Is Baseball To Blame For The Pathetic State Of Pie Throwing?

So some dope interrupted the Murdoch family's stammering and mumbling today by "throwing a pie" at Rupert Murdoch, which actually meant waving a styrofoam plate in Murdoch's direction as some sort of foam slid off it, till Mrs. Rupert Murdoch jumped up and clobbered the "pie" guy.

Back in 1998, when Bill Gates got hit by a pie, it was variously reported to have been a "cream pie" or a "custard pie," and Gates said through a spokesperson that the pie "wasn't that tasty" — suggesting that it was, at least, an actual, edible pie.

The decline from a real pie to a lazily produced plate of foam should be familiar to baseball fans. Over the past decade, the baseball "pie" has stopped resembling a pie at all, till players are content to celebrate victories by smacking the hero of the game in the face with a towel full of shaving cream.

It's been an uneven process of devolution. John Kruk, in an 2004 interview about foamy-towel-wielding prankster Tomas Perez, told the Allentown Morning Call that the Phillies of the 1990s used aluminum pie tins filled with shaving cream. ("They hurt," Kruk said.) But the food pie survived in Cleveland as late as 2007, when Trot Nixon reportedly welcomed Kenny Lofton back to the team with "a strawberry pie in the face."

As of last year, though, Cleveland is settling for towel pies. The Akron Beacon Journal wrote:

Not since 2007, when Trot Nixon was slamming teammates in the face during postgame television interviews, has this dignified method of honoring players been part of the Indians' culture.

But after the Tribe's 3-2 comeback win over the Texas Rangers Thursday afternoon, Jensen Lewis sneaked up behind winning pitcher and interviewee David Huff and delivered a bull's-eye to the face with a shaving cream covered towel.

Foamy towels also greeted the Braves' Jason Heyward's first home run and the Orioles' Jake Arrieta's first win. A.J. Burnett reportedly keeps whipped cream in the Yankees clubhouse to spray into towels. The press, for the most part, keeps dutifully calling Burnett a "pie thrower." Why not abandon the farce and just start glitter-bombing each other, already?