Bases empty, two outs, a 3-1 game, #8 hitter up. Nothing comes down to this.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tim Lincecum Fined For Negative Marijuana Test

SAN FRANCISCO (Bottom of the Fourth) - The honeymoon is over. After winning their first World Series in 56 years on the first day of November, the San Francisco Giants have received their first large dose of bad news.

It was revealed at a press conference on Sunday that Tim Lincecum had passed a random off-season drug test. This is the first out of seven tests in his career that Lincecum has passed, and it prompted swift disciplinary action from the San Francisco Giants organization.

"The San Francisco Giants have worked very hard to cultivate a very specific persona for Tim," explained Martin Huard, Giants Director of Public Relations. "When we drafted him, he was just a regular beer-swilling, collar-popping, Nickelback-listening-to jock. The laid-back stoner image we have tirelessly striven to develop works perfectly with the city - the fans identify with him, they think of him as that nice kid next door who always wants to borrow an apple and some tinfoil."

The Giants fined Lincecum $10,000, a relatively small amount compared to the pitcher's salary, but warned him that, like MLB's drug policy, repeat offenses will carry much more serious consequences. A source within the organization specified the terms of such punishments to Bottom of the Fourth: a second offense will incur a $100,000 fine, a third will prompt the team to assign a personal marijuana assistant to the player, who will ensure that he is "sufficiently blazed" at all times, including during games, and a fourth will result in permanent banishment from the organization and city. In this case, even if Lincecum signs with another MLB team, he will not be allowed in the city, even as a visitor.

Barry Brown, the Giants' Director of Promotions, says the news throws a wrench in his plans for the 2011 season. "We had several promotions planned around Lincecum's identity as a pothead," grumbled Brown. "Tim Lincecum Doobie Night, The 4/20 Pre-Game Drum Circle With Special Guest Tim Lincecum, the Tim Lincecum Bonglehead Giveaway... all those are out the window now."

10,000 Lincecum Bongleheads have already been produced and are now useless

For his part, Lincecum regrets that it ever came to this. He met with the press after the news broke to apologize to the fans. Tellingly, he spoke in uncharacteristically clear prose. "I want to say, to the people of San Francisco, that I'm sorry. I've let you down, and I hope you can forgive me. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday."

Lincecum went on, attempting to explain what happened. "I've been training hard for the upcoming season. I lost a few miles on my fastball last year, and I've been working out a lot to try to get it back. Every day I come home so exhausted that I just pass out, totally forgetting to even pack a bowl. I know it's no excuse, I just wanted to shed some light on the situation."

The news has garnered a mixed reaction among Giants fans. Some are angry, including Amy Lagrou, who spoke to Bottom of the Fourth about the incident. "I mean, Tim has come to represent something to us," she said, seemingly enraged, "and now he's thrown that right back in our face. I don't know what to believe anymore. How can I root for a team that doesn't stick to its morals?"

Others are less offended and more concerned, including Marc Tyndel. "I'm just worried he isn't going to be the same pitcher. He might be stronger, he might get that velocity back on his fastball, he might go back to 2008-09 form and win another Cy Young, but all that is meaningless if he stays dry."

Tyndel is more than just concerned, though: he wants to help. "Maybe there's something Tim isn't letting on. I dunno, he didn't say it, but I just have a feeling his well has dried up. It happens to all of us, but it can be embarrassing. Look, I have a Guy. He's a great connection: reliable, fast, doesn't try to fuck with you. Basically anything you could want in a Guy. If Tim sees this, I can hook him up. I want him to know: the people of San Francisco are here for him."

In fact, that last statement is true to a much greater extent than Marc Tyndel realizes. On Tuesday night, San Francisco will hold "Tim Hour", a riff on the global "Earth Hour" event held every March. From 10-11 PM, those participating will switch off all their lights, and use only the luminescence created by their joints, bongs, pipes, and other marijuana-burning devices. The event is meant to show support for Lincecum as he goes through this tough time.

But while some fans are more forgiving than others, it's clear that Lincecum's behaviour must change if he hopes to continue being one of the most popular and beloved players on the Giants. He's on thin bongwater ice and he knows it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Open Letter to Adrian Beltre

Dear Adrian Beltre,

I've heard you aren't happy with the contracts you've been offered this off-season. And you deserve to ask for a lot of money! You were one of the three best third basemen in baseball last year, along with Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman. Now you've watched Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee sign nine-figure contracts in recent weeks, and you're wondering where yours is. Well, I don't blame you!

