[Originally published May 27, 2008.]
Well, listen, judging by all the phone messages you’ve left, it seems like you’re having some problems dealing with this. No, I’m not going to call you back, but I do hope this e-mail brings you some closure. I think once you realize how much me breaking up with you is like Jon Lester throwing a no-hitter against the Royals, you’ll be on the road to recovery.
Here’s the thing: I get that you’re sad. I really do. It seems like your No. 1 goal with the sometimes angry, sometimes whimpering messages is to convince me that you’re upset. You seem to think that I can’t understand your loss. You accuse me of being “incapable of feeling.” You call me a “robot.” So, I just have to let you know that I do know how you feel, kiddo. I can empathize completely with your sense of loss. The way you feel about the breakup is the way I feel about the Royals getting no-hit last week.
Yes, I know we were together two years. Did you know the Royals hadn’t been no-hit for 35 years? Yes, I know how much you’ve committed to the relationship. Do you have any idea how much my collection of George Brett jerseys cost? Yes, it will be awkward for you to see me at work. You know what will be really awkward? The Royals finishing a four-game series against a team that just no-hit them. Can you step outside your own selfish world and imagine that for a second? Yes, I’m aware that things seemed better between us lately. That’s what makes this so difficult. The Royals have been playing much better baseball lately, our pitching has been topnotch, and I had general faith in our young guys before the no-hitter. Then this. It’s almost too much to take (the no-hitter).
The whole thing just gets worse and worse. The media are making an especially big deal about the no-hitter because the pitcher, Jon Lester, turns out to be some kind of a cancer survivor. So it’s an even bigger story than a regular no-hitter. I can’t escape it. You might feel that way about the all-staff e-mail I just sent out about the breakup. I just thought everyone should know. No big deal. I’m hoping this will all make you see how similar our situations really are.
You must be able to see the irony of Jon Lester recovering from cancer to throw a no-hitter, while I’ve risen from an insecure loner to dating Sandy from accounting (see the all-staff e-mail). Two years ago, people were counting me out, just like they counted Jon out when he had some sort of cancer. Jon threw a no-hitter; I went out with Sandy. I hate to compare myself to the pitcher who no-hit the Royals, but I’m sure you can see that the parallels are downright eerie. That brings me to my next point.
I really hesitate to bring this up, because I’m not sure it fits completely in the empathy category. But I think even you would have to admit that I no-hit you during the breakup. Every point I was making, all the examples I was using, everything was executed perfectly. You just sat there. Inept, clumsy, impotent. Just like the Royals. Every once in a while, you would try to say something, but it never went well. You were just flailing away, looking for my fastball all night, but you never found it. I could see you trying. Alex Gordon was trying to hit, too, but it wasn’t enough. I had all my pitches working, and my command was spot-on. I had you guessing all night, and, when I did make a mistake, you were too disoriented to take advantage of it.
So, anyway, I hope this e-mail illustrates how emotional I actually am (about the no-hitter). I’m sure you can see how our situations are alike. Well, until I start comparing myself to Jon Lester, at least. I’m Jon Lester, not you; you’re more like the Royals in that analogy.
Anyway, I’ve got to go. Please stop leaving messages, and remember that the great thing about baseball is that there’s always another game around the corner. (That doesn’t apply to us, though; we’re completely done.)
P.S. I copied “all staff” on this e-mail as well.