Sometimes, when things are looking their bleakest, divine providence occurs granting you exactly what you need for that period of time. No more, no less. On Thursday morning, with people parsing SCOTUS rulings and just generally being miserable about everything, the Grand Junction Rockies, a short-season affiliate of the Colorado Rockies embodied the meme in which nobody is talking and then someone says something insane. Because, in fact, no one was talking about them or anything relating to them and they, well:
Which, y’know, good to know. Happy we could clear that up. But you might be wondering “what could have remotely prompted such an emphatic, disorienting statement from a minor league baseball team? As it so happens there was a meagerly supported Change.org petition for the Grand Junction affiliate to rename the team after a local fish, the Humpback Chub. Per the petition:
The Colorado Rockies have affiliates that include names such as the Albuquerque Isotopes, Lancaster JetHawks and Hartford Yard Goats. Unfortunately our local team has the same name as the parent organization, even though it represents a community featuring a unique setting and history. We believe that the team would much better represent the Grand Valley as the Grand Junction Humpback Chubs. The Humpback Chub is an endangered fish native to the Colorado River in the valley. In recent years, the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program has worked hard to reestablish the fish and its habitat in the Grand Valley. Therefore this local icon would be a great way for the local baseball team to represent the valley. With a unique and exciting name, logo, and mascot, the team could attract fans from across Colorado and the USA.
Okay, so that’s the genesis here, but when I first became aware of the petition on Thursday morning, it had somewhere around 155 signatures. As of last check on Thursday evening, it had 1,646 proving that they haven’t heard of the Streisand Effect in Grand Junction, Colorado.
So that’s the backstory, such that there could be one, to the tweet from the Rockies affiliate. And this humble, earnest tweet was manna from heaven for our mirth-parched souls. It allowed us to do what we do best on twitter, which is instantly insert it in a variety of memes, puns, and also to be truly, uncomfortably weird to an account as though there isn’t a normal person on the other end of it:
I imagine this is probably an intensely weird thing to read about for those of you who don’t spend every waking minute at the ass-end of a whiplash/depression machine constantly craving that next rush of dopamine from a well-timed spoonerism or waiting for some random person with 65,000 followers to tell their adoring fans that they haven’t showered for a month and a half and actually that’s quite healthy and normal. But there are those of us that do and it. is. a. grind.
When twitter started out I refused to join. I thought the worst part of facebook was the status messages and twitter was only status messages. What I didn’t realize is that it was actually an anxiety feedback loop where every time you tweet something you’re thinking about, every time you comment on something that’s been on your mind, been bugging you, you discharge a small bit of anxiety and receive a small bit of catharsis. Of course, if your whole twitter feed is people doing exactly that, then you’re onboarding their anxieties and as much as we’re different people with different lives and separate issues, it’s hard not to be influenced. It’s impossible not to be affected by the environment. So in that light, everything is bleak and bad and even the good things only last a short while and there’s always someone to be the literal fly in the proverbial ointment. There were even those today who thought the GJ Rockies tweet to be a marketing ploy, their hearts hardened by one brand too many doing anything for some sweet, sweet engagement. They only joined us in our bliss when the tweets were later deleted, and not replied to with some sort of ticket discount nonsense.
So, it’s notable and memorable when the overcast skies fracture and fizzle. When the clouds begin to dissipate and a thin, resilient beam of sunlight forces its way through, before expanding, warming us with its glow. It has happened before. The escaped llamas, literally any of the wife guys, that time a guy named @fart tweeted a picture of his shoes, why you always lyin’ guy, etc. So yeah, sure, it happens, but not nearly frequently enough given the barrage of bad news that comes down daily.
When I opened this column in April, I referred to the notion that there are a lot of problems in the world and in baseball and it’s important that we call them out. It is necessary for progress but it can also be a drag and make it harder to enjoy a thing that is still worth enjoying despite all the problems. I wanted this space to acknowledge those things that need improving, but also to celebrate the things that illuminate our corner of the world. This tweet from an otherwise innocent short-season baseball team arrived from on high, burning bright enough to slake our thirst for at least a day, and for that reason it was the best thing in baseball this week.
More Good Stuff
- I know that St. Louis fans can be obnoxious about what good fans they are but…they’re also really good at celebrating their current/former greats. This was an extremely cool moment, and I especially liked the cuts to Adam Wainwright on the bench:
- It was also cool when Albert looked like the Albert we remember in St. Louis:
- I honestly don’t have the words to do justice to Wilkin Castillo returning to the majors after 10 years and hitting a go-ahead double in his first game back:
- This is less “this week”-ish than it is when the tweet happened, but a fun thread of Gary Sanchez’s custom wristbands based on which pitcher he’s catching at the moment:
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