Tom Verducci, I’d like to preface this by saying I’m a big fan. Huge fan, even. Considering you’ve racked up national sports writing awards like the Yankees have racked up championships, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Your writings have anointed you as one of the great caretakers of the game of baseball, and your first-hand take on what it’s like to participate in a Major League spring training or to umpire a spring training contest, are writings that enrich our enjoyment of America’s Pastime.
But I think someone needs to tell you (and I’d like you to sit down when you hear this) you are NOT a Toronto Blue Jay. Just because the last ever Canadian baseball team decided it would be a good idea get some easy publicity and let you roll around in the sand for five days doesn’t give you entry into the fraternity that is “The Show.” And I mean, seriously, how close can you get to some guys after knowing them for five days? Vernon Wells is not your homey. BJ Ryan was probably not going to be the first one to tell you that he’s hurt, despite the posturing of his team, and Doc Halladay is not your huckleberry.* Outside of proving to the world that baseball players are outstandingly good compared to the rest of the planet, the most notable thing you did, really, was listen to a lecture on why eating feces is bad, and most of us get those lectures at work all the time. I get them daily.
And now you’re playing in the Hall of Fame game? Josh Lyman in the West Wing (Brad Whitford’s character) had a terrific line, saying “There comes a time in every man’s life when he realizes he won’t be playing professional baseball.” That time in your life is now. You’re a lot like that weird guy in Happy Gilmore following around Shooter McGavin, a man would do anything to be closer to the sport. It’s beneath you, and it’s embarrassing. Journalist’s forays have often yielded disastrous, though hilarious, results, and before you know it, your wife is going to have the ass** because you’re spending all your time in the batting cages getting ready for your next “story”, in the utterly insane notion that some team, somewhere, will actually give you a shot. Madness, I tell you. The D-Rays might have been up to it once upon a time, but they’re actually somewhat respectable right now. The Brewers, despite their impending doom, also will not want you. Toronto has seen what you have to offer, and still no sale.
Keeping this up makes you the journalistic equivalent of Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. Uncle Rico was funny because he was a loser. You’re not yet a loser. However, you’re getting very, very close to being one, so consider this an intervention. You might have been a Toronto Blue Jay, but you’re not any longer. Channel your athletic drive into beer-league softball, or better yet, kicking the crap out of Boston sports writers for an afternoon. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can return to you fantastic writing. It’s not quite the show, but you’re still part of the game.
*Because you need to know where this is from:
**and this too.