I do, however, think you can be a little more creative with your demands. I understand that your agent, Scott Boras, is widely regarded as one of the best in the game in terms of getting his clients big money, but even Scott Boras has his faults. I know it can be hard to say goodbye, but I believe that leaving Boras and signing with Bottom of the Fourth Enterprises is in your best interest.

Let me explain why.

Adrian Beltre, you are known to be an extreme contract-year player. Your two best years, by far, have been in years in which you were about to become a free agent. So our plan is to find a contract that simulates those conditions at all times. But a baseball season is long enough that even one year has its ups and downs. So, in order to put you in the contract year mindset all the time, we need to think shorter-term.

One-day contracts.

Imagine it. In order to play tomorrow, you need to perform tonight. Whatever triggers your psyche to perform at maximum efficiency over the course of a contract year will go into overdrive. You'll hit a homer every night, because you'll have to, just to get a job the next day.

You know how many homers that is over the course of a year? Like, a billion.

And you can extrapolate that to other stats, too. If you're getting two hits per night, driving in three, making a couple of highlight-reel diving catches - because, once again, the pressure is on you to do those things every night, just to stay above the poverty line - imagine the kind of season you could have. You'll break records. All the records.

Plus, think of the freedom of travel. Want to check out that Brokencyde concert in Jersey City tomorrow night? Play a game for the Mets. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn having its red-carpet premiere? Sign with the Dodgers for a day. Can't miss being in the audience of the last-ever episode of Oprah? Get in touch with the Cubs. Hey, we all have to make compromises sometimes.

And hey, wouldn't a little vacation be nice? An MLB season is six months long, with about 20 days off. Total. Your average 9-5er gets about 50 days of weekends in that span, plus holidays, PLUS vacation days. MLB players are basically child slave labourers in Myanmar. They're pretty much the same, really.

Now, you might be worried that MLB wouldn't allow shenanigans like this. But they don't have a leg to stand on. You know why? It's happened before. Nomar Garciaparra did it. Jeff Conine did it. J.T. Snow did it. I'm no lawyer, but I see no difference between those deals and what I'm proposing here. Absolutely none.

So let me know, Adrian Beltre. I'm at your service. If you like what I'm suggesting, then leave your Tumblr in the comments and we'll figure things out from there.


President, Bottom of the Fourth Enterprises

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Three Delicious Games in Baseball History

A twitter conversation in the wake of Tuesday's post on Sandy Koufax's Perfect Gingergame led me to wonder: was that the most delicious baseball game in history? Today we examine three other games in contention for the title.

Chili Davis' Chili Cook-off

In 1991, as DH for the Minnesota Twins, Chili Davis was given a rare start in the outfield in a game against the Texas Rangers. However, when he discovered that the scheduled starting pitchers were a couple of extreme ground-ballers, Scott Erickson and Kevin Brown, and he wouldn't likely have any plays to make, Davis took matters into his own hands.

"I wanted to support my team," says Davis. "We were in a pennant race, and we needed to do anything we could to get a leg up. Eat better, groom ourselves more neatly, learn more languages, anything where we can say we're better than the other guys." So, in that spirit, Davis organized an in-game, on-field chili cook-off between him and opposing left fielder Juan Gonzalez.

Davis showed off his 6th tool - culinary skills

Two portable kitchens were installed right in the middle of left field. Experts tasted each man's chili after every inning, assigning points for flavour, "chiliness", and flatulence potential. In the end, Davis won when Gonzalez bowled over his own chili chasing after a fly ball, severely bruising his ribs in the process, and to this day Davis credits the victory as the key to Minnesota's eventual World Series Championship.

