Dear Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Oregon]:
I assume things have settled down a bit since my triumphant arrival in Eugene last week. I know you miss me, and the feeling is mutual, but be strong. I will be back soon. Perhaps mothers of Eugene finally feel it is safe to allow their children to leave the house now that Bads85 is far from the state of Oregon. Or maybe not. Perhaps the hobos grow bolder now that I have left. Whatever the case, please let everyone know that while I am physically far away, spiritually I am right there with the great city of Eugene.
You see, Allan, the most important thing I learned on my trip is that Eugene is a baseball city, not just a track town, a hippy commune, or a college mecca. Oh, it is all those, but is a baseball city. Every bar I went visited (and I visited many) had baseball on with patrons ardently watching. These people were willing to engage with a stranger like me in conversation (although, let’s be honest, I am very pleasing to the eyes). People wear baseball gear around town in their every day life. An established road warrior like myself recognizes immediately when he is in a baseball city, and the ice of my first Moscow Mule had yet to touch my lips when I realized I was home.
Have you ordered the Eugene: Baseball City shirts like I suggested last week? If not, I would strongly you suggest you put me on charge of the Emeralds’ marketing department. We need to start solidifying the Ems’ brand. Some dude in the Birkenstock store in Boise thought my Ems’ shirt was the logo of a MLS team. A woman at Capitol Reef National Park told me she was from Oregon and thought Squatch was the Hillsboro Hops mascot. To be fair, this woman had been in the sun for a while, and had probably started hitting the rum early on the trail. Still, the Ems’ logo should be something everyone in America recognizes. We need to be America’s plucky sweetheart. I can make that happen if you turn me loose. Eugene: Baseball City would be a great name for the reality television show, In fact, I am going to go ahead and begin informing other organizations that we are producing a show with this title.
Hey, did your staff tell you that I finally purchased an Ems’ uniform? Your team shop probably had a record night when I was there. Unfortunately, I did not realize my new uniform has a Cubs’ logo sewed onto that. Maybe we can rectify that next time I am in town, which might be Grateful Dead Night. Will there be special themed shirts available for purchase that night? When will you have a Lynyrd Skynyrd Night, complete with a tribute band? Maybe some taco trucks just because tacos are so great?
Did you hear your former organization, the Lake Elsinore is having a Rated R Night in conjunction with a Thirty Dollar All You Can Drink Night. I am sure that will end well, just the type of promotion that can save the season. I just might go to that because train wrecks are kind of my bag. I almost caused one at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City earlier this week.
You use, they have this kids’s train that goes back and forth across the outfield walkway, and the conductor is mad with power. I was there on a dollar hot dog, family night, which as you know, can quickly turn into a trip to the darkest corners of Hell. By the fifth inning, the line for the train had turned into some Lord of the Flies nonsense, and that line was right by the bar in left field. I reached the point where I needed an Icee for the vodka in my flask because those kids were not settling down anytime soon. Anyway, I did not intentionally step in front of the train, and the old hag driving the train completely overreacted with that tug on the steering wheel (and should certainly be drug tested). I doubt any wheels really came off the ground, so those little kids shrieking were just being dramatic because they do not get enough attention from their neglectful parents. The Icee was wonderful though — not the gunky type of Icee where the flavor gets unevenly sucked out of the ice like you get from a poorly maintained machine at 7-11. This Icee was the good stuff. The Ems’ new stadium need an Icee machine of this quality.
Anyway, I know you are a busy man who does not read most of my missives, so I will address the things I saw at PK Park with your minions so they can make adjustments on the fly and not have to bother you.
Your friend in baseball,