Friday, October 24, 2008

Mail Call For Jimmy Rollins

Dear Jimmy,

Thanks for doing Oaktown proud by getting to the Series! But from one Oakland-raised, undersized, National League MVP middle infielder to another, all I can say is, I feel your pain.

Your postseason and World Series nightmares are nothing, trust me. I know, I’ve been there.

But let me pass on a little secret. If you win a World Series (or two, as I did), all’s forgiven. What’s that? Say it ain’t so, Joe?

It’s true. I’m in the Hall of Fame—and not all my former World Series star teammates can say that. (Bet you thought I wouldn’t throw you under the bus, huh, Pete.)

But here’s the thing, Jimmy. Shake it off. Yes, you have the worst postseason batting average of any full-time starter for the Phillies or Rays (.191). And yes, you’re 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position in the World Series—geez, you’re not alone on your team there, are you?

But I was worse, a lot worse in the postseason. Ready for this—it’s ugly, but I’ve seen your postseason, so I know you’re used to ugly:

.100 in the ’73 NLCS loss to the New York Mets
.000 (0-for-7, with six walks) in the ’76 NLCS win over the Phillies
.000 (0-for-11) in the ’79 NLCS loss to Pittsburgh
.154 in the ’80 NLCS loss to the Phillies
.067 in the ’83 NLCS win over the L.A. Dodgers

And if you just want my World Series stats (good thing I had some clutch teammates!), here they are. Maybe they’ll be a little pick-me-up for you:

3-for-24 in ‘72 (.125) 6 walks
7-for-27 in ‘75 (.259), 5 walks
5-for-15 in ‘76 (.333), 2 walks
5-for-19 in ‘83 (.263), 2 walks

Ready for more, Jimmy: Bill James called me the best second baseman of all time and I hit better than .273 just once in 11 different postseason series. And the kicker: I hit .235 in 23 World Series games, with just seven hits and eight RBIs in four different World Series appearances.

So don’t worry, Jimmy. It’ll all work out in the end. If you have Hall of Fame teammates to bail you out—hallelujah for Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, and Pete Rose (he's a Hall of Famer to me)—all’s good.

Because believe me, nothing’s worse than having teammates like the ones I had when I was an Astro before I got traded. Ask Brad Lidge—getting out of Houston makes all the difference.

Your Oaktown pal,

Joe Morgan

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