An Open Letter To Mark Shapiro
Dear Least Favourite American Guy I’ve Recently Come To Know,
It seems as though you’ve had a rough go of it up here in the frozen tundra. Clearly you didn’t read your Baseball Canada-styles for Dummies book before one of our many pesky baseball media types thrust a microphone in your face and asked you a question.
I’m all for watching this Blue Jays baseball circa 2016 public relations thing continue on its steep, menacing, downward trajectory just to see how big of a crater the hole leaves after you smash it into the ground. And it will crash and burn unless something changes right quick.
Not that any of the bullshit leading up to this point was truly your doing. Somebody offered you a better job than the one you had and you took it. Then you started to surround yourself with your buddies. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.
I guess if I had an opportunity to try to explain to you what has taken place since I became a rabid fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, it would go a little something like this:
Imagine, if you will, an annual keg party that happens every summer on a Friday night. Nobody comes except the annoying few who discuss at length the last great, epic kegger that happened over two decades ago. Some people avoid the gathering because of the party parameters. Others, really, REALLY hate the faceless, nameless owners of the house to the point where every single possible issue no matter how small that comes up at the party is 100% their fault. Still others had been turned off by the insistence that if they showed up then a good party would surely follow. Some have just gotten tired of the whole scene and moved onto other activities altogether.
Last year’s entertainment at the party was headed down the same predicable path as the many who had preceded it: A duo of countrymen who have gotten a little long in the tooth but still look pretty solid, a new dude brought in from the vast wilderness of the West Coast and a local guy who speaks everyone’s language. A nice mix of characters once again, but nothing that a potential partygoer would consider must-see entertainment.
At about 10 p.m., somebody had just funneled one too many beers and decided to drunk dial the hottest, most exclusive sorority house in town and offer them some future considerations in exchange for their attendance. This approach has really only been tried twice in the past and both times in backfired almost immediately. Well, wouldn’t you know it, this time they all showed up--although the head cheerleader did have some car trouble on the way and missed her giant reveal. Word spread quickly and they came from all the neighbouring cities to join in on the fun.
An epic party ensued. Clothing was optional. Plenty of keg stands and such for everyone. The live webcam numbers were off the charts. Nobody worried about tomorrow because today felt so good and we didn’t have to go back to work until Monday. A lot of loud, mouth breathing jocks from the varsity football team joined in as well, which is just how it goes sometimes. They have money and like a good party too I guess.
Anyways, that was the last party. It was really fun. Sorry you missed it. I understand you were watching over a different party in a much smaller town with half the budget.
When we all woke up the next day, still elated from the success we had longed for, we took a look around the room and noticed that there was almost a half a keg of beer left. By some miracle it was still on ice. The head cheerleader had left but nobody in their right mind believed she’d actually stay over. Wouldn’t have hurt to ask though. She seemed like she was having a lot of fun. Other than that, things look primed for another super fun party. Day drinking was the call and we all rejoiced!
Only problem was that the owner of the house clearly didn’t expect, nor had any belief, that this year’s party would be any different when the decision was made to shake up the format and try something new. How much would things change? Surely the new guy couldn’t be that different, could he? The old guys used to get a budget for the total cost of the party and as long as they stayed within it nobody really cared. They had learned some tough lessons along the way about leaving a buffer. They always talked about how much potential there was for a bigger and better party. And they promised to rip out that shitty beer and puke soaked carpet and replace it with some high-quality tiles with radiant heating.
This is where you come in, Mark.
Now, every keg party needs a guy who takes the money and gives you a cup with a number etched in black sharpie on the bottom of it. This guy generally can’t get shitfaced and needs to be a stern hand when necessary. As long as things are rocking and the pool is full of hotties, he isn’t given a second thought really. Does he revel in the process of throwing a great party? Sure. Is he trusted to ensure that future parties are just as fun? Whatever. Nobody gives a shit about this stuff. And nobody needs to hear about this stuff. Not now.
All that’s happened is the price to attend the party has gone up and some, at best, average entertainment has been added to the mix. If last year was the boom, this is the echo. Buy some bigger speakers and let’s blow this thing out.