Jeffrey Loria Feeds a Bunch of Hoboes

In 1996, Jeffrey Loria, then-owner of the Montreal Expos, decided that the team was spending too much of his hard-earned money, and ordered general management to slash payroll to minuscule levels. So minuscule, it turned out, that the only players the Expos could afford were rail-riding hoboes (as opposed to street bums, which are very different, as explained by Fran's Hobo Page:
A Hobo is a person that travels to work.
A tramp is a person that travels and wont work.
A bum is a person that will neither travel or work.)
At first, the Montreal crowds fell in love with these adorable scamps, the "Exbos" as they were affectionately nicknamed. But after an 0-37 start, the sentiment began to change. The frustration culminated on June 8th, 1996, the 60th game of the season, which also happened to be the night of an annual promotion: Free Poutine Night.

After the top of the first inning saw its third grand slam, all hell broke loose. French fries, cheese curds and gravy started pouring down on the field like a deluge of torrential rain, one third of which is solid and shaped like French fries for some reason, one third of which is melty and shaped like cheese curds, and one third of which is shaped like regular rain. Good simile.

Anyway, the hoboes, not having been paid enough by Loria to eat for the first two months of the year, were in absolute ecstasy. The game was cancelled, but the players stuck around until the next morning, collecting whatever they couldn't possibly fit in their stomach in their batting helmets to store for future sustenance.

Bob Lemon's "Lemon Shortbread Shutout"

In 1954, Bob Lemon was having one of his best seasons - in late May he was 6-0 with a 2.57 ERA. To the great amusement of his teammates, he very publicly attributed this success to his wife's lemon shortbread, which he claimed he ate before every start. Among his teammates, Lemon's wife was known as an absolutely awful cook - the Lemons hosted a pre-season dinner every year for the entire team, and the food was so inedible that Cleveland typically had two or three players out of the opening day line-up due to illness. But the Lemons were such a sweet couple that nobody ever said anything.

So Bob's teammates found his supposedly shortbread-induced success absolutely hilarious - that is, until he brought a team-sized batch to his last start in May. "He wouldn't take the field until we all ate one," remembers center-fielder Larry Doby. "The game was delayed by half an hour."

Third baseman Al Rosen clearly recalls the fear his teammates felt as they considered the prospect of eating a cookie. "We literally thought that was the day we were going to die," says Rosen. "I dunno how, salmonella? I mean, yeah, typically there's no raw chicken in lemon shortbread, but you never knew with Doris (Lemon's wife)."

Finally, veteran pitcher Bob Feller picked up a piece of shortbread, examined it, weighed it, looked his teammates in the eye, and took a bite. His face instantly changed. "Oh my god... this is amazing." One by one, the players were overcome with the same shock, followed by unbridled joy at the unexpected tastiness of the cookies.

The batch of shortbread was demolished, and the teams took the field. Cleveland won the game 12-0, Bob Lemon pitched brilliantly, and to this day the game is remembered as the "Lemon Shortbread Shutout".

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sandy Koufax' Perfect Gingergame

About a month ago, my roommates told me about an amazing tradition they have every holiday season. Having only moved in a few months ago, I'd never heard about it (even though I've known them for a long time), but as a new member of the house, I was invited to take part this year.

The tradition is this: my roommates (a pair of Jewish brothers), their two older siblings, and a couple close friends get together and build an important event in Jewish history, entirely out of gingerbread (well, and candy and icing... everything on the board is edible). Over the course of the six-year tradition it's always been something biblical, but this year was a little different. Being huge baseball fans, they decided to pay homage to the most famous Jewish baseball player in history by constructing a replica of Sandy Koufax' perfect game in 1965.

Needless to say, as a baseball nut myself, I was looking forward to this from the moment it was brought up. But I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Several weeks in advance: this elaborate and precise plan was drawn by a current
law student and former theater major. Go figure.
Friday: materials.
The gingerbread, mixed a day in advance, prepares itself mentally
Saturday afternoon: they see me rollin, we bakin
The 32x40" board, tinfoiled and ready for construction
Saturday evening: gingerbread starts to roll out of the oven and the vision begins to take shape

What would eventually become light towers turned out a little more phallic than anticipated
The first wave of icing allows construction to begin
The commencement of bleacher erection (haha, erection)
The infield and dugout get touched up
After laying down the infield dirt, our groundskeeper devises an ingenious
method for removing stray clumps from the outfield grass
The light towers are erected (haha, erected), foul lines are drawn, the crowd files in, and the masterpiece is completed.
The concession area featured three varieties of food and a beer stand

