud with manager John Gibbons. After a clubhouse confrontation on Wednesday, it had reached the “either he goes or I go” stage for Gibbons. General Manager J.P. Ricciardi agreed with Gibbons that Hillenbrand had to leave, but perhaps Ricciardi should have explored other ways to decide which man got to remain with Toronto. Possibilities could have included the following:

Canadian Idol: A panel of judges determines who stays, based on the better singer of baseball songs like “Centerfield” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

Chariot Race: Toronto enjoys a spectacle worthy of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The loser is replaced in the organization by Charlton Heston.

Chugging Contest: The clubhouse meets the frathouse as the beer flows, with Hillenbrand and Gibbons getting tanked enough to forget why they were mad at each other. They are last seen embracing and shouting, “No, YOU are the man!”

Duel: The last recorded duel in Canada occurred in 1873, so the nation is long overdue for another one. As the manager, Gibbons gets to decide whether pistols or swords are used.

Fiddle-Playing Contest: “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” is reprised in the clubhouse, with Hillenbrand and Gibbons replacing Johnny and the devil. Judge Charlie Daniels decides whether the defeated man also loses his soul.

Final Vote: Similar to the All-Star Game, voters at get to decide the last guy standing. Out of habit, Bobby Abreu is also on the ballot.

Freestyle Rap Competition: Hillenbrand and Gibbons channel Eminem in 8 Mile. The winner stays in Toronto AND gets Brittany Murphy.

Girl Scout Cookies: Whoever sells the most thin mints remains with the Jays. A distinct advantage goes to the man who looks best in a girl scout uniform.

Hot Dog Eating: Winner gets recognized as the “Kobayashi of the Clubhouse.”

Improv Competition: The men pay tribute to the strong improv comedy presence in Toronto. Hillenbrand goes first in the clubhouse, requesting an occupation, vacation destination, and household appliance.

Jeopardy!: This is a natural, as host Alex Trebek hails from Ontario. Team officials may regret this method, as the winner will spend the next week phrasing everything in the form of a question.

Judge Judy: The judicial television star decides who has to go, after berating both men for the poor choices they’ve made in life.

Science Fair: The creator of the better science project stays with the ballclub, but he is immediately labeled as a nerd in the clubhouse.

Shoot-out: The two men entertain the hockey-mad Toronto fans as they take the ice. The shoot-out also benefits the Maple Leafs, providing a chance for new goaltender Andrew Raycroft to get some practice.

Spirit Competition: In order to prove who has the most team spirit, Hillenbrand and Gibbons decorate players’ lockers and perform cheers in front of teammates. They conclude the contest by reading their essays on “What It Means To Be A Blue Jay.”