Late Monday afternoon, while I was feverishly refreshing my Twitter timeline hunting for Cubs trade info, my regular stream of sports news and views was rudely interrupted. The official MLB feed, usually reserved for game highlights, injury updates and giveaways, posted this:
"@MLB Nicole '@Snooki' Polizzi ready to take her swings for @Mets at Citi Field"
Attached to the tweet was a photo of the pregnant, pint-sized, pumpkin-hued star of MTV's "Jersey Shore" -- bat over one shoulder, cleavage proudly displayed, lips pursed in a "Duckface" that would make YouTube balladeers proud. (Google it.)
I watched a few episodes of "Jersey Shore" when it debuted, but I stopped for fear I might somehow, through the television, contract a disease from their swimsuit-optional hot tub.
I don't know much about the show and its band of merry meatheads and drunken dingbats, but I know enough to recognize that Snooki and Major League Baseball are strange bedmates. I needed to get to the bottom of this tweet.
A quick Google search revealed the diminutive diva and her fiancé, Jionni LaValle, were at the ballpark to film segments for an upcoming original program set to debut in August on MLB.com. If I had missed it on Twitter, SportsCenter also highlighted the reality star's appearance at the Mets game.
Why in the name of all that is good and right in the world would baseball team up with any of the "Jersey Shore" cast? Even if the show is about famous sports fans, I would expect higher standards from the league. Why not Ben Affleck and his Red Sox, Jay-Z and his Yankees, or Bill Murray and his beloved Cubs?
The answer is, of course, "buzz." And nobody knows good buzz like Snooki. Well, buzz be damned. Even though I'll admit to watching and liking some reality TV (don't judge), I don't want to mix my beloved sports and my trashy TV.
Reality shows are what I put on when I just wanna shut off the ol' noggin and veg. I'll catch up on the "Real Housewives' " latest petty drama or pick my favorite looks on "Project Runway," all while simultaneously reading a magazine, painting my nails or checking emails. Trashy TV is a distraction from thinking and working; sports are sacred.
If we let Snooki into our sports, who knows what will come next?
I don't want to see chef Gordon Ramsay screaming at his underlings while hosting a "Hell's Kitchen"-themed pregame tailgate show, and I shudder at the thought of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" Melissa Gorga singing the national anthem before a Devils game.
No one needs to see the kids from "Dance Moms" do a special routine at halftime of a Lakers game, and we all lose if the winner of "The Biggest Loser" talks about his "game plan for keeping the weight off" with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden in the booth during "Monday Night Football."
Sports are the first -- and still the best -- reality show. There are plenty of dramatic moments and crazy characters without adding an inexplicably famous D-lister best known for peeing on the floor of a club and making 150G an episode to make bad decisions.
So while I can't blame you for capitalizing on the cultural phenomenon that is "Jersey Shore," I beg of you, MLB, from here on out, please keep my baseball Snooki-free.