In a 1964 episode of the Flintstones, aliens land on earth and decide to clone an earthling releasing androids to attempt to take over the planet. The earthling they choose is Fred Flintstone and soon 10 exact replicas of “Fred” are running around Bedrock causing all kinds of havoc. The alien plans don’t work out as they can’t seem to figure out the bizarre behavior of the human species and end up abandoning their plan. As the aliens leave Earth Fred is left to try and explain to everyone in the town why he has been acting so strangely. It was a classic episode as the viewer quickly comes to the realization that Fred Flintstone was probably the worst example of a human being that they could have chosen and their plans were doomed from the beginning. We could learn a lot from animated cartoons if we would only listen. Unfortunately the Diamondbacks chose not to listen.
Leading up to tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves the Diamondbacks announced that it would be Eric Byrnes Look Alike night. There would be a contest prior to the game at Sliders on the plaza where fans could dress up like the quirky outfielder. The context of that dress was left up to the individual participants which is kind of scary if you think about it.
We got down to Chase Field early tonight. Curiosity was getting the best of me and I just had to see for myself what the result would be of a promotion like this. As I turned the corner of the plaza and went towards Sliders I passed little Byrnes disciples. They came in all sizes. There were tiny Byrneses who looked like a cross between an Oompa-Loompa and a Munchkin but with a dirty uniform. There were big Byrnes-ites and by big I don’t mean tall. There was one guy that looked like if he were a container he could hold all of the other Byrnes contestants inside of him. There were even a few girl Byrnes who seemed to be in the contest just so that they could meet Eric. It was like a Beatles concert as they started screaming every time a Byrnes look alike appeared on stage hoping it was the real Eric. All of the contestants had one thing in common, none of them seemed to own a comb. Out of the twenty or so applicants one definitely stood out. A teenage boy by the name of Eric O’Brien came wearing a full Diamondbacks uniform complete with two buttons undone at the top of his jersey, pants at his knees revealing Sedona Red socks, a backwards Diamondbacks hat, and sunglasses. I have to admit he closely resembled the left fielder. The contest judges must have agreed as he was proclaimed the winner. He was given tickets to the game and the opportunity to meet Eric Byrnes in person.
The seats he was given were a section over from us so we had a whole game to watch his antics. His mannerisms were similar to Byrnes which was pretty comical. When the players were warming up down on the field, Eric O’Brien with friend in tow went down to the wall. They called out to Chris Young who was heading for the dugout. Young looked over to see what looked like a young Eric Byrnes motioning to him. Chris did a double take and came over to the wall laughing at the sight of what looked like his teammate standing in the seats. Likewise closer Jose Valverde approached and had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t Byrnes. For the rest of the pregame and through the game itself we kept running into little Byrnes clones around the concourse and I couldn’t help but wonder how funny it would have been if all of them walked around the stadium saying “Yabba-dabba-doo”. All we needed with a couple of dinosaurs and a UFO and this episode would have been complete.