Thanks for your service to the Twins, and to Major League Baseball, for more than two decades! Us Twins fans can't wait to see you hit #600 this year, and we thank you for all the great memories during your tenure in Minnesota. I know, though, that you're contemplating retirement after this season, and it comes as no surprise given that, at age 41, the human body can no longer do what it could at age 20. You have had a fantastic career, and no doubt are a future Hall of Famer.
If you do indeed decide to retire after this season, I have a job opportunity I want to talk to you about. No, it's not in broadcasting, though I bet you have some great stories and insight. And no, it's not working for MLB in some sort of ambassador capacity, though I bet you would be a great fit in that role. This is a real job. You would work for the judicial branch in my state so that you could play on my work softball team.
Interested? I thought so.
Let me tell you about the team and league. First, we only play 7 regular season games, and there is only 1 game per week, so the stress on your back/knees/legs won't be that bad. But do be prepared to bat often; I had 8 plate appearances in last week's game and accumulated approximately 20 total bases. Second, there are no called strikes or strikeouts. Let me repeat: you cannot strike out. You can stand up there and wait for your perfect pitch all day if you want. I know, you're thinking that this is a dream scenario, right? But the corollary of this is that there are no balls called, either, so you're going to have to earn your way on base, Jim. No free passes in this league. Third, when we have more than 10 players, you can DH. If we're short that week, though, we expect you to field a position. Maybe you can just stand behind the plate and "catch." Just grab one of Michael Cuddyer's 15 different position gloves on your way out of town; he won't notice.
Now, there are a few details to get out of the way. You probably noticed that I described this proposition as a "job opportunity." Well, that's because it is. Because this is a work team, we need you on the payroll. I'm not sure what skills you have that are transferable to the judicial environment, but I can imagine that you could thrive in a role as a mail room worker, file clerk, courier, or perhaps a bailiff/judicial marshal. The State offers a fantastic benefit package and pension, so you needn't worry about your financial security. Even though you're getting a late start, quick math tells me that you could be eligible to retire when you're 67 or so.
The other thing I need to tell you up front is that #25 is not available as of now. Sorry, but a clerk of the court on the team has worn that number for years. I'm not sure what constitutes a customary "offering" for a jersey number, but I have heard tales of Rolex watches and such. Between the two of us, though, I think a $10 Starbucks gift card will do the trick.
The team just lost its best player, who is moving to Chicago to pursue an opportunity at a large law firm. He batted clean-up, so the opportunity is there for you to step into the 4-hole if you really want it. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be a "tryout" of some sort, but if you play your cards right, it could happen.
I don't need you to decide right now. Our league doesn't start up again until June, 2012. So take your time. Just remember: excellent benefits and a pension with a 40 hour work week and several paid holidays; short season = happy back and legs; #25 "available" at the right price.
Thanks for reading, Jim,
Twins Fan From Afar