Dear Adam Bernero,

Couple of things. First, congratulations. Not everybody can become a major league pitcher. How does it feel? You must have shaken your head in awe and disbelief when you got the phone call. Were you expecting the worst when you heard it was the Philadelphia Phillies calling? Your thoughts must have flooded your brain.

You must have recalled when the Phillies fished you out of the baseball river known as waivers, limp and lifeless after being dumped by Kansas City, perhaps the only city in baseball more desperate for starting pitching than Philadelphia. Starting pitchers in Kansas City still bring a knife to a gunfight just about every night, same as the Phillies have all season. And yet KC released you. To be discarded from a hand with no face cards, well, you're not exactly an ace. And yet the Phillies fished you out and gave you life.

Did you think they were they calling now to throw you back? Did you even believe it when they told you were called up to the bigs? I mean, this is the bigs, it isn't a fantasy league, or so they tell me. Well cut me down and call me short, but I would have been shocked when they told me to pack my bags for Philly. You must have just turned inside-out with disbelief.

The second thing I thought I'd let you know, is that your promotion represents the raising of the white flag on the 2006 version of the ever-woeful Philadelphia Phillies.

Oh, and now you've become the guy who replaced Brett Myers. How does it feel to be thrown into the pit with the lions?

I know its not your fault that Brett Myers snapped. But you come here looking like cheese at a deli full of hungry plumbers. I just want to give you a heads-up, is all. The press and public are in a firestorm over the Phillies. The charges are severe: the players let the entire season slip away because they showed more fight off the field than on it.

Adam, in case you haven't heard, Brett Myers lost his head and stepped over several lines and now stands trial for assaulting his wife in Boston. Management from the owners on down mishandled the aftermath and exposed the Fightin' Phillies as a dysfunctional organization with no class. Feel that warmth around your ankles? Smell that odor? That's the 2006 Philadelphia Phillies and you just stepped in it, Adam. Welcome aboard.

Now that you're here, you have to pitch like your life depends on it. Surely your career depends on it. Your baseball karma has been as bad as your career ERA. Your record looks like a rap sheet for a repeat offender. Looking at your pitching stats, you're all sixes and sevens, as they say. Your WHIP looks like whiplash. At least you'll be in good company with the Phillies. I wonder what Pat Gillick saw that the Kansas City Royals couldn't see?

But you can do it, I know you can. Go on out there and throw quality pitches just like you've been doing since June! Don't be the sacrificial lamb that you appear so unjustly to be. Don't let this episode be a footnote to your career! Shock the Phillies and the city and take the fight out on the field where it belongs.

Your truly,
John Q. Public

PS: Please go talk to Cole Hamels and make sure he appreciates the chance he's got. Destiny can work two ways, as he found out once himself by showing more fight off the field than on it. Finding motivation to pitch shouldn't be a question when you're a professional pitcher. I mean, look at you: grateful for the chance, ready to impress, stepping calmly into the breech. Thanks. And good luck.

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