To the Xtreme!

Is the Cardinals' brand of baseball not bold enough for you? Have you ever jumped up from the table in the middle of getting another barbed-wire tattoo around your neck to scream at the TV, "That double play was not extreme enough for my gonzo sensibilities"? Do you wish to see both teams -- pitchers included -- batting and fielding at the same time on a totally wicked double diamond? Do you dream of watching men run the bases in the wrong direction like human comets with asses afire? How 'bout some glow-in-the-dark team logos blazing on those uniforms? Snap into a SlimJim! And say hello to the National Extreme Baseball Association, Broseph.

We don't understand it ourselves. But we don't understand quantum physics either, and a burrito was just successfully microwaved in the break room. So either we're witches or we're willing to suspend comprehension in the face of delicious miracles.

The same blind eye will be cast on more baseball.

Right now the league is just two teams, and they're both located in Florida. But according to the league's Web site, plans are in the works for "20 to 30 teams" by 2008.

And, oh yes, St. Louis is on that list of expansion cities. Exchange a rockin' headbutt with your new team's name: The St. Louis Xmen.

(That "ding" you just heard was the sound of the idea bell going off in the sports-marketing department at KMOX. Or it might have been another burrito in the microwave.)

Before you get a big-ol' Wolverine tattooed on your back, please note that the Web site also has a crawler that reads, "Team names/city subject to change." Which might not be a bad idea, given that Tampa Bay is potentially home to the "Black Sox." Yeah, that's a scandal that needed reviving.

Anyway, if all goes according to plan -- and judging by the way the pitcher in that YouTube clip fielded that catcher's toss, there are no guarantees in Xtreme Baseball -- the Xmen could be making you proud in a stadium (or sandlot) sometime in the near future. Somebody with deep pockets and an excess of moxie just needs to step up and buy a team (looks plaintively at Dave Checketts with puppy-dog eyes and whimpers expectantly). Lest those pesky MLB lawyers get any ideas, the NXBL notes that league founder Phil Weidner "respects traditional baseball full heartily [sic] with the intent to compliment [sic] traditional baseball and not to compete with it."

Duly noted, Phil -- though Marvel Comics' lawyers might not be so easily swayed. And they have mutant healing powers.

-Paul Friswold

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