By Bob Eckstein
Dear Mr. Meat Loaf,
We at Major League Baseball are big fans of your body of work and appreciate how much you have done for this great sport. But now baseball needs your help. As you know, or maybe you don’t, this year’s fall classic did horrible in the ratings and was the least viewed World Series ever, losing out to even reruns of The Big Bang Theory. Long story short, baseball has a problem and we over here have been searching for answers.
We realize now it had nothing to do with what cities were playing but that today’s kids didn’t even know it was baseball season. While spitballing on how to get their attention, it hit us that since they’re all just glued to their iPads and Xboxes, the way to reach them would be through song, and sequentially, a video game based on the song. We propose you re-release your classic hit, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” in which you cleverly integrate baseball as a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of young love. Of course many of us here remember our dads using your song to teach us about the birds and the bees as kids. So thank you for that.
We would finance such a project as we need you to update the lyrics to match today’s mores. To facilitate this, we already hired a research team who has provided us with the following data as to what is now considered getting to first, second and third base with the ultimate intention of going home. Please read this carefully as this is crucial to relating to today’s generation.
First Base: Kissing comes much later now. Long after rounding second base. Actually, kissing someone’s face is now not even a base. First base means receiving what is called a sext. Doesn’t even have to be from someone you know. Women can now get to first base, too, by sending or receiving these sexts. It would be great if you could work in something about rounding the bases being not just for men.
Second Base: This is getting a selfie with some degree of nudity. The research team came up with a few words that rhyme with selfie; healthy, wealthy and lefty, if that helps any.
Third Base: This is still when things are getting hot and heavy in your relationship but now means you are ready to agree to an actual time and place to meet face-to-face. After dating for maybe months already, it’s now time to see what you each look like aside from your favorite picture on Facebook or Instagram. Due to everyone’s busy schedule, getting to third base is harder today than it was in the old days. We suggest you change the setting of your song from a car to something like a mall or Applebee’s. We’ll have the sponsor pay for the spot.
Fourth Base: Today’s kids have no idea how many bases there are in baseball, and like iPhone upgrades, the number of bases is always changing. At this moment, fourth base means any physical contact, but only if it’s on video on a mobile device or security camera. Also, it doesn’t have to be sex. It can be horseplay in a park or elevator, or anything as long as you’re both in the same frame getting physical and as long as it’s recorded. This way, with electronic documentation, whether or not your buddies are lying about it, getting to fourth base is never in question.
Home Plate: You need to fix this part. Nowadays scoring requires waivers and proper consent. No offense, but the original “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is a litigation nightmare and not the image we at MLB want to project as a progressive organization. If you’re going to sing about lust and passion in a parking lot and insist on including baseball, then you must discuss safe sex. We actually could have sued you over that, since you were without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. Let’s put that behind us. Going forward, let’s record something that will make Legal happy. You’re the songwriter, do it any way you want — but work in marriage or prenups or just something in writing.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. You will not only be saving baseball but teaching countless misguided adult singles and divorcees as to what the dating landscape is out there – it will go a long way to getting everyone on the same page. One last note; Of course we will need to recast Phil Rizzuto’s part in the song (kids never heard of him). That said, we have a soft agreement with Ryan Seacrest to perform on the remake.
The Owners of Major League Baseball
Bob Eckstein’s latest book is the bestseller, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores.