Dear Mr. Torre,
While I'm sure that we all admire and respect the Hall of Fame career of Ernie Banks, and fondly remember his enthusiastic remark, "Let's play two!", I think it's important to keep our perspective on this time honored sentiment. Baseball Reference's listing for Mr. Banks informs us that:
"Even though Ernie was voted to the All-Century Team as a shortstop, he actually played more games at first base."
First base is a position that demands less wear and tear on a player. A shortstop playing two games in a day takes more of a beating than a first baseman. (Thanks for the effort Jeter.) It stands to reason that a first baseman also takes much less abuse than a pitcher, who is involved in every play. Pitchers perform their craft by violently whipping their arm back to front, or top to bottom, creating a projectile out of a leather ball. Are you still with me Mr. Torre?
Due to this extremely unnatural and exhausting act, many pitchers take several days off between events. It kind of blows the whole "Let's play two" thing out of the water, but then again it is kind of an old saying, like "Don't take any wooden nickels." Have you ever SEEN a wooden nickel, Joe? Don't answer that.
You've been blessed with some of the best "hurlers" money can buy, and some of them can even pitch several days in a row. Mazeltov! Huzzah! The thing is, throwing a leather ball at people 20-30 times in the span of 30 minutes or less is tough work. You might need a good night's rest and a whiskey to take the edge off. It requires you to warm up a bit, stretch yourself out, and achieve a supreme level of focus and concentration to do it well. Asking a man to do it twice in a day is a little much.
So, with all due respect to the legendary "Mr. Cub", next time we play two, let the first baseman soak it all in, and give the pitchers a rest. They deserve it.
Canyon of Heroes
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Dear Mr. Torre,