WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 24) — Scandal has rocked the Little League World Series being played here following reports that several players have been chewing performance-enhancing gum.
What was thought at first to be the crack of the bat turned out instead to be the crack of cinnamon, apple and spearmint flavored gums laced with steroids and human growth hormones (HGH).
“Considering they use aluminum bats which make a ping instead of a crack, we should’ve realized what was going on,” said series organizer John Carey. “Actually, those aren’t bats at all, but Festivus poles.”
At least three players from the international squads and two players from the American teams have tested positive for the tainted gum. One of them, third baseman James Henderson of the Western Region all-stars (favorite food: pizza), attempted to deny the reports in a meeting with the press before Tuesday’s round of games.
“Do you have enough for everyone?” demanded one reporter.
“No,” James answered sheepishly.
“Well, that’s not very considerate of the feelings of others, is it?” the reporter continued.
“No, sir,” James said. His mother moved in to hug the boy’s waist — that’s as high as she could reach since young James’ height soared past 7 feet earlier this summer — and escorted him away from the media scrum.
Another of the accused players was confronted as he entered the stadium, but it appeared the side effects from the drugs had made him largely incoherent.
“Hey, batter, batter,” babbled Levi Arthur of the Southeastern team (favorite actor: Will Smith) repeatedly. “Swing, batter, swing.”
Though only five players have been named in the unfolding story, it’s believed the gum may have spread to a large percentage of the participants. Some of those suspected have vehemently proclaimed their innocence.
“There was some gum on the floor that got on my shoe,” said Jerry Walters of the Midwest region (favorite disease: liver cancer). “I suppose the drugs could’ve got into my system that way. But I swear I did not chew any of the illicit gum intentionally.”
One of the international players, Juan Belone of Mexico (favorite piece of furniture: chair), said he’d heard rumors of gum-chewing among the 11-to-13-year-old participants. However, he used his limited English to deny that any of his teammates had been involved.
“No guns,” said Juan. “Too many guns in Mexico.”
The doping scandal is one of several distractions the young baseball players have had to face since arriving here for the ten-day tournament. Apparently, some of the teams from overseas are not who they claim to be. The Little League team from Saudi Arabia is not made up of Saudis at all, but instead is comprised of the children of Americans working in the oil industry there. The Little League team from Chinese Taipei is not “little” at all, as demonstrated in their 23-0 dismantling of Canada during which their 300-pound catcher repeatedly sat on batters who were subsequently declared “out.”
In one of the early round-robin games, a player from California (favorite anarchist: presidential assassin Leon Czolgosz) stood up to the plate carrying a Wii controller instead of a bat, thinking he was playing a baseball video game. The contest of Panama vs. Costa Rica was thought to be a border war rather than a baseball game, and had to be cancelled when players using rifles as bats kept firing into the air.
“This is supposed to be the highlight of these kids’ young lives, and organizers have let it become a sham,” said critic and sports columnist Charles Stern.
“Ah, you’re just a big baby who couldn’t get his way,” countered Little League president Carey.
“I know you are,” answered Stern, “but what am I?”