Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kukulcan Tlacolotl, the only current Mayan player in Major League Baseball, touched off a panic throughout the game and across the globe today when he rejected a multi-year contract extension that would pay him through the 2012 season and into 2013.
"I just don't see the point," said Kukulcan.
The young Mayan has become a fan favorite in Pittsburgh since joining the team, due to his production on the mound, big smile and proclivity to sacrifice a steer on the field after a win.
"We are trying to build this team around our young, successful players," said Pirates general manager Neil Huntington. "We had hoped Kukulcan would be part of that group moving forward. Also, we had hoped the world wouldn't end on December 21, 2012. Looks like we're screwed on both accounts."
Kukulcan's decision has led to a flurry of trade activity, as teams that believe they are contenders look to add talent and win before the world ends after the 2012 season, as predicted by the Mayan calendar.
But the pitcher's Mayan agent, Gucumatz Cu, said his client's rejection of Pittsburgh's contract extension has nothing to do with the end of the world.
"A lot of GMs think we are backwards and not modern just because we're from an ancient civilization," he said. "But nothing could be farther from the truth. We rejected their contract offer simply because it was below market value. And if we are disrespected in this way again, I will cut off Neil Huntington's head and throw it into a volcano."