Pirates name A.J. Burnett Opening Day starter, kicking off elaborate April Fool's Day prank

USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have, unsurprisingly, named A.J. Burnett their Opening Day starter when they kick off their season April 1 against the Cubs.

This would appear to be a routine decision on Clint Hurdle's part. But what Burnett doesn't know is that this is all a setup for an elaborate prank in which the Bucs will actually fly to San Diego and begin their 2013 season on the road. Burnett, busy studying video of the Cubs' hitters, will miss the plane. Ha ha!

But what the Pirates don't know is that the Padres are actually playing an elaborate joke on the city of San Diego in which they abruptly fly to Nevada, take up residence in the Triple-A ballpark Cashman Field, and rename themselves the Las Vegas Strippers. Ha ha! "Strippers," get it? It's, like, a double-entendre!

The Padres Strippers will then, sadly, realize that the joke is on them, and that the city of San Diego does not care, and the city of Las Vegas cares even less, and that the number of people who will buy "Strippers" jerseys, either for sincere or ironic reasons, is limited. The Pirates, tragically, will not play on Opening Day, but that isn't part of the joke. The Padres will simply forget to tell them. And A.J. Burnett, sitting at home in Pittsburgh, will feel pretty good about himself after all.

Anyway, just kidding, y'all! Burnett will start Opening Day. Someone named "Wendy Rodriguez" will start the next game. And then the rest of the Five Guys in the rotation will be, like, James McDonald's, and Burger King Karstens, and ... actually, my notes just say "Arby's." I'm not sure who that is.

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