"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Saturday, April 23, 2005

An Open Letter to Jason Bartlett

Hi, Jason. How's it going?

Listen, we need to talk. Remember that game on Thursday, when you got two hits and made that sweet play? Remember? That was wonderful. Not that you haven't been fielding, don't get me wrong. That glove of yours is just brilliant, so much better than anyone expected.

But the hitting...well, the hitting's kind of been, and please don't take this the wrong way, sucky. Just lately. The last two weeks. Do you remember the last time, before Thursday, that you got two hits in a game? No, I didn't either. It was April 13th, but I had to look that up on CBS Sportsline, and that's kind of sad, because it was a really special day for us. Do you remember why it was a special day? Yes, that's when I decided you were going to be my favorite position player now that Corey Koskie, who I gave five years of my life to, is now a Blue Jay. I make this season-changing decision, and you stop hitting. Where's the love?

So now I'm thinking maybe I wasn't really clear with you, because you've obviously been under some gawdawful pressure that can't be explained away by "scouting reports". So let me lay it all out on the table for you, and you can shake this off and go back to winning that RoY, 'kay?

See, Jason, I don't expect you to replace Corey. You're not a thirty-one-year-old Canadian third baseman with a mighty swing and godlike fielding ability being held together by duct tape and prayer. And that's okay. I don't want you to be. I want you to be a good-fielding, good-hitting healthy young American shortstop whose pants and socks meet at the knees, just as they ought.

Besides, Juan Rincón isn't just my favorite pitcher, when Corey left he got promoted to favorite player. All you have to do hold down the position-player end of things, and keep Juan company on road trips. He gets lonely. But you don't see him going out there and walking everybody now that he's on the top of my list, do you? No, you don't. Juan knows I don't expect perfection, even from my very favorite player in the whole world, much less from a sweet little rookie like you.

So take a deep breath, Jason. It's all going to be fine. See, I'm the loyal sort. If I wasn't, do you really think I would have stuck with Corey through the last two seasons when he'd go on the DL if you looked at him wrong? I already put your rookie card into my double holder next to Juan's, and that's as good as a signed contract. I am going to stick with you through thick and thin, and all I ask is that you go out there, do your best, and keep those socks up.

Are we clear? Good.

Best wishes,
TBL

P.S. The occasional Web Gem wouldn't hurt, either.

2 rejoinders:

bubblemint sounded off...

It's all about the socks. ;-)

Third Base Line sounded off...

Yes. Yes, it is.