I am livid.
Recently, the Rays and Yankees have had sort of a feud because one of our guys came in hard to home plate in an attempt to make the catcher drop the ball (a completely normal and very exciting play in baseball, I might add). Well, long story short, the catcher broke his wrist and now Yankee nation (and only Yankee nation) has been whining about it for a week. You can see the story here.
Today, the Yankees retaliated by hitting our top prospect with a pitch and then sending a man to slide into second with his foot aimed directly at Aki’s balls. This did not sit well with Jonny Gomes, who is known to be absolutely insane, and a brawl started. The Rays won the game. Story here.
Well, I am angry. So angry, in fact, that I’m sending the Yankees a letter regarding my anger. We shall see if I get a response (I wouldn’t count on it):
Dear New York Yankees,
I’m writing today to address an issue that has recently come about between your Major League Franchise and my hometown team, the Tampa Bay Rays.
Recently, there has been much hubbub regarding a recent play at the plate involving Elliot Johnson and your now-injured catcher Francisco Cervelli. It escalated into a difference of opinion, with your beloved Joe Girardi saying that you should not play so hard in spring training and the rest of the world disagreeing with him. I guess it’s just a difference of opinion: one man says spring training is to get players in tune for the real season (because, you know, Francisco Cervelli is obviously an odds-on favorite to be the catcher for the New York Yankees on opening day), and another man says that spring training is a grounds upon which players can prove their worth to the organization and hope for a spot on the big-league club (I might point out that with Rocco Baldelli’s newfound illness, Mr. Johnson’s chances of joining the club have increased heftily).
If, as Mr. Girardi suggests, the proper spring training etiquette is to play spring training games with one’s starters in the beginning five innings of a game and just roll over and play some ill-conceived version of cricket for the remainder of the game, I move that the New York Yankees should reduce their ticket prices by 4/9. It’s only fair.
But then, I would rather violate a porcupine than subject myself to a stadium full of Yankees fans.
However, this is not the point I wish to write about today.
No, you can consider this letter a formal complaint about the actions of the spring training contest between these two teams that took place today, March 12, 2008. I will specifically list my grievances as follows:
1. The obvious attempt of Mr. Shelley Duncan (who, might I add, has an adorable name) to severely injure or otherwise hurt Mr. Akinori Iwamura while sliding into second base was classless and completely unnecessary. Outfielder Jonny Gomes retaliated, thus inciting a “brawl” on the field. (I use this term lightly because, frankly, baseball fights are outrageously relaxed. I say we should give them all knives or something and see who the stronger team is. I’ll give you a hint: it’s probably you guys – steroids, you know.)
2. It is crystal clear that this was a premeditated affront to Mr. Iwamura’s testicles. Fearing a brawl or possible suspension, Mr. Girardi did not have New York’s star players in the lineup. No Rodriguez, no Jeter, no Damon. What a pleasant coincidence that they didn’t make the trip to St. Petersburg!
3. Interestingly enough, pitcher Andy Pettite was scratched shortly before the game. And wouldn’t you know it – Evan Longoria was hit by a Heath Phillips pitch in the first inning. Curious, wouldn’t you say?
There you have it. As a personal note, my least favorite baseball team for a good while has been the Red Sox. Thanks to Mr. Duncan and Mr. Girardi, the Bronx Bombers have now taken that place in my heart. So, congratulations! I know how fond your organization is of being number one.
I hope you actually got to this point in my letter. I respectfully request that I be mailed with correspondence noting that someone has actually read this letter. An apology on behalf of your organization would be nice, as well. I don’t expect either, though; a classless organization such as yours should not be held to such rigorous standards of decency.
Heck, you can have Hank call me if you want. My phone is always on.
Thank you for your time, and please remember that while I severely dislike your team (and by association your fans, your players, your employees, and your city), they are welcome to Tropicana Field at any time. I love watching the Yankees lose.
Casey A. Peterson
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