The largest amount of creativity on any baseball field will almost always be found in its bullpen. Our bullpen’s pre-BP antics before Monday’s game are but one example of that creativity at work. I should begin by presenting the definition of a ‘cool-down:’
A cool-down: an aerial delivery of cold water by one player into another player’s face or down the back of his jersey; the purpose of a cool-down is to cool down a teammate — Sample Sentence: Hey Moran, Penney wants a cool-down.
Now, typically, cool-downs will be isolated incidents whereby one player, usually a bullpen pitcher, is feeling especially in need of cold water to the face or back. However, on this blogworthy day, our bullpen took cool-down activity to an unprecedented level. We decided the heat of the day elicited a more aggressive and simultaneous delivery of cool-downs.
As such, we gathered in a large circle around home plate in the Mississippi Braves’ visiting bullpen. We were to count to 3, at which point each member of the circle would thrust his cup of icy water into the face of any other member of the circle. We began the countdown: 3-2… of course, one especially eager member of the bullpen pulled the trigger early. As he blasted water into the face of his neighbor, everyone looked around, shocked. The trigger puller’s neighbor returned the favor, quickly seeking vengeance. Chaos ensued, and everyone, laughing, got soaked. At this point, a normal person would chuckle off the preceding event and head out into the outfield, hoping his shirt would dry before batting practice started. Bullpen pitchers are not normal people.
So.. we quickly thought through what we could do next. We decided upon the creation of a cool-down firing squad. The way it worked: the first shooter of ice water chose his victim, stepped back, and delivered a well-aimed and powerful blow to his mate’s face or chest. Forced to face the attack, each respective victim stood with his back against the brick wall while he received a dousing onslaught. As a reward for his bravery, the now wetter member of our group was allowed to choose the man whom he would next drench. With fire in his eyes, the victim turned perpetrator then did his best to deliver an equally crushing yet cooling shot.
I know what you’re thinking. That sounds awesome!!! You’re right, it was.
Unfortunately, we lost the game later that night and so have yet repeat any major cool-down activity. Baseball superstition: 1; Cool-downs: 0