The fourth qualifier for the MLB and Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest features entrants from the National League Central. In our largest qualifying heat, we have Tony LaRussa representing the St. Louis Cardinals. We have the Pirate Parrot representing the Pittsburgh Pirates. Craig Counsell is the entrant from the Milwaukee Brewers. Rounding out the field we have Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs and Jeff Fulchino of the Houston Astros. Mike Leake was the Cincinnati Reds entrant as part of his community service, but was nowhere to be seen. We were informed he hadn't checked in with his probation officer earlier in the day. We just hope he wasn't at a J.C. Penny.
It was quite a sight seeing the contestants lined up at the table. Tony LaRussa was at one end wearing his sunglasses. The Pirate Parrot was at the far and and was waving to the crowd. Jeff Fulchino was in the middle and looked like a giant standing next to Craig Counsell.
The contestants were told to start eating and the ten minute gorgefest began. Jeff Fulchino double fisted two dogs into his mouth at once and within the first thirty seconds, he had downed four. Tony LaRussa picked up his first dog and studied it. He examined it from all angles. He finally took a his first bite nearly a minute in. Carlos Marmol started munching away, but was nothing compared to Craig Counsell's Joey Chestnut imitation as he started downing the dogs.
The big surprise was the Pirate Parrot. One by one, hot dogs disappeared into the hole in his mouth. One went in after another. The first plate of twenty hot dogs and buns disappeared within the first minute. A second was placed in front of him and they were completely gone by minute number two. A third plate was gone by the third minute. The Parrot was downing them at world record pace. The bird was seemingly a black hole.
After downing sixty dogs in three minutes, the Parrot stopped and began playing to the crowd. Sensing imminent victory, the Parrot stopped eating. It danced around the other contestants and starting waggling its Pirate booty the way only a sports mascot can.
In the meantime, the other contestants continued eating. Tony LaRussa was working on only his second dog by the halfway point, seeming to savor every bite like a fine wine. Carlos Marmol was proving to be nowhere up to the task with only four. The battle for second place was between the men in the middle - Fulchino had slowed, but was working on number eleven. Counsell had pulled ahead of Fulchino and was on number thirteen.
By the eight minute mark, the battle for second was all but won. The big man hit the wall and was on fourteen, was chewing very slowly and was holding his stomach. Counsell was on dog number seventeen. When time was called, he had downed two more and finished with nineteen.
The Pirate Parrot was dancing around, pointing to himself and wildly celebrating in his dominant victory over the rest of the field. The Parrot had tripled the second place Counsell and got right in his face, silently making fun of him. Craig Counsell had a big grin on his face and began shaking the Parrot's leg. Hot dogs started tumbling out of the bottom of the costume, all uneaten. The Pirate Parrot was proven a cheater and was disqualified.
Craig Counsell was declared the winner.
Here are the official results of qualifier number four:
1) Craig Counsell - 19 hot dogs
2) Jeff Fulchino - 15 hot dogs
3) Carlos Marmol - 6 hot dogs
4) Tony LaRussa - 3 hot dogs
5) The Pirate Parrot - disqualified
Mike Leake - probation violation.
See you on the fourth, Craig!