On the heels of an ALCS that saw Cleveland blow a 3-1 lead, and over-priced designated hitter Travis Hafner whiff mercilessly throughout, the slugger promised tribe fans Monday to bring a wooden bat with him to the batter's box for the 2008 season.
"Late in August I became fatigued using my normal 34 oz. bat," Hafner told reporters. "It got so bad that at the start of the Red Sox series I couldn't even lift wood. Fortunately, FOX was looking out for my best interest and was able to digitalize a holographic bat into my hands. It helped to make me look legit in the ALCS and gave the viewers the impression I actually had a bat in my hand."
The results of using a make-believe bat were not surprising. Hafner went through a stretch against Boston in which he went 0-16 with 10 strikeouts.
"Fans assumed that because I'm such a naturally big guy that I didn't use steroids," Hafner chortled. "But, I mean if you look at my 2004-2006 numbers and then you look at the numbers I put up this year, once the stricter 'roid testing began, well... I mean I just didn't want to take the risk of juicing this year. My performance paid as a result."
Hafner later added that he "humbly" apologizes for deceiving his fan base and the baseball community for not using a bat during the ALCS.
"In the offseason, my little dwarf friend Paul is going to help me with my strength training. It is my ultimate goal to be able to swing a real, wooden bat for the entire 2008 season and throughout the playoffs."
The "slugger" ended the press conference assuring his long-time fans they needn't fret, that of course he will continue to swing at every 0-0 and 0-1 breaking pitch in the dirt.