Cardinal Systems

After standing face to face with almost certain elimination in their duel with Astrosí superhuman closer Brad Lidge, Tony LaRussa concluded that it is time for action and persuaded General Manager Walt Jocketty to commission the Cardinal Systems biomechanics company with developing a fully robotic pitcher that would counterweigh the abundance of humanoid players already serving on other MLB teams.

As the Cardinal Systems' intentions have been divulged to us by their Elevator Steward under the influence of a Canadian root beer and a sizable wad of American dollars, we can take a peek at some of the technical nitty-gritty. The first one that comes to mind is pitching velocity. The fully functional model should be able to pitch fastballs consistently at 135 mph until the 7th inning, at which point the speed would be downgraded to Category 3 hurricane to alleviate stress on its hydraulic arm.

The robot's hand comes outfitted with a biochemical wart-removal module and a manual transmission that will decrease the torque on its arm joint for all non-pitching motions. That way the robot will be able to shake a person's hand without actually tearing the shaken hand off. All of its electrical components will be powered by 748 rechargeable AAA batteries snugly ensconced in the compact aluminum rib cage. At times of increased power consumption, their output will be augumented by a nine inch uranium rod, whose precise location has not been revealed. This additional power will enable its mechanical riggings to thresh wheat for 3,000 hours or lick stamps for 18,500 hours without a need to recharge.

The robotís main computing and evaluating unit will be controlled by a state-of-the-art integrated microchip and served by several auxiliary nano-circuits superglued to the motherboard. Since its electronic brain will be able to process more events in real time than a Karachi bus driver during rush hour, the robot's cranium will be surrounded by a cooling reservoir filled with liquid nitrogen and twelve pints of vanilla ice cream. To stave off disruptive gusts of solar wind, its skull will be further protected by a foldable aluminum parasol in club colors. Such drastic measures are well justified as head overheating in humanoids is known to induce an objectionable lapse into highly erratic behavior. This mode, technically known as "Jar Jar Binks in a Liquor Store shootout", usually manifests itself in a less than desirable plethora of wild pitches.

The blueprint also has the robotís stomach cavity area divided into two liquid tanks. One for the high quality motor oil that will lubricate and partially cool the robotís pitching arm and one for tobacco juice that will be driven through a series of hidden conduits to the robotís spitting gland simulator.

When engaged in a spitting mode, the robot will be able to offer assorted opinions on matters ranging from Pet Porcupine Care to High Fashion to the Stereochemistry of Acetylenic Compounds and many others. The sophistication of such utterings will be regulated by an opinion pinion, lodged in the lower cerebral chamber. Should hostile hackers get wireless access to the processing unit, the chip will self-destruct and the robotís body will instantaneously morph into an ice cream truck with chocolate coated off-road stabilizer bars.

To further deter tampering, all life-sustaining data will be stored on rewritable floppy pancakes, that have larger memory capacity than traditional hard disks and in case of hunger emergency can be readily eaten. The excess flour will be emitted through a heel aperture to mark a detectable trail - a sort of Local Positioning System. For most accurate orientation, Pillsbury Best is recommended by the Cardinal Systems' tracking device subcontractor, the Chesterfield based Flour Power Inc.

It is not clear at the moment what the robotís name should be. Some are proposing the name Data in order to boost the ticket sales by legions of faithful Star Trek fans. Opponents argue, however, that the sales increase will be negligible as Trekkies hardly ever venture into the open spaces of baseball stadiums. Plus the clubís bottom line will already have been boosted by endorsements from Pennzoil. Its agents have recently been spotted circling the Busch Stadium, sporting that insatiable smile of salespeople that has been vested in their facial muscles by the deep yearning for a lucrative sale.

© 2004† Jan Rehacek

The Book of Cardinals 2004

Part I.

Inning: 3

This text is completely fictitious and is merely a reflection of a coincidence†of names. If you would like to learn about the actual company, please visit their webpage:

Cardinal Systems


Prologue

Part I. Namesakes
1. Cardinal Stritch University
2. Cardinal, Virginia
3. Cardinal Systems
4. Vatican Cardinals
5. Tantoo Cardinal
6. Arizona Cardinals
7. Cardinal Numbers
8. Cardinal Bar
9. Cardinal Fish

Part II. 7th Inning Stretch of Imagination
1. What's In A Name?
2. Nine Amendments For Extreme Motorists
3. Better Butter For Bitter Batter
4. Infield Fly Rule For Dummies
5. How To Wash Red Socks Properly
6. My Kingdom For A Pitcher!
7. East St Louis Vacations Inc
8. Are You A Cardinals Fan?
9. Banbury Cross

Part III. Three Dreams
1. Dodgers: The Robbery
2. Dodgers: The Handshake
3. Dodgers: The Shower
4. Astros: The Flight
5. Astros: The Homer
6. Astros: The Ritual
7. Red Sox: The Comedy
8. Red Sox: The Drama
9. Red Sox: The Heartbreak

Epilogue