A letter to Nevin

My letter addressed to Phil Nevin, the San Diego Padres third baseman who represents the team to the players union.
Dear Phil:
My coming of age as a baseball fan coincided with the birth of the San Diego Padres. As a native San Diegan, I have remained a loyal Padres fan. I have remained a fan through many, many losing seasons and fire sales and stupid trades. I remain a fan now, even as the team under achieves once again.
When I was a kid, my favorite player was Nate Colbert, then Randy Jones came along, followed closely by Tony Gwynn. These players, along with the likes of Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Johnny Grubb, Clay Kirby, John Kruk and Goose Gossage have given me many wonderful memories. It is a thrill to look back on the times I’ve actually gotten to talk with players such as Colbert, Gwynn, Jones and Andy Benes. I was friends with Eric Show for a time. I remember where I was and what I was doing when Colbert hit 5 home runs, when Jones won his Cy Young, when Garvey homered and Caminiti made an impossible assist while sitting on his ass in foul territory.
I mention all this to drive home the point: I am no casual fan.
So let me put this succinctly: If there is a strike, I’m through with baseball. To paraphrase an old saw: Screw me once, shame on your; screw me twice, shame on me. I will not tolerate another mid-season work stoppage.
And let there be no doubt — if it happens, I will put the blame 100 percent on where it belongs: The Players.
As any Padres player or fan should know, something must be done to fix the income inequalities in baseball. A salary cap is the only solution. For players to oppose it is stupid and indefensible.
So, if there’s a strike, you won’t see my face at another San Diego Padres baseball game. I won’t be cheering for you or anybody else. I won’t pay the outrageous fees for the MLB Extra Inning package from DirecTV. I won’t even check the box scores on ESPN.com. I’ll let my fantasy teams go fallow. It will be over. Baseball will be dead as far as I’m concerned. And you shouldn’t be surprised in millions of other fans react the same way.

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