An Open Letter to Walt

I know we're only a few weeks into the season. I know a lot can happen between now and October but I need to admit something: Walt Jocketty, you're smarter than me.

This probably doesn't come as a big surprise to a lot of folks, but I'm pretty sure Walt's got stuff going on levels I can only guess at. I was pretty sure that after the whole McEwing/Orosco deal that we were on equal footing. Okay, I admit, I was pretty sure I wouldn't have made that deal so I guess I figured I might be a little ahead. But even in my eternally optimistic ego-centric worldview, Walt has me beat.

So Walt, it's finally gotten to the point where I have to say it: it looks like you've put together the best possible team for the money—which very well could be the best team period. After a rough opening go-round for the starting rotation, the starting pitching has been insane. Even with Albert, Rolen, Edmonds, and Walker starting out slowly offensively, the starting five have been more than enough to counterbalance.

I didn't think we could improve that much from last season and that losing Mike Matheny, Steven Kline, Edgar Renteria and Tony Womack would be huge subtractions. I liked Mark Mulder but wasn't sure he was "the guy" and more to the point, I was pretty sure that if given the choice, Woody Williams should have been back instead of Matt Morris. Honestly when Matt wasn't lit up like a Christmas tree in his first start after being slapped around in A ball, I was absolutely amazed. And then came the second start where he didn't collapse.

Suddenly Jason Marquis seems like the pitcher he flirted with last season. Matt Morris seems consistent. Suppan is the second coming of Woody Williams. Mulder is "the guy" and Izzy, well, I was nervous about his extension but now it looks like we got another steal. And if that wasn't enough, Albert, Rolen and Edmonds are starting to heat up. Even Molina has managed to find some holes to poke a ball through.

I'm a changed man, Walt, and you're to thank. I was worried that last season was our big chance and that, while it was a great run, I might as well settle in for another decade. Not anymore. All the pieces are there this year. We have enough to win even if the offense struggles. And if everything clicks at the same time? Let's just say that I don't see any ugly exits in October in our future.

So when we're back in the Fall Classic, just remember who said it first Walt and hook me up with a few tickets, alright?

You're a peach. You can write to Joe Mammy at joe@joe-mammy.com


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