Dear Papi

I hear you are coming off the bench tomorrow. Now, I am no MD. I’m no psychiatrist – just a fan with your best interests at heart. I realize I probably shouldn’t be diagnosing you without at least a phone consultation, but it’s not my fault – blame Tito. He won’t respond to my letters, emails or Tweets. I think he is avoiding me …

But four days does not seem like an adequate amount of time to heal a brain injury. Let’s be adults about this David. Admit it. You’re broken. Your mind is twisted. You’re crying all the time. You aren’t eating. Face it Papi – you’re in a dark place and you’re afraid.

I worry that you’re pushing yourself too hard. What if you come back and go another 0:7? What if you strand another 12 runners on the bags? I am concerned about how you will react. What if you go off the deep end and start finger-painting Papi Sucks with your eye black? This is Boston. Imagine what the papers will print. And the pressure’s only going to get worse now that Beantown has nothing else to distract it from baseball season since both the B’s and C’s are out of the playoffs. All eyes are on you.

So I’m stepping in for a second.

Now I am not going to sit you down and recap all the clutch walk offs you have given us over the years. I’m not going to show you the tapes and call you Mr. October. I am not going to read newspaper excerpts touting your batting prowess or review ESPN’s top play of the game highlights to make you feel special. No. I wouldn’t do that to you David. It makes me feel a little cheap just thinking about it.

But I am going to break it down for you real simply though: Papi, my nana thinks you need a new job.

David, what I am telling you is that my nana – a lifelong BoSox fan and your biggest supporter, (she even wears your T-shirt while watching games on TV), – thinks your goose is cooked. She wants you to go coach Little League for awhile and remember why you love the game. She says you need to start having fun again. Look at Dustin and Jason. See how much fun they’re having? You should try it. They want you to come play with them. Really. Everybody does.

During your last game WRKO announcer Dave O’Brien said, “Baseball is a game of ultimate redemption,” as your approached the plate. Seconds later you promptly grounded to first and left the bases loaded. For the second time.

So tomorrow night when you’re stepping into the box, forget about the fact that everyone – including my Nana – is expecting you to fail. Forget about all the home runs from years past. Forget about your anorexic 2008 and 09 stats. And think only about fun it will be to prove everybody wrong. We’re waiting.



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