To Whom It May Concern:
Hello. This is J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner and New York Times baseball scribe emeritus Murray Chass. I am writing to inquire about the open position in the “MLB Fan Cave” for which I have received numerous electronic mail solicitations.
With respect to my qualifications for the position, I think my curriculum vitae speaks for itself. Let me repeat: J.G. Taylor Spink, New York Times, Associated Press, BBWAA, etc. I have enclosed a copy herewith.
Now that we have those formalities out of the way, I would like to discuss my vision for this year’s cave as well as the terms and conditions under which I will accept your offer for employment for the 2012 season.
1. Relocate the Fan Cave to the den of my house. I refer to this little sports sanctuary as the “Chass Hole.” With a 26-inch color(!) TV, a state-of-the-art antenna, and a lighting-fast dial-up inter-net connection, this room is well equipped for a season of intense baseball watching. Moreover, the space is more than adequate for any video segments you may film over the course of the season. The wood paneling and shag carpeting give the room a warm, cozy vibe.
2. Any online diaries I am required to keep shall not be referred to as “blogs.” This filthy term lacks the decorum and dignity with which I or the Fan Cave should wish to be associated. Thus, I also insist that MLB pursue libel/slander suits against anyone who refers to me as a “blogger.”
3. I understand that you intend the Fan Cave to be occupied by two people. While I would prefer to work alone, here is a list of people whom I would feel comfortable living with for a full season:
Bill Conlin, Peter Gammons, Joe Morgan, Kate Upton.
4. I should not be expected to write, talk, or even think about statistics at any moment for the duration of my employment. In the Chass Hole, the only way baseball is watched is in sheer wonderment at its incomprehensible beauty. If you want someone to just reel off numbers for you, I don’t see the point of paying two people to spend seven months watching every baseball game — just hire a calculator.
As of now, those are my main concerns. I will be sure to update you with any additional thoughts.
At first I was resistant to the idea of returning to the limelight. I am enjoying my retirement and the freedom it has allowed me to explore new ideas in my web columns on my personal web column site. Likewise, with my hefty NYT pension, money is hardly a concern at this moment. But after discussing the matter with my confidants, we determined that I might as well draw a paycheck for something I was planning on doing anyway (namely, watching every single game and berating SABR geeks on the inter-net). I am of the belief that young baseball fans are not interested in discussing baseball with their peers, but rather that they want to have the intricacies of the game explained to them by their elders, who have covered it (with distinction) for half a century.
I await your response.
P.S. Send Bud my warmest regards.