From the desk of Mr. Jose Guillermo Morales, #58
Backup catcher, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Dear Minnesota Twins Fans,
Hello. My name is Jose Morales. Many of you may not know me, but I am a professional baseball player for your favorite team. In truth, I am the backup catcher behind the backup catcher, but that doesn't really matter right now - because I'm here! Note that exclamation point as I am a very emotional person and am not afraid to don said feelings on the sleeve of my new jersey (I'm #58, by the way). I cried when Ron told me I made the team.
But those sobs, my new friends, were tears of joy, because for the last eight years I have been playing in the Twins minor league system. There are busses with my face on them. Actually, I did have the great and joyous opportunity to sport a Twins jersey in one game back in the fall of '07; yet, after I went 3-for-3 in that contest against the White Sox, I shredded my left ankle to the point where it soon resembled the Barbacoa they serve at Chipotle. So that was my taste of major league baseball. Oh, sweet irony . . .
I know that my presence here serves at the ire of some. Mr. Brendan Harris, for example, has been giving me an evil eye for a few days now. I don't think he wants me here. But hey: he graduated from William & Mary with a Poli Sci degree, so I'm sure he'll end up on his feet somehow. And Drew Butera, many people thought he would make the team over me because of his advanced defensive skills. But that was not to be for him - but hey! (still emotional), his daddy used to play for the Twins and he now works as a suit for the Blue Jays, so I'm sure Drew will end up just fine, too.
A little more about me: after being drafted in 2001 (3rd round) by our favorite team as a shortstop I've played nearly 500 games in the minors, having converted to catcher in '03. I'm 26 years old now and hail from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. While people oftentimes question my defensive skills behind home plate, please know that I made zero errors in 46 games at catcher last year for AAA Rochester, while batting .315. I'm a switch hitter, but expect little power from me (just 15 home runs in all those games, oh my) and know that I am not a very fast runner (10 career steals). Also, I threw out just .231 percent of base-stealers last year. I understand that the players up here are much faster, all told. So, I guess I have much to work on.
Somebody told me yesterday that Mr. Mike Redmond, the backup catcher in front of me, has a career .273 batting average against right handed pitchers. That's 19 points below his lifetime average. I looked that up. Oh, boy. So, my left-handed bat may be needed - just to let you know - because, regarding our seven April opponent's starting pitching staffs, about 70 percent of those guys are righties. I looked that up, too.
Thank you all so very much for welcoming me to the team, and soon embracing me in the Twin Cities. I understand we are flying up north soon. That will be very exciting. No bus, eh. But I will not cry. No, I will do my best to keep emotions in check. I must go now. Mr. Brendan Harris is looking at me from across the room again.
A great season for all!
*Photo via Wiki page