Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Welcome, Mark Teixeira!

Mr. Teixeira,

It has come to our attention that, after signing an 8-year, $180 million contract in January, you've decided to join the New York Yankees. Fantastic news, sir! It was with substantial joy that we received word of your two home runs in last night's game against our rivals, the Boston Red Sox. For your first official game, it must be considered a tremendous accomplishment. As you know, we've experienced some difficulty defeating this particular opponent in recent years. They seem to have a knack for bringing out our worst qualities. Yes, we possess weaknesses; who, indeed, does not? But this ingracious exposure in the harsh light of our oldest foe is a continual embarrassment.

Have you ever been in love, Mr. Teixeira? Has it ever been unrequited? Have you ever had the object of your love prove herself hellbent on reducing your person to a lowest common denominator? Has she nurtured your least godly qualities? Have you caught yourself committing desperate acts that seem entirely out of character, and are, in hindsight, aptly described as lunatic and extreme?

Perhaps you have, perhaps you have not. We're well aware that ballplayers do not undergo the same romantic strife, typically, that befalls the majority. But if you can follow the analogy, you might surmise the dynamic which has lately sprung forth. No, we do not "love" the Boston Red Sox, per se. We are not infatuated, or at least not in a pining, juvenile sense. And yet, like a scorned romantic, we unravel in their presence. All our piddling, forgivable flaws, so well-concealed and irrelevant in lesser company, become exacerbated, swollen goiters.

Must I enumerate? Very well: we cannot hit with runners on base. Our starting pitchers walk batter after batter. Our bullpen implodes. Our manager is driven to wild accusations or misguided decisions. Injuries befall us; Jorge Posada may be gone, Mr. Teixeira! Do you understand the gravity of that statement? Do you understand what it's like to play a full season with Benjie Molina in your every-day line-up? My God, sir! My God!

And so it was with great distress that we witnessed a man bearing your name begin the season hitting like an effete ignoramus. 'A slow starter,' they told us. Ha! If one more halfwit regales us with this "slow starter" business, we will surely resort to violence. A ballplayer has no business with languorous beginnings, Mr. Teixeira. Our check, dutifully writ, has been received and cashed, and it is pure insolence for the beneficiary to tell us that his product is 'in the mail.' Nonsense and malarky! The only fit end for such an equivocator is the gallows or the guillotine!

It was our good fortune, then, that we understood an essential truth: the gentleman batting below .200 was not the same who had partaken of our coffers to the hearty tune of $180 million, but rather some cursed impostor. The 'real McCoy,' so fervently needed in this leaking Yankee vessel, would arrive in due haste from the foreign clime in which he had lately been detained. We trusted this reality, and now, like the grandiose fulfillment of a prophecy, you appear.

Enough with formalities and circumlocution, Mr. Teixeira. I dispense with the royal 'we' and address you man to man: you are the sine qua non. A Latin formulation, that, meaning 'without which, not.' In the baseball equation I have penned, you are a prerequisite. With your absence, the Yankees are doomed, damned, devastated and derailed. My own employment becomes a porous dinghy on a storm-tossed sea. Your skipper, the much-maligned Joseph Girardi (did you know that giardia is the scientific name of a bowel infection, commonly called 'beaver fever,' that results in fatigue, malaise, and vomiting?), is thrown to blood-crazed sharks.

You have been a severe disappointment. If last night was an omen of renaissance, for heaven's sake, let it linger and spark! Your fool of a teammate returns in mere days, and if you twain can swing loaded bats, it endows us with a modicum of hope. You must be aware, after the events of November, that hope is the fiber on which a nation feeds. Become a buoy for our clinging arms.

We are paying you great sums, sir: no more digressions. I remain yours,

Brian Cashman, General Manager, New York Yankees

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