I Introduce Myself to the New Assistant GM

Dear Daniel Vazquez {Assistant General Manager; Inland Empire 66ers]:

Welcome to the Inland Empire 66ers’ family, a gang of reprobates that would make the customers of the cantina in Mos Eisley flee through the back door,.Old Ben Kenobi never made it to The Dino. I am not sure if you know what you got yourself into, but San Bernardino is a savage place where dreams die in the womb if they are even lucky enough to be conceived. There are only two types of minor league executives in the California League: the upwardly mobile survivors and those who carcasses appear years later in a culvert along CA-99, the agricultural highway that stretches from Wheeler’s Ridge to the grave of Tom Joad. Luckily, you have me as a tour guide, even though we have not been properly introduced at this point.

You are probably wondering just who the hell I am, so let’s just say for now I am kind of a big deal: a local legend who has the support of the working class and the upper crust elite. I am also really fun at parties, which is why Joe Hudson [General Manager; Inland Empire 66ers] recently named me the official Thursday Thursday Ambassador and presented me with business cards to help me spread my baseball gospels. When I am not sharing oral traditions at San Manuel Stadium, I travel from minor league town to town, creating new adventures along the way. Some men curse the broken world they can never mend; others like me embrace the spirit of a smoke jumper in the devil’s arcade.

But enough talk about me since you will get to know me very well in the upcoming months. I am reaching out to you to ensure your transition to the California League is smooth. You are a long way from Nelson W. Wolf Stadium in San Antonio. This is the city where The Clash literally disintegrated on stage, never to play together again. Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eyer in a car wreck, and Bongwater lost his virginity the the back seat of a Camaro at the base of the dark side of Little Mountain. Bongwater earned his nickname at San Manuel Stadium when he passed a flask of bongwater down the aisle instead of bourbon We do not have to sneak flasks into the stadium anymore now that GM Joe made booze possible at the park. All hail GM Joe!

Still, this is the place where unpopular bobblehead become bludgeoning devices by the fourth inning in the hands of characters named Bacon Hag, Hetchy Sketchy, Shackles, and Carl. The Shaky Daveys wrestle with the G Street Hobos for the possession of the city’s soul every night, and true love has not been around these parts since 1997. A tree might not grow in Brooklyn, but it will in San Bernardino because wild fires need fuel, man.

Since you come from the organization that created Henry the Puffy Taco, your first task this offseason should be to infuse some life into the 66ers beloved mascot, Bernie, who quite frankly has been living off his laurels for about three seasons. Once upon Bernie shot his predecessor dead from the first base dugout because there was only room for one outlaw in town at that time, but these days, Bernie has grown soft, trading in his Harley for a Vespa. He cannot even shake his lame corporate sidekick, Slick, who is the poster boy for why old white people should not be in charge of mascot design. 

Your second task should be to convince GM Joe to slash beer and liquor prices for season at San Manuel Stadium, The unwashed masses can pay full price, but the season ticket holders should be rewarded for their loyalty, especially since the team has not been close to the playoffs since 2014. Daniel, this team makes its fans turn to the bottle just to get through the third inning. 

Maybe you also can start a charity for some of the season ticket holders to get on a dental plan also because there are some bad teeth running round the concourse. 

I am going to have to let you go — I am still recovering from the Arizona Fall League championship weekend. Flags fly forever and all, but livers only pass once.

Your friend in baseball, 


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