Despite Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon's very human habit of spontaneously breaking out into Irish step dances after recording the final out of postseason games, it seems he has become the first casualty of the newest rule designed to "level the playing field" for Major Leaguers.
Former playing field-leveling movements have consisted primarily of steroid bans and the inverse relationship between a team's win record and the draft round in which they pick, but this new legislation specifically targets steroid-free players who are still suspiciously good at things like not allowing runs in the postseason.
Papelbon's attempts to use medical records from both his 2006 shoulder injury and his wife Ashley's current pregnancy to prove that he is in fact a member of a species native to 20th century Earth failed to reach the ears, eyes, or surreptitious social feelers of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who is reportedly still cowering under his couch after his Halloween night Terminator marathon.
Selig's Public Relations manager has denied all claims that the Commissioner's current psychological state triggered the abrupt implementation of the new anti-robot laws.
Sources say that when Papelbon tried to speak directly with the PR manager, she threw handfuls of military-quality incineration powder at him and screamed that he would "never get to her." She was last seen entering her Rent-A-Storage vault carrying 20 cans of beans, a camp stove, two machine guns, and duct tape.
The ban is also predicted to target players who display an "intriguing" lack of emotion—Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla is a top candidate here—and players who put up good numbers while "injured", including Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Manager Lou Piniella may also be affected, on the grounds that he "tries too hard" to seem emotional.
Once a sufficient number of players have been collected, they will be placed in their own league (known as the Anti-Disabled List League), and will play doubleheaders every day so that they are in top physical condition to defend Earth when it is invaded by the fiscal forces of Boras Galaxy and its infamous Overpaid Star Cluster.
The cluster is rumored to be the home of the elusive Planet Zito and of several lesser-known but equally dangerous civilizations.
Players who have said funny things during press conferences or interviews are automatically exempt from this anti-robot ruling, regardless of their skill level on the field—Ryan Freel his friend Farney are expected to be quite relieved when they hear this news—and much to the delight of Josh Hamilton and numerous steroid users, anyone who has struggled with any sort of addiction is also off-limits.
There is no word yet on whether the new rules will affect irredeemably dull players whose statistics are about as remarkable as their personalities.
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