From: Mr. Johnson, CEO, ABC Widgets
To: All Employees
With the Mariners’ 2014 World Series championship parade planned for Wednesday, I wanted to remind you of recent changes to the company’s time-off policy. If you anticipate another “24-hour flu” like on the day of last February’s Seahawks parade, know that all such absences must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.
This may seem as harsh as a Felix Hernandez curveball, but I have a widget factory to run here, and I can’t do it without you.
Now I’m all for celebrating this unexpected championship. When the Mariners reported to spring training on February 12, exactly one week after the Seahawks’ parade, Vegas would’ve given you 30–1 odds on their chances of bringing Seattle another title. The M’s weaknesses from 2013 still remained: Not enough offense. A shaky bullpen. Poor outfield defense. Weak starting pitching.
But through free-agent acquisitions, player development, and simple good luck, the Mariners patched together a contender. That anemic offense became strong, keyed by high-priced free-agent hitters like Robinson Cano and Corey Hart, and improving young players like shortstop Brad Miller. The signing of free-agent closer Fernando Rodney solidified a talented young bullpen. And Franklin Gutierrez avoided major injury for the first time in four seasons; his speed in centerfield let the M’s get away with playing all-bat, no-glove corner outfielders like Hart and Logan Morrison.
The M’s never could find a decent fourth or fifth starter, but once they snuck into the playoffs, it didn’t matter. Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and rookie Taijuan Walker were a 1-2-3 punch that no playoff opponent could match.
Why wouldn’t you want to show your appreciation to the young players who finally reached their potential, like Justin Smoak (35 homers) and Dustin Ackley (.320 batting average)?
Heck, I’d love to go down to the parade to cheer on my personal favorite, Willie Bloomquist, the Kitsap County boy who put the M’s in the Series with his Game 7 pinch-hit walk-off grand slam against a recently un-retired Mariano Rivera.
It sure would be fun to see highlights of the Mariners’ dominating Series sweep on the huge Safeco Field video board. After all, over the four games, they outscored Colorado 43-8.
So while all employees are required to work during the parade, I’d like to announce that my distant cousin Floyd died recently, and the funeral is the same day. At 11 a.m. And I’ve heard cell phone service is really bad where the funeral is. But I’ll see you all on Thursday.