Today is April 2, which, if you’re keeping track at home, means yesterday was April 1 – April Fools Day.
April Fools Day is a great opportunity to have some fun at your friends’ expense, and at the same time, trying to avoid any pranks coming your way.
Yesterday, following a 109-92 victory over the Portland Trailblazers, the Denver Nuggets should have been celebrating. However, the opposite happened when Kenyon Martin lost his cool over a practical joke.
Believe it or not, a former ball-boy filled Martin’s vehicle with popcorn. Martin didn’t find it so funny, considering the car’s interior was white. The Nugget went off on an expletive-filled rant to find out who did it.
The ball-boy apologized and offered to pay for the damage. This particular joke did not go over particularly well, but that doesn’t mean April Fools jokes have no place in sports.
On a more positive note, yesterday, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre and general manager Ned Colletti brought third basemen Blake DeWitt into Toree’s office for a chat.
DeWitt, who was the starter at the hot-corner in 2008 and spent last year shifting between AAA and MLB, sat down to hear the duo say he just didn’t have what it took to start the season in the big leagues.
DeWitt didn’t blow up like Martin, and then Toree and Colletti asked him what the date was. Reported stories said DeWitt was unaware it was the first of April.
It was a little cruel, but all worked out for DeWitt and he’ll be with the club on opening day.
Perhaps the best sports related April Fools joke was played, not by an athlete, ball-boy, manager or GM, was by a sports magazine. In 1985 Sports Illustrated ran a story about a phenomenal pitching prospect in the New York Mets camp by the name of Hayden “Sidd” Finch.
Finch, who had the ability to hit 168 mph on the radar gun with his pitching, was a practicing Buddhist and a talented French horn player. He lived quietly and simply.
Finch, as writer George Plimpton would lead you to believe, was an orphan who studied at Harvard briefly, and wasn’t sure if he even wanted to play baseball. That’s why he worked out behind a canvass covering and few people knew he was at the training complex.
Plimpton made the incredible story seem believable with his attention to detail, like the pitcher’s idiosyncrasy of wearing one hiking boot while throwing; interviews with psychiatrists, a philharmonic symphony director and baseball scouts; and why he insisted on spelling Sidd with two Ds (it is short for Siddhartha).
The biggest hint that it was a joke lied within the first letters of the author’s subtitle: "He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent lifestyle, Sidd's deciding about yoga -- and his future in baseball." (Happy April Fools Day. Ah fib.)