That’s how I started a letter accompanying two such souvenirs, which I sent to my friends living in Philly. We now know Caps will probably not be back this year, as he will have to undergo Tommy Johns surgery on his elbow (again). He’s been saying the idea of making it through another 11-month rehab is a depressing prospect right now.
As much as we tease him — for being a Dukie, for not being smooth with the ladies — we love him — because he’s a battler, an Everyman. Here’s hoping he makes it back to the bigs, with the Brewers or another contender.*
Here’s more from the letter:
“In the last week of the season, I went to the Mini-Apple to visit my brother, which forced me to trust Internet blogs and secondhand reports to hear of the Brewers and the Cubs limping and stumbling down the stretch, each team trying to give the title away. Why was I away from the action at Miller Park?
‘I’ve done all I can,’ I would say. ‘You’ve gotta walk that last mile yourself.’ It was more like 10 feet, like Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard crawling toward a ridiculous, dusty finish (no kisses for Cubs fans).”
If you want it, Cappy, you’re going to have to walk those miles yourself. Nobody is going to pay money to see you rehabbing your elbow. But, if you climb that mountain, we’ll welcome you back with open arms.
“I got bored and returned to Wisconsin, and watched the final outs of The Last Game That Mattered at my friend’s house. ‘So it’s over,’ she said. ‘Are you still going to want to go out tonight?’ Yeah, I’ll be OK. ‘But John,’ she said, ‘you’ve lived and died with these guys every day for the whole summer!’
Well, it’s just… It’s just a… game.
But of course it’s not, and while this season might sit in our memories like the foam at the bottom of a beer pitcher — just enough to remember how sweet it was — we’ll move to the front of the line in the spring. Because we’ve got a House Cup. ‘Dude, it’s cool. I live here.’
Or in the words of Corey Hart’s batter-up music: ‘These are my people. This is where I come from.’
* The latest news on Cappy seems to be that he’s seeking a second, or third opinion, as to whether his injury is season-ending. How bad-ass would it be if the doctors were like “You can pitch this season, but you may never pitch again?” and Caps duked it out until the Brewers won the pennant?