Letter to Andruw


Pat Corrales used to manage the Indians.
Does anyone run as fast as Wendell Kim?
Slow, quick steps. Manage third so well.
Nose, ear, belt, wipe, waist, knuckle, squat, twirl.
Take, steal, hit, run, bunt. Sacrifice.
Phil Nevin was on the Olympic team.
A sweaty hat belongs on the head of a reliever.
Salt stains a sign of seniority.
Zimmerman should learn from Wetteland.

Here’s how you work the run down:
Step, slide, out of the base path.
Show that ball!
I’ve got the ball right here, you dirty baserunner.
I’m running you back to where you came from.
Pump, fake, toggle, twitch. Jest?
Bluff, bluff, bluff.
I call.
You call? You ain’t got nothin’.
Watch this. Step, back. Cleats dig, catch.
The third base coach can’t help you now.
Not even Sid Bream sliding into home or Orlando Cabrera
finding a hole is going to make up for your blunder
back and forth. Going somewhere. Going nowhere.
It’s like a physics lecture.
What’s the difference between displacement and distance?
A rundown gives a lot of one, but very little of the other.
You can run
and run
and run back the other way.
But whaddya get ‘cept a bucket without any rain in it?

He holds the ball up; it is bright and it shines down upon you.
Is it whiter than the shortstop’s eyes?
Don’t turn back til you see them.
The infield is like a rotating door.
Step in, Mr. Second Base. Step out, Third.
Now come the pitcher and the backstop.
Here comes the first baseman!!
Batting gloves hang from his back pocket.
Eye black under his eyes pick up bits of dust kicked up
by your own futile spikes.

You are surfing.
Knees bent, arms out straight.
How long is your wingspan?
Someone measure it quick. You need a new suit anyway.
For the job interviews you’ll have next week.
Cause you’re about to be fired.
You’re a professional pinch-runner.
Who can’t run the goddamn bases.
You just got picked off second.

If the last out of the game was sleeping,
caught in the glove of the centerfielder,
you would be it.
And my mother taught me…


If you were caught in a painting, what would you do?
Let’s say that one day you woke up and you were
trapped inside Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
The pitchfork painting with the two old people.
Spectacles and hair pulled back in a bun.
Yes that one.
What if you woke up, looked out
your plate glass window and saw
those old fogies sitting in the front yard
with that same blank look in their faces.
Like their joint-bank-account ATM card just got eaten by the machine.
Would you search for the border between canvas and reality?
Where would that border be?
And what if you broke through?
Where would you end up?

What museum houses that painting?
Would you get thrown out of the museum?
Would you get fined for destroying the painting?
Would those two folksters lose that look in their eyes?
The one that they had when they backed over their dog
in the driveway?


Up, up, down, down, B,A, select…
Start. Yes. Thirty lives.
I rule.
That’s the secret to the world.
We just don’t know it yet.
Wait til the aliens come.
I’ll explain it someday.
Til then.
Don’t swing too low to the ground.
Remain on a sturdy branch.
Stay away from brown bananas.
And remember:
I’m the guy who backs into your driveway only to turn around.
I get you all excited because you think someone’s stopped by.
But them I’m gone.


If you lost your credit cards and you had only
sixty fuckin bucks
what would you do?
This is how I’ve spent my money:
Well, I can’t remember exactly, but I spent the last ten bucks on Lo Mein and Hunan chicken.
If you ever find yourself wandering,
just ask yourself:
If I had sixty bucks, what would I spend it on?
Girlfriend? Parents? Booze?
A book? A cheap thrill? A monkey suit?
Flippers? Bed sheets? Toenail clippers?
Triple A batteries? Phone service?
A frisbee? A paper? A cab?
A key chain? A rabbit’s foot?

Chinese food. I went with that
because I was hungry and I figure
I get free rice, too.


How much can you wait until you’re the guy who’s dressed in the business
suit and then one day you get home from work and your kids are on the Slip
‘n’ Slide. And then you go on it too. In your business suit!!! I can’t
wait. Fuck the pieces of grass that stick to me. Fuck my leather shoes. I
don’t care if I break my glasses or un-mousse my hair. My pants then bust
at the zipper and I can’t find my Blackberry anywhere. The Bossman’s on my
ass and he’s hydrophobic to boot. Fuck him, though. I don’t care about my stock portfolio and/or the three-piece bedroom set.


How great of a life is it when there is still LIVE baseball on at 1:08 am.
Andruw Jones. I’m older than you. Only Joe Nuxhall was younger. But you didn’t throw no no-hitter. You didn’t get no A in Orgo. But you just hit a three
run dong and I wish I could run along.

Side! And sit gun in your g-ride.
We’d go home
to blue Curacao.
And the Latin ladies would love us…

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