Washrooms were located in the concession area
One of my roomies' traditions is that Jews are always depicted as Gummi Bears while non-Jews are Santas. Koufax, obviously, was the only Gummi Bear on the field
The home dugout of course features the home logo
A heated exchange broke out, as they are wont to do, in the bleachers
Unfortunately, the scoreboard did not feature video highlights as that is not a technology that has
found its way into the gingerbread/icing world

Koufax' strikeouts were all accounted for
These two fans had the best seats in the house
But, typically, weren't watching the game
The achievement was commemorated with a plaque engraved into the ground
beyond the outfield bleachers


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Offseason Check-in: Tim Stauffer

In this feature, Bottom of the Fourth checks in with various MLB players to see what they're up to during the off-season. Today we spoke to Tim Stauffer, a pitcher with the San Diego Padres.

Bottom of the Fourth: Tim, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. So, the obvious question, given the nature of the series: what have you been doing for the last couple months?

Tim Stauffer: Great news, Xave! I got engaged!

BotF: Wow, congratulations! Have you set a date?

Tim: Actually, Rebecca and I aren't really into the traditional lavish wedding, we just want to tie the knot as soon as we can. Unfortunately, it seems like every time we try to get it done, something comes up.

BotF: Like what?

Tim: Like, we were gonna head down to city hall and do it the other day, but then I remembered I'd promised to paint my Aunt Polly's fence.

BotF: That seems like a pretty insubstantial reason to not get married. Couldn't you just paint the fence the next day?

Stauffer: Hoo boy, let me tell you about the next day. My buddy Randy and I (that's Randy Winn, former Giant and Yankee among others), we went down to the graveyard because Ruck, that's what I call Randy, he tore his ACL last year, and he thought he knew how to fix it, but he says he needed to be surrounded by the "spirit of the dead" or some'n. But we never got to test that out because when Ruck and I got there to the graveyard we saw a murder!

BotF: What??! Did you tell the police?

Stauffer: No sir, Ruck and I swore a creatine promise not to tell nobody, never.

Well, shit.

BotF: Well, there's no going back now, might as well spill the details. Do you know who the killer and the victim were?

Stauffer: I sure do, it was Joe Smith (of the Cleveland Indians) what done the deed, he took the life of Doc Robinson (that's Frank Robinson, hall of fame outfielder who never actually went by 'Doc'). I seen it with my own two eyes. But I know this, Indian Joe ain't gonna admit to nothin', he's gonna blame his teammate, "Muff" Shin-Soo Choo, 'cause Chooey is a drunk an' he ain't know no better.

BotF: Tim, I really think you should go tell the police about this, this is serious business. Come back and re-visit with us when this whole situation gets sorted out.

Stauffer: Thank ye kindly for yer time, sir.

Bottom of the Fourth would like to thank Tim Stauffer for his time, and the first ever real-life murder story ever broken on this website.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Baseball Should Move Its Winter Meetings to Northern Canada

As you're no doubt aware, MLB's winter meetings are going on right now. You've probably spent the last twenty-four hours being absolutely bombarded by MLB Trade Rumors, Twitter, and, yes, Twttr, getting nothing done all day as you await the latest juicy speculation (that was probably based on a team executive being spotted eating a particular type of croissant).

Let's face it, gossip is fun. People love trashy celebrity gossip from websites like TMZ, and baseball is no different. Ken Rosenthal is basically the Perez Hilton of MLB, except, you know, not an asshole.

But gossip is a vice. It's a sinkhole that absorbs us, preventing us from doing anything productive until we can somehow escape its clutch. Sometimes you just need to cut yourself off, even from something you enjoy. Thus, a proposal: move the Winter Meetings to Northern Canada. The Northerlier the better.

Oh, reporters would still be clamouring around the igloo lobbies looking for the latest scoop, but it's a well-established fact that internet tubes and cell phone microwaves freeze anywhere north of 65˚. By the time the Alaskan Malamute-drawn sleds reached civilization, the meetings would be over, reporters would be back online, and we'd receive the whole week's information in a single digestible package, trimmed of all the excess tittle-tattle.

