Dear CC: Please don't sign with the Yankees, 'cause our parole officer says one more felony and we're going away for a while. Love, Cleveland.
Our Dearest Carsten Charles,
We’ve been together for 12 years now, since you were too young to vote, and too skinny to be mistaken for Rueben Studdard. So we write this missive on the first day of Spring Training, as you begin what could be your last year in Cleveland. We wanted to send you a Valentine’s Day note, to tell you how much you mean to us, and to urge you not to be a greedy bastard.
You’ll have to excuse the sloppy handwriting and less-than-pristine stationery. These Rolling Rock labels are a bitch to write on. And if the stale candy hearts and unsalted peanuts in the accompanying sandwich bag don’t meet your standards for a special gift, please forgive us.
Yes, we are Cleveland. Our love is deep, but our offerings are meager. We had planned on also giving you our ‘94 Integra to prove how much you mean to us, but the young hooded fellow on East 93rd seemed to need it more. Why else would he have pistol-whipped us like that?
Suitors from New York, Boston, and Los Angeles are probably sending a barrage of rose bouquets, boxes of the world’s finest chocolates, and buses full of plus-sized models to your door daily. They think money means everything to you. But we know you better than that. You’re not a whore, are you, CC? You’re not a gold-digging slut like that Johan Santana, are you? What kinda parents name their kids Johan Santana anyways?
Just like we look past the mustard stains on your jersey, and the way you have a tendency to blow the most important starts of your life, we ask that you to forgive us too. Yes, our breath reeks of Winstons and industrial waste. And yes, we’re more likely to show up to watch Jake Westbrook throw 2 1/3 innings of 12-hit ball solely because it’s Dollar Dog Night than to watch you pitch on a perfect Sunday afternoon. But you can appreciate that, right? You love processed meats too, don’t you?
It’s Valentine’s Day, CC. We beg of you: Look deep into your heart. Remember what we have shared. New York might be a little skinnier. Boston might have a fatter bank account. And Los Angeles might have that perfect face. But heroin and bulimia make anyone look skinny. That bank account is subject to a pre-nup. And that perfectly tan and chiseled face? Get that sucker in a harsh Great Lakes wind, and it’ll chip right off.
But not us, CC. We’re real. Really goddamn poor, but real nonetheless.
Forever yours, unless you sign with the Yankees, in which case you might consider starting your car remotely for a while,