Drug Giant Replaces Ambien with Major League Baseball

A more natural way to sleep.

Sanofi, the manufacturer of the leading prescription sleep aid Ambien, has decided to deprecate its Ambien line of drugs in favor of Major League Baseball.

According to a Sanofi spokesperson, market research shows that consumers, increasingly leery of potentially addictive drugs, are turning to natural remedies for their medical problems.

"Baseball? Right in our wheelhouse! American as apple pie, just makes you a whole lot sleepier,” a Sanofi source told End of the Bench.

Commissioner Rob Manfred closed the Sanofi deal on behalf of MLB, claiming the blockbuster deal will be the answer to baseball's demographic woes.

"We're dying here. 52% of sports fans follow the NFL, compared to 42% for the NBA and 31% for us. And we're striking out with the 16–25 demographic - we've only got 25%,” Manfred said. “We had to do something radical to avoid ending up as the Oakland As of professional sports.”

Manfred elaborated on the struggles the league has seen this season in attracting new fans.

"It would have been ugly if we ended up bottom-feeding with MLS. I mean, we tried to get Messi, but he can't hit a curveball. And we don't want to drop into the basement with the NHL,” he said. “We're not in the right swim lane to attract viewership by having players beat the crap out of each other. Speaking of swim lanes, I couldn't work it with Michael Phelps either, turns out the dude waddles like a duck."

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Sanofi will immediately begin phasing out Ambien and working with doctors and pharmacies to switch consumers to MLB. Insurance companies will pay the nearest MLB team a 30% share of each prescription. With revenue sharing, snooze inducers like the Kansas City Royals will share revenue with teams like the Braves and Astros, whose fans have a reason to stay awake through the seventh inning.

Manfred said the league would have to walk back some of the recent rules changes to make the game exciting, but not all of them.

"We're keeping the pitch clock. Pitchers have to eat up forty-two seconds between pitches by toeing the rubber, staring at the catcher like he's a moron for calling another inside sinker, and huddling with the infielders to talk about wedding gifts, “Manfred said. “Like they did in Bull Durham. Ya' know, 'Candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or a silverware pattern.' That kind of stuff."

Other rule changes are now sitting on the bench, according to Manfred.

"No more shift restrictions. If you want to put all nine fielders plus your trainer and third base coach between first and second base for a lefty hitter, knock yourself out. Those bigger bases? History. We're using cornhole beanbags. If you want to steal a base, bring a posse.”

In addition, Manfred said the MLB is also now "all in" on senior citizens. 

"These folks love old-fashioned baseball, how it used to be played. A lot of them don't even know Ted Williams retired,” he said. “And they're the ones who toss and turn because they wake up nine times to pee. Throw a game on and it's a good night, Irene."

As far as the 16–25 demographic goes, Manfred said, "We're patient. Eventually, they'll get Jokic and Giannis out of their system and hit enlarged prostates and Medicare. That's our swim lane, so suck it up, Adam Silver."

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