The Boston Red Sox have filed an official complaint against Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, accusing him of genie-related tampering to effect the team's unprecedented comeback this past season. Maddon admits to purchasing an ancient lamp in a St. Petersburg antiques shop but swears that he did so with no intention of actually finding a genie.
"I've been collecting Arabian-style lamps since I was in rookie ball," says Maddon. "No matter how many times I've rubbed 'em, no genie."
Until this past August, that is.
With his team slipping out of contention, Maddon was in the bathroom, polishing his lamp (not a euphemism), when the genie appeared, offering him three wishes. The baseball lifer didn't have to think long before wishing for a playoff spot for his team. Asked about the ethical ramifications, Maddon replied, "Show me in the rule book where it says anything about not using genies to reach the playoffs."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein counters that genie usage falls afoul of baseball's ban on controlled substances. "The genie is trapped in a lamp until somebody rubs it," says Epstein. "How much more controlled can a substance be?!?"
Boston's chances of prevailing seem slim. Indeed, baseball expert the fat guy at Wal-Mart doubts the Red Sox have much of a case. "Hey, if Barry Bonds got away with steroids for ten years, why shouldn't the Rays get to use a genie?"