There was much hype earlier this month when OpenAI released its AI chatbot to the general public. Answers from AI systems can quickly get weird, so I took the advice of posing queries with added detail. What better way to put it to the test than to ask it some questions about a former Kansas City Royals pitcher?
Describe Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery in the style of a wistful old baseball fan
Ah, Jeff Montgomery. Let me tell you about him, son. He was a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals back in the day, and boy, was he something special. I remember watching him on those hot summer nights at Kauffman Stadium, and seeing him close out games was a thing of beauty. He had a fiery determination and an unbreakable will that made him a fan favorite. And that delivery of his! It was smooth and effortless, like he was just playing catch with an old friend. He had a deceptive motion that would leave hitters flailing at his pitches, and he was never afraid to challenge the best of them. I was lucky enough to see him earn three All-Star selections and rack up a franchise-record 304 saves, but it wasn't just the numbers that made him great. It was the way he carried himself on and off the field, always with a smile and a kind word for everyone. Ah, those were the days. Jeff Montgomery may not be a household name anymore, but to those of us who were there, he'll always be one of the greats.
So that was the computer generated response to the prompt. How is it at comedy?
Describe Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery in the style of comedian Mitch Hedburg
You know, Jeff Montgomery, that Kansas City Royals pitcher, he's got a fastball that's like a cannon, man. It's wild! And when he strikes out the batter, it's like a cherry on top of a banana split, only sweeter. He's a relief pitcher, but he relieves the bases, not the fans. That's what I'm talkin' about, folks. That guy, he's got a mean slider, man. It's slippery, like a greased up eel. And when he gets into the zone, he's like a superhero in a baseball cap. He's the closer, but he closes the deal, not the bank. Now that's comedy, right there.
All right, maybe we’re not quite ready for this.
So how would I describe Jeff Montgomery’s impact? For starters, he is the all-time saves leader for the Royals. Not only that, he owns the mark for lowest number of hits per nine innings of any Kansas City pitcher.
Those are solid, but somewhat boring stats. Let’s get something more interesting. Jeff Montgomery has accomplished some truly rare pitching feats. On April 29, 1990 he threw an immaculate inning against the Texas Rangers, striking out the side on nine consecutive pitches. This has taken place just over 100 times in the history of Major League Baseball, making the accomplishment about 7 times rarer than a triple play despite having a much, much larger universe of potential instances where this could happen. Amazingly he is one of nine pitchers in the 1993 Finest set to have thrown one.
Of the nine pitchers with immaculate innings in ’93 Finest, Montgomery is one of three to have also put together a perfect game. David Cone and Randy Johnson did it the normal, official-scorebook approved way by retiring all 27 batters faced in a regular baseball game. He did it one piece at a time, retiring 32 consecutive batters without allowing a baserunner across a stretch of relief appearances.
Jeff Montgomery’s 1993 Finest card could have easily been part of the All-Star subset. He was on both the 1992 and 1993 American League rosters.