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Cardinals at Astros Open Thread: A Letter From The Ghost of Christy Mathewson

Dear Jacob Westbrook,

It is I—the Ghost of Christy Mathewson! I was informed by Spectral Post to-day that the responsibility of perpetuating yon "Perfectos"' slim play-off chances had fallen upon your sturdy shoulders, and felt—and your Spaniard magazine's editor did, as well, given my out-standing contractual obligations, I should say!—that I owed to the Cardinals bugs who have treated me so well in my after-life a "pepped talk" prior to this, the most important base ball match of your twenty-and-eleven championship season.

Pursuant to those aims I enclose beneath the fold of this periodical three reasons why you, Jacob Westbrook, "The Sinking-Ball Artist of Athens," must defeat the Houston Nationals at once, and without delay! Your editor has told me that lists and proper nouns are vitally important in the arcane field of "Search Phrenology," and I aim to deliver my missive to the correct part of the skull with all the accuracy and fervor of Carl Mays, ha, ha!

Reason the First, The Houston Astrologers are an affront to God and Man! Under what circumstances, I ask—knowing though I do you devoted bugs' collective answer, and the harmony it makes beneath my own modest voice—would a base ball player, strong of mind and body, need resort to the phantom shores of tarot—of soothsaying—of Astrology?

A team's nickname must often carry a mythological dimension—we were, after all, and to my great chagrin, I should add, the New York Giants—but I see for the Astrologers no valid reason to make reference to that feeble-minded "art," realm of the psychotic, the Oriental, the hysterical!

Reason the Second, These Yannigans are unrecognizable even to the devoted base ball bug of today! "Jack B. Shuck"? "Jose Altuve"? Are these, I ask—in jest, of course, for even from beyond the heavens I can read a base ball lining-up card with the practiced ease of an Expert soda-jerk's first pull—I ask, are these base ball players, or names from some new novel?

If you cannot retire Jack B. Shuck, Mr. Westbrook, I daresay you should stop trying to retire any-man but yourself, from base ball!

Reason the Third, There is a Circus Geek on Houston's base ball diamond! I speak of course of the half-man half-walrus who is even now taking grounded-balls at the first base! Who is this man, who acts as though he might play base ball although he clearly has seen more popped-corn balls than medicine balls?

This Brett Wallace, if we may assume that he is playing under his own name, as though he has no family to humiliate, has no knowledge of the ideal base ball Physique, lithe, compact, and mustached, and he must be ejected from the field of play as a gentleman would, through pitched base ball competition or some kind of illicit duel.

It is for these reasons, Jacob Westbrook, as well as for the spiritual well-being of all the bugs in Saint Louis, that I must insist you earn victory in the base ball match of Tuesday, September twenty-seventh, twenty-and-eleven.


I remain,

Yours truly,

Christy Mathewson,

"Big Six"