Dear Colorado Rockies,
Let me start by saying that you broke my heart. I am, however, prepared to forgive you. That's kind of something you had to learn growing up in Colorado in the late '80s and early '90s. Watching John Elway, who you love like he's a member of your own family, getting his butt kicked in three Super Bowls in four years, you learn to deal with heartbreak and you learn to forgive. Here's the thing, though: I'm only currently going so far as to be prepared to forgive you. You guys have to meet me halfway.
Look, it was a great season by any measure, far greater than anyone could possibly have expected or predicted back in April. Very few people in Colorado thought you'd even be a serious player in the Wild Card chase, let alone win the damn thing. If anyone says they thought you'd even win a round in the playoffs back in April, much less win the NL pennant, they're lying like a no-legged dog. But you proved everyone wrong and made it all the way to the World Series. Sure, you played like the goddamn Bad News Bears once you got there, but getting there was a worthy achievement all by itself.
After all, it's not like you're the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers, much less the New York Yankees or the Boston...well, we'll get to Boston (see below). You had the 5th-lowest total payroll in Major League Baseball this year. You made the series with a roster full of former Asheville Tourists, Modesto Nuts and Tulsa Drillers. That's awesome. In the era where the Hired Gun is king in baseball and we're all essentially rooting for laundry, a roster full of homegrown talent like Helton, Holliday, Tulo and Francis is the cat's pajamas, man.
I probably don't really have any right to be unhappy with your performance in the World Series. You got some bad breaks and you're at an inherent disadvantage because you're representing a league that still plays real baseball instead of 10-man pussyball. But I'm unhappy nonetheless, because I really believed you could do it, and not only did you not do it, you failed to do it in truly spectacular fashion, making all the asshole Sox fans who laughed about you being a bunch of no-names who got where you were based on nothing more than dumb luck appear to be right.
But, like I said, I can forgive this heartbreak. Here's how: If you, as an organization from the top down, don't for a nanosecond think that you've now got some laurels you can rest on. If you go out there next season and play like the team that scrapped and fought to get into the playoffs, like the team that won 21 of 22 and swept through the National League playoffs. If you don't think, "Well, we won one pennant, which is more than anyone ever expected of us, that's enough to coast on for a few more years." If the owners and the GM do what it takes to keep that awesome homegrown talent around.
That's the key - pony up the dough, Monforts. Make those guys happy, O'Dowd. I don't think I can hang in there if, in a few years, I have to watch the Rockies returning to perennial Cellar Dweller status and see Holliday playing for Boston, Francis on the mound at Shea Stadium and Tulo in Yankee pinstripes. Do what it takes to keep these guys, do what it takes to stay in contention for the playoffs every season, play like you want to win for yourselves and for all those fans whose loyalties you've reawakened this fall. Don't return to being a team that's content to sell 25,000 tickets to each game and just enough merchandise to keep your Dugout Stores afloat.
Do that, and I'm yours forever. Well, I'm always going to be a fan. But doing that will go a long ways towards putting this World Series debacle out of my mind.
Dear Team Formerly Known as the Boston Red Sox,
I've been a fan of yours for quite a few years now. It is with some small measure of regret, therefore, that I must inform you that we're through. I can no longer in good conscience support you.
Oh, I suppose I'll always have fond memories of the times we've had together...watching Pedro Martinez come in, injured, and pitch five perfect innings against the Cleveland Indians in the '99 Division Series. Pounding on the bar at Old Chicago in front of the idiot Yankee fan bartender during the '99 ALCS and chanting, "Where is Roger?" (thump, thump, thump-thump-thump) "In the shower!" after you ran Clemens out of Game 3. Watching your amazing comeback in the '04 ALCS against the Yankees. Good times, good times.
But it's gotta end. Why? Well, because you've become everything you once stood against. You've gone from that loveable, charming underdog, the American League's perennial hard-luck losers, to just another Big Moneyball team, winning because you can afford to pay more than anyone else. You're not the Red Sox anymore, Boston team. Who are you? You're just Yankees North.
Congratulations, Yankees North. You had the best team money could buy this year. I hope you're proud of yourselves. Over the next few years, you'll no doubt buy yourself a few more championships, and the people in New England will love you as the rest of the country continues to despise you more and more. You'll attract ever greater numbers of bandwagon fans and celebrity hangers-on. Hey, you've already got Dane Cook, and he's one of the most annoying human beings on the planet...so that's pretty good, right?
People from all over the country will continue picking Yankees North as their favorite team, not because of any genuine love but because everyone loves a winner, and you'll sell Yankees North hats and t-shirts by the metric asston. But me? I'm done with you.
It's not just you and your new status as Yankees North. Mostly, but not entirely. I've come to realize that I generally dislike American League baseball overall, with its sissy 10-man rule and the over-emphasis on caveman-like bashing of the ball, where essentially useless "players" like Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz can be superstars even though they can barely play in the field, just because they can hit a ton. I'll probably throw some half-hearted support at the Oakland A's...though it's going to be tough in a couple of years to even care all that much about the Fremont A's or the San Jose A's or whatever the hell they're going to become.
Anyway, this isn't really about the DH or the A's and whatever south-easterly Bay Area community will eventually become their home. This is about how you've lost yourself more than one fan for good, Yankees North. I know it won't really matter to you, but that's what I'm feeling, and I had to get it off my chest.
Dear Colorado Rockies,