Sunday, March 2, 2008

Phils To Use Skoal 'Bandits'

Clearwater, FL- Having shored up their relief pitching by acquiring Brad Lidge and moving Brett Myers back into the rotation, Charlie Manuel is supremely confident in his young squad this season. But with the Mets having upped the ante by adding Johan Santana to their roster, Manuel and the coaches are looking for that ‘X-factor’ that could put the Phightin’ Phils over the edge in the NL East.

To that end, it was announced in a press conference late yesterday afternoon that all players will be required to make the switch to Skoal Bandits by Opening Day.

Ruben Amaro Jr. told the crowd of sports reporters, “We want our players to be able to enjoy the smooth and zesty flavor of dip, while still maintaining a sleek, athletic demeanor on the field. We feel that the pre-made pouches available from Skoal brand tobacco products are just what our boys need.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Skoal ‘Bandits,’ it is fine-cut dip, available in a variety of delicious flavors, that are apportioned into perfectly sized paper pouches, ready to be used right out of the tin. Originally marketed to the ‘businessman on the go,’ the advantages of the pouches are now being recognized by professional athletes.

“I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent in the dugout continually packing my old tins of loose dip, only to have to run out onto the diamond with a lip in that was less than perfect,” Second-Baseman Chase Utley told reporters. “Either I would pinch too much dip, or too little, not to mention the stray bits of tobacco that can get stuck in your teeth, or get swallowed when you dive into second base stretching a single into a double.”

When the Bandits were introduced to the public back in 2004, there was some discussion in the Phillies head office on making the switch, but the suggestion was shot down by former G.M. Ed Wade. “I’m not sure about endorsing the use of a particular tobacco brand for my players. Frankly, I would rather my players not use tobacco products at all, especially while they are on the field.”

Pat Gillick said of Wade’s comments, “Wade lacked vision and foresight, and honestly, for me, his comments raise serious questions about his sexuality. Everyone knows dip makes you a better baseball player, and these new Bandits can only enhance that edge that dip already gives you.”

A few of the players had already switched to using Bandits last season or the season before, while some of the more tenured Phillies who use Redman or Beechnut are going to have a hard time getting used to the new product. Lenny Dykstra told the Daily News he thought that had Bandits been available in the early Nineties, Philadelphia may have brought home a World Series, while Darren Daulton was unable to be reached for comment.

So when you turn on CBS to watch the Phillies home-opener against the Nats, you may notice the Phils have a new bounce in their step, and a more professional and confident appearance. Hopefully the other teams in the league don’t catch on too quickly. (-;

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