Pat Oliphant for July 20, 1987
Man: Hit. Punk: May we call our team the Red Sox? Russia, we are now told, invented baseball... As a light-hearted diversion in the gulags, where they also invented the designated hitter rule. The wooden sledge-hammer shafts broke too easily, the Russians invented a substitute, giving rise to the famous cement bat controversy. After hitting the ball (a rock) the batter must get to the next base without being shot. A ball landing outside the wire is called a home run. Too much of this, and we have another controversy - are the rocks getting livelier? Or are the gulags getting smaller?