Thursday, October 9, 12:43 PM PST

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Win Nobel Prize in Physics

by Cappy Ahab,
NA!P NewsWire

STOCKHOLM -- On Tuesday, in the most dramatic showing in physics-awards history, the dark horse Tampa Bay Devil Rays stole Nobel's top prize in the field for their work in microwave studies.

At the awards ceremony, a somewhat stunned Lou Pinella, manager for the baseball team, accepted the award "on behalf of my team and for the continued advancement of physics."

In his speech, Pinella specifically credited the work of reserve 3rd baseman Jared Sandberg and back-up catcher Javier Valentin.

"Without those two guys, we'd a been sunk," Pinella said.

"It was them who thought to put the ballpark weenie in the dugout microwave in the first place. It wasn't until the sucker cracked in half that the rest of them realized the gravity of their horsing around. So, those two guys, really. Hats off."

When questioned about their contributions, Valentin and Sandberg shared another trait besides a sense of scientific adventure: Humility.

"I can't explain how I feel right now," said Valentin. "I think I ate something bad for me on the airplane flight over here."

Sandberg echoed the sentiment. "Swedish food doesn't agree with me, either. As far as this science award goes, I'm thrilled," he said.

"People kept asking us why our concentration has been so lousy during [baseball] games the last several years. I guess we were all thinking about that wiener."

When asked to elaborate on Sandburg's comments, Valentin explained, "You know, why it blew up like that."

Makoto Kobayashi, runner up in the voting for his work on CP Violation -- the theory which explains the relationship of matter and antimatter and the structure of the universe -- heaped praise on the victors.

"[Our team of scientists] just didn't bring our 'A' game this year. I think we bit off more than we could chew," Kobayashi stated.

"I mean, come on. The whole universe? It was an ambitious project, but, in results, it can't hold a candle to the hot-dog study."

Other scientists were less gracious.

Leaving before the traditional post-awards handshake, Russia's Andre Lind simply stated, "Those guys may know science, but a retirement home could probably produce a better pitching line-up."

Sentimental favorite Stephen Hawking, whose freewheeling black holes were once again league leaders in on-base percentage and committed the fewest number of errors, failed to produce in the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

The Nobel prizes, first awarded in 1901, were created in the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite who died in 1896. Dynamite and the Nobel Prize are the only two known contributions that Sweden has made to society.

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