Doubleheaders? How About Three a Week!

Dear Ralph,

I’m excited to enter the 2010 season with you as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ new manager, and I’m confident that with me in the front office and you on the field guiding the team to victory after victory, we can turn around the Pirates’ recent history and give the fans a summer to get really excited about! I look forward to sitting down with you all day Monday and reviewing your season strategy. First, a few points to get us thinking about what it’ll take to produce a winner this year:

1) I talked to a guy in a bar last month who said there’s an obscure rule that says if a player throws his mitt at a runner and it hits him above the knees, he’s out. We need to take a look at the potential of this, and if it does turn out to be true, we have to keep it as quiet as possible and pick just the right moment to spring this play on our competition---do we go with it from opening day or wait till a key spot later in the season? And should we be buying lighter, rounder mitts before everyone else snatches them up?

2) This is definitely the year I want to finally identify the chubby guy in the moustache who sits at the very end of the bench a lot. Nobody seems to know who he is or what he does, but he’s got a uniform and occasionally he appears to mutter something. Been there for years. Coach? Trainer? Any insights?

3) We keep forgetting Orgo’s birthday. Orgo is the guy on the groundskeeping crew who seems like he’s about seventy but he’s only maybe forty. He must smoke like three packs a day. But I feel bad because we keep forgetting his birthday. It’s usually around President’s Day weekend so it’s a weird one. That's why.

4) Tell me it wouldn’t be awesome if we had something I call Game Seven night---one night in September when we’ve been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, we put up all kinds of decorations in the stands and we paint the field and we have a million TV cameras and we say that some game against the Astros or someone is our game seven of the World Series, and we ask the fans if they’ll pack the place and pretend the Series really is on the line and to cheer like crazy. We can even have a big celebrity throw out the first pitch, maybe that funny Jewish weather guy from KDKA.

So that’s it for now. Get some sleep, get your cap fitted just right, and I’ll see you in Altoona! (Yeah, our spring training’s in Altoona now, just for a little while, as a cost-cutting measure. Remind me to show you the awesome coupons I have for the local barbecued chicken place...yumzers.)

General Manager Tom!