Letters To Mo: Garcia, Beltran, And The World Baseball Classic
Dear John Mozeliak,
Hey Johnny baby! I hope you’re having a great time down in Nashville right now! I’m sure you’re working diligently while holed up in some swanky Opryland hotel room surrounded by banks of stat-crunching computers and multiple cell phones. Don’t forget to have some fun while you’re there, though! Maybe pull out a fine, cream-colored cowboy hat from one of the many hat boxes scattered with your luggage, put on a sharp blue Yves Saint Laurent suit matched with a muted yellow and beige Bulgari tie, and hit the town! See things and be seen, I always say!
I hate to trouble you during this busy time of year, when your every waking moment involves lying to the press or distracting rabid fans and other general managers with misleading information. However, I heard a little rumor that bothered me, so I wanted to directly address you about it.
Earlier today the team told reporters that Carlos Beltran and Jaime Garcia would be participating in the World Baseball Classic in early March. You, know, right before the beginning of the regular season, otherwise known as THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY MATTERS IN BASEBALL.
I hope you’re not offended when I say this idea seems REALLY FUCKING DUMB. I’m not sure how you remember the second half of the 2012 season, but, if memory serves me, Carlos Beltran looked like a very graceful 85 YEAR-OLD MAN down the stretch. Remind me again – didn’t Beltran hit .236 in the second-half and drop more than 100 points off of his slugging after the All Star break? And I might be wrong, but I seem to remember Beltran receiving repeated injections of cortisone to make his knees work properly during the postseason.
Now, I love Carlos as much as you do, John. Maybe more. He has a smile that will light up a room. But you’re paying this 36 year-old man with cartilage-free knees $13 million next year to gracefully fumble around in right field and hit the baseball very, very often. Wouldn’t it be wise to not tire him out with long hours of additional baseball in poorer conditions?
And don’t even get me started on Jaime Garcia! Isn’t this the guy that can only pitch at home when his pillow is a consistent 71.5 degrees and the clouds in the sky resemble characters from The Lion King? That alone should probably earn him a place on the Looney Bin All Stars rather than the WBC, but then we have the whole BROKEN ARM thing to consider.
I cannot imagine the dark magic you invoked to make the tendon in Jaime’s left elbow repair itself. Did you sacrifice Skip Schumaker to the demons working in the training room? Makes sense – I haven’t seen Skip around in quite a while. Whatever you did, I’m sure you have the utmost confidence that Jaime’s elbow is now suddenly ready to pitch 289 innings (counting the WBC and the inevitable playoff run).
I, however, have less confidence than you do. Call me a pessimist, but I have this irrational idea that tendons do not reorganize themselves into functioning muscles without eventual surgical intervention. Sure, that kind of thing happens all the time in the Mummy films, but I do believe they use CG to achieve that, John. I wouldn’t count on it happening in real life simply because Dr. Paletta prescribed 4-6 weeks of whirlpool baths for Jaime’s torn elbow ligament.
Garcia spent most of the 2012 season pouting and grooming his meticulous facial hair while the team struggled for traction in the pennant race. Then he sat on his ass while the Cardinal medical staff waved chicken parts over his elbow in some sort of misguided voodoo ritual. He didn’t throw a baseball for months. When he did, he seemed okay – for the moment.
Are you really going to send these two fragile players, so important to the outcome of a potentially-great 2013 team, to a useless exhibition series in a third-world nation and risk their health or longevity?
Even your precious baseball algorithms should be able to tell you that allowing either of these players to waste any of their available strength at the World Baseball Classic is a STUPID IDEA. Surely a man as smartly dressed as you can see the folly of such a course.
Anyway, I’m glad we had this chat. Have a great time in Nashville! Bring me back a Minnie Pearl hat, or maybe find me a Dolly Parton blow-up doll.