Parra: Man, Nashville sucks. I wish I was back in Milwaukee.
/goes to Grand Ole Opry
Parra: I mean, it's not like I WANT to pitch bad. I don't know how those batters get to the bases. I throw and they don't swing, what am I supposed to do? Why won't Doug Melvin understand?
/goes to Country Music Hall of Fame
Parra: I wonder who won the sausage race today. I bet it was the Polish, he's due.
/runs out of things to do in Nashville
Parra: God, what am I doing? I'm so lost. Maybe I should join twitter. Then people will notice me. Then I can get back to Milwaukee. That will be my thing, the baseball player who tweets during his starts. That's the ticket.
/joins twitters, nobody follows him
Parra: Crap. I should just sit in this clubhouse until I get called up.
/puts hands in face, slowly starts to weep
Parra: Oh, hi. Ummmm, I just had something in my eye. It's really dusty down here. Hey, aren't you...
Billy Ray Cyrus: Billy Ray Cyrus? Well, yes I am.
Parra: Well, I was going to say Hannah Montana's dad Robbie Stewart but if you want me to call you that, that's cool. What are you doing here?
Billy Ray Cyrus: The owner said he'd give me thirty bucks and a free hot dog with mustard on it if I came and sang the national anthem before tonight's game.
Parra: Woah sweet deal.
Billy Ray Cyrus: Hey partner, I can't help but notice that someone seems to have broken your achy-breaky heart. Is there something I can help you with?
Parra: I don't know Billy Ray. I'm a pitcher and my general manager said I throw too many "balls" and not enough "strikes", but I told him that if I didn't throw balls how would I pitch? I can't just hold the ball you know?
Billy Ray Cyrus: I'm sorry to hear that Manny, but I've got some good news for you. In addition to being a successful country singer, actor and media personality I am also an excellent pitcher. I think I can help you.
Billy Ray Cyrus: Like this.
/Billy Ray Cyrus throws a perfect strike
Parra: Woah, how did you do that? That was amazing.
Billy Ray Cyrus: You see there's this thing called the strike zone.
Parra: The what?
Billy Ray Cyrus: The strike zone. The strike zone is a conceptual three dimensional right angle pentagonal prism over home plate which defines the boundaries through which a pitch must pass in order to count as a strike when the batter does not swing.
Parra: WOAH. Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Where is it? Is it really hard to find like the g-spot? Is it hidden in lines and lines of code like the Matrix? Will I need to travel to Narnia?
Billy Ray Cyrus: No, it's right there in front of you. The top of the strike zone is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the batter's shoulders and the top of the uniform pants. The bottom of the strike zone is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The right and left boundaries of the strike zone correspond to the edges of home plate. A pitch that touches the outer boundary of the zone is as much a strike as a pitch that is thrown right down the center. A pitch at which the batter does not swing and which does not pass through the strike zone is called a ball. Unofficially, the de facto enforced strike zone may be different at any different level.
Parra: Hang on a second, you're pulling my leg aren't you? Is this how you get your kicks Billy Ray?
Billy Ray Cyrus: Hand to God Manny, it's the truth. Billy Ray gets his kicks banging extras on the set of Hannah Montana when Miley has no clue. There was this one time on Best of Both Worlds with these Vietnamese twins and a tennis racket that I --
Billy Ray Cyrus: Sorry. Okay, about the strike zone. It works like this.
Billy Ray Cyrus shows Manny Parra a series of graphs and illustrations defining the strike zone. This process goes on for many hours and Manny has a hard time with the concept until Billy Ray shows him this picture.
Parra: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I get it.
I wanna trade right now
I'm Doug Melv and I came to get down
I'm not internationally known,
but I'm known to rock the trade phones
Because I get stoopid, I mean outrageous
Stay away from me, if you want Gamel
Cause I'm the winner, no, I'm not the loser
To be a G.M., is what I choose a'
Players love me, fans adore me
Even the ones that never saw me
Like the way that I traded for King
The reason why? Man, I don't know
So, let's go cause
It takes two to make a trade go down,
It takes two to make it outta sight
The trading season is heating up and one name that keeps popping up in connection with the Brewers is Erik Bedard. The trade makes some sense. Manny Parra is pretty bad. Erik Bedard is pretty good. Erik Bedard is affordable and his contract expires after the season. (I think it would be funny if the Brewers traded for a starter with an expiring contract every year for the next 5 years. Bonus points if it was always with Cleveland.) I don't think it will take a LOT to get him and there is a clear connection between Jack Z and Doug Melvin to make this happens. Jack knows our system and what he'd be getting back better than any other team. It all seems like a good idea, but what about Erik? What does he think about all this?
I'm Erik Bedard.
How are you doing today?
I heard that you may have recently had a baby. Congratulations. I made you this card.