The Envelope

One of my earliest Christmas memories was sitting on the couch with my parents and little brother watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on television. I thought that was one of the coolest shows I had ever seen. I was completely entrenched in the story of a young reindeer who had been ostracized from the reindeer Olympics for what can only be assumed to be a failed performance-enhancing drug test. How else do you explain the sudden appearance of a light-up nose and the ability to leap long distances after getting a kiss from the somewhat homely looking Clarice? I was especially taken aback when Rudolph and his friends Hermey the dental obsessed elf and Yukon Cornelius who I believe was based upon the character of super agent Scott Boras and set out to flee from Abominable Snow Man and ended up on the Island of Misfit Toys. Many a day have I felt like a Charlie-in-the-box none more so than today.

The premise of the Island of Misfit Toys is that this is a place where toys are banished when they have been forgotten by their owners or are defective. In a baseball sense that is somewhat how I feel this time of year. The regular season and post season seem like distant memories with the exception of the 10 games that I still have standing at the ready on my Tivo. It is too early to begin to talk about Spring Training which is still 81 days, 21 hours, and 53 minutes away. So I stand here like the pink polka-dot elephant who sees his days languish by being the valet for King Moonracer for any visitors to the Island of Misfit toys. But like in the show, one visitor to the island can make all the difference in the world. Rudolph upon returning to Christmas Town notified Santa of the Island’s existence and on Christmas Eve Santa stopped and picked up some of the defective toys to deliver them to unsuspecting children. I am not sure what this says about Santa’s quality control or list evaluation. I mean who gets the cowboy riding the ostrich and what makes Santa think the next kid is going to want that thing anymore than the first kid? I’m not sure what I would think if I woke up on Christmas morning and found a used defective toy laying under the tree. I am guessing these are the gifts saved for those kids who didn’t quite make the naughty list but weren’t good enough to make the nice list either. It was probably either give the kid a gun that shoots grape jelly or a Tampa Bay Rays jersey. Yeah, I think I’d take the gun too.

Anyway in my case I was feeling pretty neglected and about as far away from Chase Field (my own personal Christmas Town) as I could get. Then I happened to be walking down to the mail box while once again wishing I had that ostrich the cowboy was riding. When I opened the box something glistened in the afternoon sun. Why that looked like Sedona Red. I began throwing letters and other pieces of mail out of the box to get to the envelope. Sure enough, it was a large envelope from the Arizona Diamondbacks. I started dancing around the mailbox praising the baseball gods all the while singing “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” song from the television show. I raced back to the house leaving a trail of other trivial mail in my wake (Trina just notified me that the mortgage and insurance bills are not trivial mail so my apologies to those businesses I just trivialized). When I got home I carefully opened the envelope and removed the contents with all the care of a museum curator when handling the original Declaration of Independence. There in my hand was one of the most beautiful forms I had ever seen. The Sedona Red and Black ink danced upon the paper as I gazed at the 2008 Season Ticket Relocation Form. It was awesome! I spent the rest of the day eagerly reading the instructions of how to fill out this amazing form. I was especially excited to see the note on the front that I have to believe was a direct result from my experiences last year. The quote simply stated, “If you have not received a call or e-mail confirmation receipt of this form by December 21st please contact Season Ticket Services.” This is an important safety notice that should be heeded to minimize spikes to your blood pressure. The form also stated that it was due back to the Arizona Diamondbacks on or before December 12. Wait what was that? On or before December 12? That is only 4 days away! Where is the open house? Where is the opportunity to go down to the field and sit in all the seats in the stadium to find the perfect seat? What happened to the week to 10 days with which I could evaluate the merits of each seat at Chase Field and attempt to build an unsuccessful business case I could present to Trina of why I just can’t live without seats in Section N above the Diamondbacks dugout? This is horrible! I can’t be prepared this quickly, what were they thinking? I had to clear my calendar and get to work if I had any hopes of making this deadline. Something this important should not be rushed into. Looks like I am going to be pulling some all nighters if I am going to pull this off.

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