I can’t contain my love for you anymore, Mr. Charlie Blackmon. I’ve tried to play it cool. I’ve told myself that last year was just a fling, that there was no way you could deliver better numbers than a .324 batting average, 29 home runs, and 82 runs batted in. It was fun while it lasted. We shared some wins, some losses, some laughs. But Nolan was the logical choice for a long-term relationship. Fans dig the long balls and web gems—what can I say?
But I can’t deny my feelings any longer. I admit I might be jealous of the love you’re getting from everywhere. ESPN just proclaimed you the best centerfielder not named Mike Trout. MLB just crowned you NL Player of the Month for May thanks to your .359 BA, league-leading 42 hits and five triples, as well as 22 RBI, an astonishing number for a leadoff hitter. Even The Ringer is giving you a lot of attention. I really am so glad to see you getting the accolades you deserve, Charlie, but I miss the days I had you all to myself.
I remember when you were just a clean-shaven call-up who looked more like a mall kiosk salesman than a major-league outfielder. You seemed like a nice player. A good fill-in for a rebuilding team. A fourth outfielder. But as every wiry inch of that nazty beard grew, so did your game. You added base stealing. Then the average started to climb. Now you’re hitting HRs and accumulating RBI like a middle-of-the-order bopper. You’re an all-star, the best lead-off hitter in baseball, and a fan favorite. You’re as responsible as anyone else on the team for the best start in Rockies’ history.
It’s not just your suave game that has captured my heart, though. Granted, I wouldn’t be as smitten if you were playing as well as, say, Scott Oberg. But you’re more than just a showy batting average or ribbie machine. You have personality. You have wit. You have … that beard.
“This look very much reflects how I try to play the game,” you told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “Focus. Intensity. Competitive desire. That kind of stuff." This from a man who backpacked Europe, posts pictures of fishing on social media, and plays chess. What’s not to love?
Maybe the mullet. Maybe that. It’s not a deal breaker, though.
You’ve done everything you can to earn my affection. You finally have it. I know it took me awhile to come around. I even considered dumping you for a time last year. I’m truly sorry. But let’s leave the past in the past. We’re having too much fun right now to deny this.
I know you feel the same.
“Winning is fun,” you said after beating the Cardinals 10-0 on May 26. “We should do that.”
It is fun, and we are doing that. And we should do that for a long time. What I’m trying saying is this: Will you sign with me, Chuck Nazty? I can’t see a future without you hitting leadoff, without the extra-base hits flying through the outfield, without post-game interviews that you conduct yourself. I want you to retire with me. So let’s seal the deal right now.
My dear Charlie, there are still so many things that I want to say. But, mostly, I just want to watch you play … toniiiiiiiiiight.
And every night—now through many Octobers.