This is not a typical sports blog article.
At first I was just going to discuss the Angels' catching situation. Then I realized that it couldn't be discussed with a straight face. I mean, we passed the point of absurdity long ago. What's left to say about Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli that hasn't already been said better on this site in mocking allegory?
So I wrote a childrens' story instead. Read it to your kids. If you don't have any kids, then go find some and read it to them. It's a heart-warming tale with a valuable moral lesson. It's fun and sincere and educational. It will teach them about baseball. It will teach them grammar and vocabulary. But most importantly, it will teach them that life isn't fair.
I actually wrote most of this last week, before last weekend's waiver wire freak-out. Now it's kind of creepy looking back at it. Is it satire or prophecy?
Anyways, I'm done writing about Angels catchers after this. But the dying horse just needed one more flogging. Horse-flogging after the jump.
Mike Napoli and the Father Who Wouldn't Love Him
A Story for Children Ages 6-8, By S. Optimal
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblances to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, or because I think it's hilarious.
All the children in the Anytown Little League wanted to play for Big Mike. Everyone thought he was the best coach. His team team played in the advanced league, and they always played well and won many games. He always said nice things about his players. He was the best coach.
Big Mike had two sons. Jeff was the big brother. He was tall and nimble. People said very nice things about him ever since he was very small. Everyone thought he would be a good baseball player. He wanted to play catcher, just like his dad Big Mike.
Little Mike was the younger brother. The other children called him Mikey. He was short and squatty. People didn't say as many nice things about him when he was very small. They were too busy saying nice things about his big brother Jeff. Mikey also wanted to play catcher, just like his dad and big brother.
When Jeff and Mikey were too small to play in the advanced league, they had to play in the junior league. Everyone thought Jeff was better than Mikey. He looked like a good catcher. He was taller and faster than the other children. He looked good in a uniform. Big Mike called his older son "premium." Mikey always wondered what "premium" meant.
Little Mike did not look like a good baseball player. He was shorter and slower than the other children. So Mikey worked hard to be a good hitter. He got very at picking the right pitch to hit. He could hit the ball very far because he was very strong. He was a good hitter. He was not very good at being a catcher, but he was much better at hitting than all the other catchers.
Big Mike paid a lot of attention to Jeff. Jeff played catch with his dad a lot. But Jeff was not as good at hitting as Mikey. Jeff was not good at hitting at all. Big Mike took time away from coaching the advanced league to help Jeff. People still said nice things about Jeff. They said he was "developing." Mikey always wondered what "developing" meant.
Big Mike did not pay very much attention to Little Mike. Little Mike wanted his dad to notice how good he was at hitting. He tried very hard to make his dad notice. But Mikey was always disappointed when Big Mike wanted to play catch with Jeff and not him. Sometimes it made Mikey so sad he wanted to cry.
"Why don't you ever play catch with me?" Mikey would say. "You always play with Jeff."
"Because your brother is an athlete," Big Mike told his son. "He has natural athleticism."
"But I'm a good hitter!" Mikey would shout as he held back his tears. "I work so hard at it because I want to make you happy!"
"Jeff is going to be a star one day," Big Mike would always say. "He's premium."
"Daddy, what does 'premium' mean?"
"Don't talk back to me. Now go to your room." Mikey didn't want his dad to see him cry, so he waited until he was alone and then he just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
Jeff got to play in the advanced league before Mikey. He was very bad. But Big Mike wanted his son to be a star. He let him play even though he was very bad at baseball.
Mr. Arthur ran the advanced league. Big Mike had to do what he said. Mr. Arthur said that Jeff was very bad at baseball. He had to go back to the junior league. That mad Big Mike angry, but he had to do what Mr. Arthur said.
Little Mike took his brother's place on the team. He was very excited. He was glad to have a chance to show his dad how good he was at hitting. He was good at hitting. He hit lots of home runs. He hit home runs more often than anyone else on the team.
But Big Mike was not pleased with his son. He told Mikey his batting average was too low. He told Mikey he struck out too much. Mikey said he made up for with walks and home runs. But Big Mike told his son he was "clogging the bases." Mikey always wondered what "clogging the bases" meant.
Big Mike was upset that Little Mike was taking attention away from Jeff. But Mr. Arthuer made Big Mike keep Little Mike in the advanced league. Jeff had to stay in the junior league until he got better. He didn't get better. He was bad at baseball. But Big Mike had a plan.
The other catcher on the team was named Joey. One day, Big Mike told Joey that the next game would be at a different field. Joey's mom drove him to the wrong game. Jeff got to play because Joey didn't show up on time. When Joey finally got to the right game, Big Mike told him he couldn't play anymore because he was late. Joey cried and cried, but Big Mike said he had to play for someone else now. Joey had to join the team full of bullies. Everyone hated that team.
Big Mike was pleased to see Jeff get to play in the advanced league again. He was bad at baseball, but everyone still thought he was going to be a star. Little Mike was sad. He wanted to please his dad, but his dad only paid attention to Jeff. Big Mike stayed late after every game to play catch with Jeff. Mikey would put his glove on and stand on the grass, waiting for Big Mike to throw him the ball. But he never did.
One day, Mikey got hurt very badly. He had to go to the hospital for awhile. When he came back, he found that Jeff had moved into his room. All his rock music posters were gone. All his heavy metal albums were gone. Instead, the room looked like a barn. Jeff played country music on the stereo. It was really loud.
Mikey went to find his dad. "What's Jeff doing in my room?" he said. He was very mad.
"It's his room now," Big Mike said. "I gave it to him."
"Where do I get to sleep?" Mikey asked.
"On the couch in the basement," Big Mike said.
"But Jeff already has a room. It's not fair!"
"He needs your room to practice in. He's going to be a big star one day."
"You let Jeff have everything!" Mikey shouted. It was hard to keep from crying. "You play catch with him and you practice hitting with him and you buy him stuff to exercise with. You never buy me anything."
"Don't be ungrateful. I let you play on the team even though you clog the bases. But because you talk back to me, I'm going to let Jeff play more than you. He is very premium."
"But I'm a good hitter! I'm better than Jeff!"
"Your brother is struggling. But he'll make the adjustment. He's going to be a big star one day."
"Daddy, what does 'make the adjustment' mean?"
"Don't talk back to me again! Now go to your room. I have to help Jeff with his footwork."
"But daddy, I don't have a room any more!"
"I told you not to talk back to me again! Now you're grounded."
Mikey ran to the couch in the basement and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.