Superheros, Baseball, and American Values

With the inevitable cancellation of Netflix’s The Punisher looming over fans of the gritty Marvel series, I’d like to take this time to talk about the real reason the streaming network is canning the entire Marvel Universe. It has nothing to do with pressure from Disney, and everything to do with American values.

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Last year, I watched Frank Castle threaten a twelve year old boy with a Bowie knife, only to be throwing the old pigskin around with him in the very next scene.

Interesting choice, I thought. But, I kept watching.

I watched an entire season of Finn Jones floundering about as Danny Rand, wondering when the real Iron Fist was going to show up. Turns out, Finn Jones was actually the first choice for the role, and there wasn’t some sort of freak scaffolding accident that killed the original actor just minutes before shooting began.

Interesting choice, I thought. But, I kept watching.

Nathaniel Wayne, Ryan Daly, and Paul D. Scavitto in Council of Geeks (2012)

Then Daredevil season 3 happened, and the Marvel series finally became unwatchable.

I had just put away my lotion and tissues after the fifteen minute prison riot sequence from episode four. I was all in, ready to ride that sticky climax all the way to the finale.

That’s when two things happened: First, a young Bullseye gets pulled from his little league game in the middle of a Perfect Game. Second, I stood up in my living room and shouted to no one, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

At first, I thought that I had misunderstood the dialogue due to the extremely loud spit-take that took place the first time I watched it. But, upon a second viewing, I confirmed that Lil Bullsie’s coach did knowingly pull a pitcher in the middle of a Perfect Motherfucking Game.

I didn’t understand. Were the writer’s trying to set this coach up as a new villain in the series? Were they attempting an ambitious crossover with DC Comics, having The Joker appear in a Daredevil story, disguised as a little league baseball coach bent on seeding chaos and destruction across America?

If only, America…if only.

For one insane moment, I thought that the show was going to introduce Bullseye as the new hero of the show, because in my eyes, he had just escaped a child abuser. Frank Castle would have taken this coach behind the dugout and executed him with a sharpened Louisville Slugger, growling like a Rottweiler singing Pearl Jam karaoke. That coach had it coming, because everybody in America knows, YOU DO NOT FUCK WITH THE NO-NO.

Here’s a history lesson for you:

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Dock Ellis looking good


Dock Ellis was a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 70s. On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis threw a No-Hitter against the San Diego Padres while high on LSD. Think about that for a few minutes.

Have you ever seen someone on LSD? Now imagine them trying to play professional baseball. Normally, when someone tries to attempt strenuous physical activity while tripping balls on government-grade hallucinogens, you stop them…unless they are throwing a mother-fucking No-Hitter!

Do you think Dock’s teammates and coach didn’t stop and think, “Oh shit, did he just lick the rosin bag?” or “Why is he screaming racially charged non-sequiturs at the foul pole?”

Of course they thought those things! But then they took a fucking breath and realized that he was greasing the entire Padres lineup with his stinky, hot, smoked cheddar. And then they let him close it out.

And guess what, America? After Dock Ellis trounced those Padre goons and left them dangling on his tasty breakers, he didn’t murder his coach. And then, the Pittsburgh Pirates went on to not get cancelled by Netflix.

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Flash forward to May 17th 1998. New York Yankee David Wells pitches a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins, while allegedly at the tail end of a major league bender (see what I did there?). David’s teammates faced a similar dilemma.

“Hey guys, do you think we should go out there and get Nick Nolte’s Mugshot off the field?” said Yankee Great Bernie Williams, allegedly.

“I don’t know, Bern,” allegedly chimed Baseball Titan Chuck Knoblauch, every time I get too close to the mound he barks at me like a dog, and my eyes start to burn from the alcohol fumes!”

Then the Toast of New York, Sir Darryl Strawberry, allegedly boomed, “Don’t worry guys, I gave him three rails of snow during warmups. Also, none of these Twin City goobers have been on base yet, so let’s just see how this plays out, deal?”

“Deal!” And they all allegedly pulled off a three way high five in mid air.

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“But there’s just one thing I don’t understand”, said Yankee Legend Scott Brosius, allegedly, “…where did you find snow in the Bronx in the middle of May?”

“Oh, Scotty,” they allegedly laughed in unison. And David Wells went on to pitch the 15th Perfect Game in all of MLB history. My point is that you always protect the Perfect Game, even when the pitcher might be endangering himself and others.

You done fucked up, Daredevil writers! And that is why Netflix had to do the honorable thing, and cancel the entire Marvel/Netflix franchise. Frank Castle can threaten to murder all the minors he wants, as long as he keeps killing pedophiles. But there is one line America just can’t cross: DO NOT. FUCK. WITH THE NO-NO.

About Mike Rinaldi

Originally from New Jersey, Mike Rinaldi has spent his adult life in North Carolina. A veteran of the food service industry, Mike is passionate about comedy, television, movies, books, games, fantasy, sci-fi, whiskey and beer. His life changed forever when he discovered that beer could be purchased at a gas station, a thing unheard of in the frozen North