The Winter Meetings should be moved into the Arctic Circle

Plus, there's something disingenuous about an event in Lake Buena Vista, Florida being called the "Winter Meetings". Calling December in Florida winter is like saying the Yankees are in a recession when they have to slash payroll down to $200 million.

There would also be an element of "survival of the fittest" - literally. Baseball executives, unlike the commodities they trade in, are not exactly known to be in peak physical condition. Anyone who can't hack it in the extreme cold could miss out on some great trade opportunities, free agent bargains, and continued life. It would give us great insight into which GMs have the strongest resolve, and which would trade their starting catcher for a box of matches and a slab of elk.

By the time the Rule V Draft rolled around on the fourth day, the best eligible players would basically be up for grabs for any team with at least one executive still alive.

Admittedly, there's a bit of schadenfreude going on here. Baseball owners suck, and agents suck too. The thing of which they have most in their life is money, and yet they spend 99% of their time trying to squeeze every last penny. I would like nothing more than to see them packed like sardines in a communal bunk igloo, devolved into an anarchic melee for the few scraps of food, only able to make guttural neanderthal noises through their frozen jaws. (GMs are okay - they can have cots and canned beans.)

Of course, since the hypothetical Arctic Meetings would be cut off from connected civilization, I would not, in fact, be able to revel in the misfortune of greedy executives in real-time, unless I myself attended the meetings, incurring the inevitably steep travel costs, not to mention the cost of attending the meetings, and of course the harsh conditions. These are sacrifices I'm willing to make.

Holding the Winter Meetings in the extreme north may seem impractical, but there's a hidden advantage that might sway Bud Selig to actually consider this proposal. The Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2011 season, and if MLB wants the players to give in to all its terms, it needs to back the players into a corner, a corner they're so desperate to get out of they'll sign anything. What better corner than a 60-below polar bear crossing?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Padres Change Nickname For Gender Equality

On Saturday, the San Diego Padres followed up their headline-making trade of star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox with another big piece of news. After being the Padres since the franchise's inception in 1969, the team will have a new nickname starting in 2011.

The change was motivated by Padres' lead owner Jeff Moorad's sudden interest in women's rights. "It's recently come to my attention that women are becoming more prominent in society," said Moorad. "They're doctors, lawyers, engineers... everything! They even get to vote. I think it's great." Moorad explained that the Padres "want to support the women's rights movement", and as a result are hereby changing their name to the San Diego Padres/Madres.

Moorad revealed the news at a press conference yesterday, at which he had been hoping to arrive in uniform to unveil the new team logo. Unfortunately, there had been some difficulty getting the uniform made in time. "Our logo designer doesn't know how to do slashes," explained Moorad. "He's only ever designed team logos before, and no team has ever had a slash in their nickname." The team is reportedly looking for a designer with experience outside sports-team-logo-design and will have their new logo ready before the new year.

Moorad did, however, bring an early-stage mock-up that he made himself. He said it was his "first crack at Photoshop" but thought it "turned out pretty good, actually".

Jeff Moorad shows off his Photoshop skills

Asked whether people will be confused by the new name and won't know what to call the team in casual conversation, Moorad compared the team to the YMCA. "People just call it the YMYWCA. No big deal! There will be a transition period, no doubt, but eventually people will just call us the Padresmadres out of habit."

Moorad hopes this decision will encourage other major league teams to follow in the Padres' footsteps, citing Baltimore (Orioles/Orielles), Cincinnati (Reds/Pinks), Colorado (Rockies/Rockettes) and San Francisco (Giants/Girl Giants) as particularly appropriate teams.

Stephanie Cruz, a representative from the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for Women, the largest feminist organization in the United States, seemed ambivalent to the move. "Um, there was nothing particularly sexist about the previous name. I mean, the team is comprised entirely of men, right? The nickname reflects that." Other members of NOW described the move as "pointless", "meh", and "what?".

Despite this lack of support from NOW, Moorad plans to go ahead with his gender equality plan. In fact, it isn't just the team's nickname that will change. At the concession stands, nachos will be referred to as nachos/nachas, and beer vendors will carry both beer and margaritas at all times. San Diego's mascot, the Swinging Friar, will be accompanied by a female counterpart. Finally, Moorad has plans to retrofit the stadium with matching women's change-rooms on both the home and away sides. The fact that this will eliminate the batting cages and video room has upset some players on the team, but none would agree to be quoted for fear of being labeled a chauvinist.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breaking Baseball News Moving to Twttr

Anyone who's been following the recent evolution of the mainstream baseball media knows that, increasingly, news is broken on Twitter. Reporters crave being the first to report a "scoop", and Twitter offers the most immediate platform from which to break news to the masses.

