sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 21, 2008


pardon the direct appeal
posted by soe 2:45 am

Dear Mets,

I can’t be at the game every night for the rest of the season cheering you to victory. I know it helped on Thursday, but it’s expensive to travel to Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.

So, please get your acts together.

I offer in my absence some helpful advice:

Fielders, watch the ball into your glove. Use two hands. It’s not necessary to fall over to catch a ball, nor is it necessary to jump, nor to dive, nor to catch it behind your head. Yes, occasionally these actions are called for, but they have far more impressive power when used infrequently and are pulled out of the bag of tricks only in rare instances. Don’t get flustered if it takes you longer than you want to pick up the ball. We’d rather keep the runner from advancing than to throw away the ball and give them extra bases wrapped up in pretty paper.

Pitchers, take a deep breath and just throw the ball. Don’t overthink it. Don’t try to finesse it or place it. Trust that the players surrounding you are going to do their job and don’t be afraid to actually throw over the plate (although if you could limit what’s thrown in the sweet spot, we wouldn’t object). Do NOT and I repeat do NOT intentionally walk people; I don’t care who’s up to bat next, it will just end in disappointment.

Batters, don’t swing at things near your chin or at your toes. Keep your eyes on the ball. If you think it’s a ball, you should be watching it into the catcher’s mitt. Keep the weight on your back foot, and try not to get these ridiculously wide stances — they just limit your ability to pivot and put power behind your bat. Don’t bunt it back to the pitcher. Know when a walk is as good as a hit. You don’t need to hit it out of the park; a line drive up the middle on the ground is really where it’s at. Also, don’t forget, as one MLB player did in a YouTube video I recently saw, that the strike zone extends from your knees to the letters on your jersey. I don’t want to see anyone grumbling because an umpire opted to enforce the upper portion of the strike zone. RUN IT OUT.

Runners, listen to your base coaches. Watch where the ball is going. Don’t slide into first. And if you get picked off first base, don’t come crying to me for sympathy.

Everyone, keep your heads in the game. Cheer on your fellow players. Offer an encouraging word to someone who’s down and accept those that your teammates give to you. Stretch before the game. Ice afterwards. Apply tape and heat wraps liberally and feel free to get a massage if you think it will help.

Know that I’m here for you. If I could afford it, I’d be there for you. If it would help, I’d be happy to come sit on the bench and remind you of these helpful hints in person.

Best wishes over the next eight games.

Truly,

sprite

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