Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dear diary: It's me, Dale

A random page from the recently unearthed diary of Dale Sveum, former Milwaukee Brewers shortstop:

June 14, 1987 - Man, this life as a big leaguer . . . it's the life, man. I get to play a little ball, chase the finest skirts greater Milwaukee and certain parts of Sheboygan have to offer, even grow a super-studly mustache if I want. (Note to self: Remember to pick up new mustache comb at Welby's on the way home.) Not to mention all the free Milwaukee's Best I get thanks to my endorsement. (I've got an endorsement!) It's liquid gold, that stuff. I'd guzzle it if they didn't pay me to! (Note to self: Ask agent if I get paid.)

Yep, this is the life, man. But like that downer Yount is always sayin', this big-league thing, it ain't gonna last forever. I'm only 23, in just my second year, but Robin's pretty smart and stuff, and he's got me thinkin' he's probably right. I'm doin' OK playin' ball - I've got a few homers here and there (the balls are carryin' like Titleists this year!!) but skip says my average ain't high enough and I'd better stop strikin' out so much. (Note to self: Avoid skip. He's a downer.)

It can't hurt to think ahead and such, though. Besides, I've got a suspicion they're hankerin' to replace me already. That kid Sheffield . . .

. . . has designs on my job, and he's climbin' through the minors real fast. And neither of us is moving to third, not as long as Earnie Riles is still breathin'. I'm a pretty great judge of talent if I do say so, and let me tell you, that dude is ENTRENCHED for the next 15 years. Earnie Riles, Ernie Banks - same thing, guaranteed. Who says so? Super Scout Sveum says so, that's who!

Sheffield? I'm just not seein' the talent there, frankly. But the suits upstairs love him. First-round pick, sweetheart of a kid, team player, blah blah blah Sheffield Sheffield Sheffield. Sometimes I wish somethin' bad would happen to him. Nothin' too bad, you know, not like gettin' into a fight with the cops with his Uncle Dwight or anything. Maybe just a fan taking a swipe at him while he's chasin' a rollin' ball along the fence. Yeah, somethin' like that. Hah. That'd be funny.

Anyway, ol' Dale's been thinkin' about the future a lot lately, and I've decided what a want to do when the ballplayin' thing is done. I want to be . . . a nanny!! No, no, no, kidding . . . I want to be a coach - a baseball coach! Big stretch there, huh? Yeah, but I'm different than all them other ballplayers that want coaching gigs, because I know exactly what kind of coach I want to be:

A third-base coach!

Makes sense, don't it? I play shortstop, which is really close to third base, and do that OK. But coachin' third base . . . now that I could be awesome at, I just know it. I mean, who's more qualified than me? OK, Earnie is, but who else? Huh? I know the area really well (around third base, I mean, not Sheboygan), and I know the way to home plate pretty well (it's left . . . um, wait . . . yeah, that's right, it's a left turn after third base), and also I like windmills a real lot, and my rotator cuff is in great shape for all the wavin' and flailin' a third-base coach has to do. Also, I like watchin' people run fast and collisions and stuff like that. I'm a natural, I just know it.

Yeah, sure, it's great bein' a big-league ballplayer. It's the life, man. But bein' a third-base coach? That's what Dale Sveum was born to do. Dale Sveum knows it.

Bein' an air-traffic controller or a school crossin' guard might be cool also.