The idea of the open letter brims with comic potential. In the hands of a talented artist, a series of silly slash satirical open letters could bring the house down. But alas our budgets have been eviscerated and most of the writing staff are retraining for exciting careers as avuncular butchers or crazed ornithologists. Thus the following.
Dear Mr. Palmeiro:
Although you don't know me from the proverbial Adam 'Pacman' Jones, and I don't know you and know nothing of your current circumstances or frame of mind, nevertheless we have to write letters to celebrities for my pilates ceritification program and when I saw the list they gave us to pick from, you were the best left-handed bat available at a price that won't explode my salary cap or lock me into heavy long-term financial commitments that could tamp down the sale price when we eventually look to unload this mess of a franchise on the next deserving sucker.
So Rafael Palmeiro, former Cubs and Rangers slugger, how are you? We're all good lately, not much new around here. "We" being my dog Deb, my cats Pooches and Scoundrel, my wives Percival and LaHelen, Percival's ocelot Dangles and our lovely children Beatrice (11), Vortex (9), and the as yet unnamed third one (Lord Leopold Plumtree, 6).
You sure made a lot of money during your playing days, more I would imagine than any reasonable person could spend in a lifetime and I have no doubt you are a reasonable man. So how you living today man? Send me some photos of your house (I bet you have a pool – am I right?). Where do you live anyway? What do you do all day when you don’t really have to work? Or do you? Are you an announcer or a coach or something? Or did you start a bar and grill? Fill me in, I'd love to hear all about it.
Most open letters try to call someone out or correct some injustice or something so you may think I'm going to lay some trip on you about that whole controversy over – oh never mind, I come not to rag but merely to communicate, human to human and missive to missive, plus as I mentioned it's a requirement for my pilates certificate and it has to be at least 400 words so I'm gonna crank out one more paragraph before I wrap this thing up.
I enjoyed watching you hit the baseball for the Chicago Cubs back in the day. Lee Smith was good too, and Keith Moreland, did you play with those guys, I forget…? Have you seen them lately? If so tell Lee Smith he had a great fastball, and tell Keith to answer my telegrams, it's been like three months and nothing, not so much as a Stop telexing me every morning or I'll send over some goons forthwith. And of course the inimitable Harry Caray, you're also associated with him in my mind, which is awesome, what a guy, and I mean all of you.
The courtesy of a reply is hereby requested.
Yours Sincerely, etc. etc.
Coming soon (or maybe never): Open Letter to People With Open Marriages and/or Open Wounds