However, technology cycles turn over with ever-increasing rapidity, and Twitter's time in the sun seems to be ending already. In this world of instantaneity, seconds, even milliseconds, count, and some of the new nano- and, yes, pico-blogging services make Twitter look clunky and out-dated in comparison.

This new class of clients is still in its infancy, and as such, no-one has emerged as the dominant player in the field. Possibly the most popular at the moment is Twttr, whose slogan reads: "N vwls, n prblm!"

One of Twttr's main competitors, Ie, claims even greater time savings, but readability is a fairly major concession. Their slogan, for example, "o ooa, o oe!", is completely incoherent, and though they attracted a strong initial user base with their glossy efficiency statistics, have had trouble retaining those users.

So we're keeping our money on Twttr edging out the competition, at least for the moment, in this burgeoning market. Twttr's claim is that words contain "up to 100% vowels", and therefore, using their client saves a corresponding percentage of one's time while not sacrificing readability.

This second claim seems dubious when one starts to actually read content from Twttr. Ken Rosenthal, one of the most prolific news breakers in baseball, has caused a flurry of accidental uproars with his Twttr-induced ambiguity. On Tuesday, for example, Rosenthal twtd: "L t L!" Naturally, baseball fans immediately associated this with Cliff Lee, one of the hottest free agents of the 2010 off-season, and the popular belief was that Rosenthal was reporting Lee had signed with either the Dodgers or Angels, or "Lee to LA!" As it turned out, Rosenthal was just saying "Let it le!", a mistyped homage to his favourite Beatles song.

We're also skeptical of the assertion that typing without vowels saves time. Have you ever tried to type without vowels? It's unnatural, and as such, is probably actually slower than typing in normal English. But in the desperate race for the baseball-reporting equivalent of "FIRST!!!1!11", writers will try anything.

On a related note, we're not sure exactly what Twttr's business model is, since it seems to offer a service that is completely possible on Twitter.

Despite these concerns, however, it's difficult to dislodge the momentum of crowds. The usage of Twttr and similar services is skyrocketing, regardless of whether they're at all useful.

Another service which has just launched and as such has yet to gain a significant audience is Three Button Reporting. The company bills itself as a high-end add-on to Twitter geared specifically towards reporters, allowing them to get news out as quickly as possible. The premise is that reporters can purchase a package of customized buttons of varying sizes and shapes that, when pressed, automatically populate tweets with the appropriate information.

TBR has already seen success in "yoga breaking news" and "hot chocolate breaking news", and is nearly finished prepping a package specific to major league baseball.

In the MLB package, a reporter's desk area would be specially fit with a set of buttons for each of the thirty teams, a set of player-buttons corresponding to players commonly mentioned in rumours, and a set of emotion-buttons to convey the nature of the rumor. When a reporter gets a scoop, he might press "CLIFF LEE", "BOSTON RED SOX", and "HAPPY". This process would take mere seconds because of the efficient button interface (the CLIFF LEE button would be among the largest given Lee's prominence on the free agent market this off-season - akin to the tag cloud concept), and a tweet would automatically be sent containing the following: "Cliff Lee Boston Red Sox :):):)".

At first, fans may find the emotions confusing, but the company is counting on a standardized system naturally developing within the ecosystem. For example, HAPPY might correspond to free agent signings, ANGRY could refer to non-tenders, and TIMOROUS might be related to trades. An e-mail sent to the company asking what a TIMOROUS emoticon looks like didn't garner a response.

While Twttr may lead the pico-blogging charge given its ease of use, TBR should win out on the strength of its efficiency, despite its steeper learning curve. TBR also has a sustainable money-making model in place. Of course, the system requires reporters to stay attached to their workstation 24/7 (literally... the system powers itself by drawing a small but steady stream of blood from its user), but we figure that won't be a problem since reporters just live in their moms' basements. Or is that nerds? Can't remember that stereotype.