A Brave-less New World

We have to deal with the Diamond. That poor old building has been picked on, put down, insulted and abused. If it were a person, we’d have to call Dr. Phil. But since it’s not, the best course of action is probably heavy explosives.

Good riddance. That’s what I say. They can take their smelly gloves and dirty balls and go play somewhere else. Baseball is boring anyway. The most exciting part of any Richmond Braves game was sitting in the nosebleed seats and watching the outfield grass grow. Now that those tight-pants-wearing fancy-boys are finally leaving, we can get to work on bringing some real sports to Richmond.

But first we have to deal with the Diamond. That poor old building has been picked on, put down, insulted and abused. If it were a person, we’d have to call Dr. Phil. But since it’s not, the best course of action is probably heavy explosives.

The public demolition of the structure gives us a real opportunity to use our “Capital City Creativity.” So instead of wiring it along the major supports, counting backwards from ten and then watching it crumble in a massive cloud of dust and smoke… we should drag it out. We should make it a slow, painful death.

I know that sounds cruel, but trust me, it will be tons of fun.

We start things off with a “Bat Night” for the kids and let them bust up the joint something awful. The next day, fill the infield with target shooters, automatic weapons enthusiasts and archers with grenade-tipped arrows and let them wail away on the grandstands, press boxes and concrete overhang. Following that, you hose down the field and invite the monster trucks and ATVs to act out a groundskeeper’s worst fear.

Anything that’s left we chip away by dropping sticks of dynamite from a helicopter.

The whole shebang will be part of “Baseball Shmaseball Week,” a seven-day celebration to mark the liberation of Richmond from the scourge of minor league ball.

Funds from ticket sales will go toward the purchase of a commercial airliner which we will use to transport all players and members of the Richmond Braves staff to an “undisclosed, fabulous vacation location.” We’ll tell them it’s a gift from the citizens of Richmond for “40 years of good times and great memories.”

In reality, the flight is part of a covert plan we call “Operation If-We-Can’t-Have-You-Nobody-Else-Can-Either.” When they wake up from the gassing it will be on a remote, unfriendly island that will make “Lost” look like “Gilligan’s Island.” The only supplies they’ll find on the plane will be salt licks and Harry Potter audiobooks.

Wait, you say, what about The Indian?

Fear not. Early removal will spare him public immolation, buckshot to the face or any sort of “Saddam-inspired toppling.” But that maroon sourpuss has been sitting on his ass for too long. We have plans for him. Big plans.

Right away, he needs to see more of the city. We put him on a hectic tour schedule for the first year. That guy needs to be climbing out of all kinds of Richmond buildings: City Hall, Krispy Kreme, Mamma Zu, Paper Moon, The Jerk Pit, DMV, The Canal Walk… and on and on and on.

When he finally comes to rest, it should be someplace special. It should be someplace where the entire world will be able to see the Virginia gentleman inside the shirtless savage. It should be an important place where future generations will bring their children to show them what it means to be proud, strong and absolutely enormous. It should be atop the O’Charley’s at the corner of Broad and Horsepen.

Once the Diamond is smoldering rubble we can get to the business of picking a new sport. Tearing down one park to build another is just plain silly, so baseball is definitely out. And I think it’s been proven that the local government and/or consortiums of concerned businesspeople and community leaders can’t bake a potato. So we can forget about asking for their help.

They can just go back to counting paper clips, washing the homeless or whatever it is they do best.

The future of Richmond belongs to the citizens. It is the people of this city who should decide how they will waste their time and money. It is up to the common man to choose the sport that will define the metro region in the next century.

Right now, you may be thinking, “Alright already, get to the point!”

If so… shut up. I’m getting there. Don’t rush me.

Don’t rush me because this is more than some long-winded, smart-assed indictment of an across-the-board public failure. This is our lives.

And our children’s lives.

I don’t know about everyone else, but when I die, I don’t want to have to worry about which minor league team will be entertaining my great grandchildren.

That’s why I’ve already done the work. I’ve polled exactly 20,000 of the city’s finest residents (one or two thousand from the counties may have slipped in there by accident).

I asked them “What sport should Richmond embrace next?”

Here are the results:

  • Semi-Professional Paintball – 2%
  • Girl Fights – 1%
  • Extreme Bass Fishing – 1.5%
  • Race Walking – 2%
  • Robot Combat – 4%
  • Woodchopping – .5%
  • Snooker and/or Cribbage – 1%
  • Full-Contact Tag – 2%
  • Wiffle Hockey – 3%
  • Chessboxing – 3.5%
  • Baby Wrestling – 1%
  • Competitive Eating – .5%
  • Baseball – 78%

Oh well. I guess Richmond likes to learn its lessons the hard way.

If my scientific analysis holds up, the city will just build another ballpark. They’ll woo a different team and convince them to move here. Everyone will get all excited and then, a few years from now, we’ll be absolutely giddy with Richmond Grizzlies Fever or rooting for the Richmond Rapids Rafters.

Regardless of what we call them or where they play, it’s all the same. One guy throws the ball and another guy tries to hit the ball. Other guys stand out in the grass waiting to catch the ball on the off chance that the one guy hits the ball. Seven innings pass and everybody stands to sing. A couple innings later the game ends. Or it doesn’t. Maybe it goes long into an endless, numbing loop of pitching, catching and swinging. Maybe it goes on forever.

Or maybe we get lucky and someone pulls the plug to wake us from a 40-year nightmare.

Once we’re awake, we have a choice to make.

Do we chase greatness and try something new?

Or do we spend the rest of our life choking on chicken dogs, whooping at the t-shirt cannon and taking foul balls to the face?

  • error

    Report an error

Pete Humes

Pete Humes is a husband, father and writer who lives in Richmond’s North Side. He enjoys coffee and owns way too many records.

There are 3 reader comments. Read them.