NEW YORK (Bottom of the Fourth) - Just days after downgrading the United States to AA+, Standard and Poor's has announced another major downgrade, bumping Major League Baseball's National League down from "Major Leagues" to "AAA".
S&P analyst John Keats said the move has been a long time coming, but the agency garnered the courage to go through with it after their controversial downgrade of the USA.
"It's been clear for at least 15 years that the National League fucking sucks," said Keats in a statement Wednesday morning, "'I dunno how it's taken us this long to officially acknowledge that fact."
Technical details of the demotion followed in a report released by S&P. National League clubs will be evenly distributed between the International and Pacific Coast leagues, the two current AAA leagues. This will mean that some clubs will even play regularly against their own AAA affiliate.
Additionally, NL clubs will no longer be eligible for the World Series. MLB has acted swiftly to implement a new playoff structure, and commissioner Bud Selig announced the changes this morning. "The World Series will still be a best-of-seven series, and it will be between the Yankees and Red Sox." The commissioner went on to explain that "that's what would have happened anyway, duh".
NL clubs have banded together to file a protest, claiming that S&P has no authority to make such a decision. However, their protest is unlikely to gain traction, as a little-known amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "Standard and Poor's shall carry jurisdiction over any ratings denoted by the letters 'A', 'B' or 'C', possibly including symbols up to and including '-' and/or '+'.
Reaction to the news has been swift and diverse, and has come from sources as varied as satirical newspaper The Onion. Jeff Harris, Public Relations Director, had this to say at a press conference: "I would just like to say, on behalf of all employees of The Onion, that this joke is super obvious. Twenty-nine different Onion writers thought of it independently, so obviously we didn't publish it. Too easy."
Bottom of the Fourth author Xave responded to the criticism on his blog, claiming that "HEY THE ONION, YOU'RE DOWNGRADED!!! I DOWNGRADE YOU!!!! YOU'RE A TRIPLE C NOW, HOW BOUT THAT HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAHAHHH"