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What if Corey Kluber actually IS a robot?

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A whimsical joke, but what about the ramifications of the Indians employing an actual automaton?

Notice the distinct lack of emotion while embracing a friendly humanoid.
Notice the distinct lack of emotion while embracing a friendly humanoid.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A fun little joke with the Cleveland Indians is that their ace, Corey Kluber, is a robot. It likely comes from his seeming lack of emotion, his mechanical brilliance, and a bit of fact he emerged seemingly from nowhere. You could just say he went from average to brilliant because of a software update on a prototype, something like that. It’s just silly fun,though, and the ace of the Indians is just a pitcher.

But what if he isn’t? I don’t think anyone has actually stopped and thought about the ramifications of this possibility. What if, somehow, the Cleveland Indians have built a robot, and Corey Kluber is, in fact, a mechanical man?

First of all, it would explain the lack of money seen on the field. If the Indians are actually spending money on research and development of automatons that can mimic humanity so closely, it stands to reason they don’t have much to blow on free agency. If anything, it’s rather generous of them to lay out all this money for normal human players like Carlos Carrasco and Jason Kipnis. Robots aren’t cheap, after all, and even if he’s remote controlled, the naturalness of Kluber is so believable. Plus that means there’d be another Kluber type coming down the development line, which just means more emotionless bat murder. As much as I love high tension and amazement in my baseball, emotionless bat murder is just as appealing.

But there’s a dark side. If we’re to believe that the Indians are creating robots designed to throw baseballs at a very high velocity, does this also mean they’re adhering to Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics? For those not in the know, they are as follows:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Basically, these three laws hamstring robots, who by their design would be able to decimate the human race through strength and superior intellect, from being anything more than servants. However, Corey Kluber has 30 hit-by-pitches in his career. By its nature, the HBP harms a human. This tells us one of two things -- either the Indians are not coding in the Three Laws to their robots, thus endangering the entirety of the human race, or else the design of this robot is so poor that it just injures humans simply by accident. The first possibility ends in essentially a Terminator-style end times, where unbeatable hordes of robot men roll over the planet hurling pellets at hapless humans, the second in someone finding out when Kluber inevitably explodes on the mound. That would be a bad look for the Indians. Neither is positive for Tribe fans. The first one is just not a good thing.

The other possibility is he’s remote-controlled. But f that’s the case, what are we even doing? We might as well watch League of Legends or some other e-sport. It would mean the possibility of a job for someone who’s great at MLB The Show, which I volunteer for, but it tears the reason we watch from the game.

There’s another more sinister, more dreadful path this all could be headed, one I almost hesitate to even consider. In the insane British TV show Dr. Who, one of the villains are Cybermen, which are basically human brains in big metal bodies whose brains have been reset to only want to make everyone else Cybermen. Kind of like a more homicidal Robocop. Could it be the Indians have cracked the code, and can reprogram humans to be baseball playing Cybermen?

What I’m saying is, Kluber might be flesh and blood, at least partially, but the Indians front office took a decent young pitcher who no one had ever really considered and would likely never miss, a man with no track record of note, and quite literally stripped the humanity from him. They made him essentially a robot, just with the blood and ligaments of a human so as to not tip anyone off. If this doesn’t horrify you, I don’t know what to tell you. What would be next, obliterating Francisco Lindor’s humanity and radiant joviality? Then we all lose. And just look at Jose Ramirez, who is a man forged of iron. Even as his helmet flies off when he runs madly around the bases, there is an absence of joy to it. He’s so mechanical and soulless. This is what we can expect from our players if this plan comes to fruition.

I have long thought the richer teams of baseball have quietly been plowing money into cloning processes. My theory is that is where Mike Trout came from -- a rough clone of Mickey Mantle that escaped from the Yankees cloning and conditioning facility. It explains why he garners so many comparisons to Mantle, albeit only hitting from one side of the plate, and anyway what kind of baseball player comes from New Jersey? A man of Trout’s might had to be grown in a lab. But even tube-grown men of flesh and blood are one thing. Genetic engineering and secretly blending DNA to breed baseball supermen is expensive, though. And robots don’t need to eat, so it makes perfect sense for the Tribe to be doing this.

This robot menace could change the face of baseball. At what point are we just rooting for the better programmer, the better engineer? At what point are we accidentally writing the first chapter in a book titled "The End of Humanity: A Robot In The Big City"? You might call it baseless fear-mongering. I call it pragmatism.

Keep an eye on Corey Kluber, be wary of all you see. Keep an eye on Corey Kluber, be wary of all you see.