(A Farce in One Act Featuring the Yankee Repertory Players)
Time: Thursday evening, Aug. 4, 1983.
Scene: Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, home of the Blue Jay and the herring gull (larus argentatus). Waiting for their accustomed postgame feast of half-eaten hot dogs, gulls from nearby Lake Ontario (line from the official Blue Jay song, "Is it a fly ball or is it a sea gull...?") perch in the stands, frequently descending onto the field. Completing his between-innings warmup tosses, Yankee Outfielder Dave Winfield throws a ball toward the bullpen that hits a gull on the field. The bird falls dead. As Winfield holds cap over heart in mock solemnity, catcalls are heard from the stands. Dissolve to a series of fadeouts.
TORONTO CONSTABLE (at local station house after the game): You're under arrest, David Mark Winfield, under Section 4.02, Subsection 1A, of the Criminal Code of Canada, for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Maximum penalty: six months in jail, $500 fine. Bail is hereby set at $500.
WINFIELD: Believe me, this wasn't intentional.
BLUE JAY FAN (on the phone to the Toronto Star): I saw him point at the bird before throwing the ball. That's right, just like the Babe's called shot before that home run in Chicago.
YANKEE MANAGER BILLY MARTIN: If they think Winfield did it on purpose, they should see the throws he's made. This was the first time all year he's hit the cutoff man.
YANKEE THIRD BASEMAN GRAIG NETTLES: It's not like he killed a Blue Jay. It was a gate-crashing sea gull.
NEW YORK SUBWAY RIDER (reading aloud to a companion, in suitably hysterical voice, from a newspaper editorial): Listen to what the Daily News says, will you? "...They had some nerve charging Dave Winfield with cruelty to animals in a country where baby seals are clubbed to death—and with baseball bats!"
COMPANION: Hey, that's pretty heavy stuff.
ANONYMOUS TORONTO FAN: This whole thing makes our city look silly.