Someone (Else) Hates Me

By now, you know that former Red Sox reliever and fan favorite Rich “El Guapo” Garces is pitching for an independent league team up in New Hampshire. Some of the coverage he’s received has been fawning and, frankly, a bit misleading. One guy actually thinks Guapo might make it back to the majors. I say fat chance. Oops. See, there I go again making jokes. That’s what got me in trouble recently.

Despite the fact that I talked with El Guapo at length for my piece on him this month, despite the fact that he and I spoke over and over again about how part of his appeal comes from his willingness to make fun of himself or laugh when others are making fun of him, I received a heated voicemail message from the Pride front office. It came over the weekend. On my vacation. Which was awesome.

Apparently, some of the Pride brass doesn’t have the same sense of humor that El Guapo or I have. Here’s the transcription of the voicemail (which lasted one minute, six seconds—or slightly longer than Bush’s last State of the Union):

Hey John, this is [vice president] Chris Hall calling from the Nashua Pride. I want to have a chance to talk to you. I read your article and, quite honestly, I’ll tell you, it’s an absolute fucking disgrace—what you just did to me, to the Nashua Pride, and especially to Rich Garces. I didn’t know we were trying to be a Saturday Night Live skit for you. We opened our doors, we opened our arms and did everything we possibly could for you. And to make fun of El Guapo the way you did, you should be absolutely ashamed at yourself. I really don’t know how you do it, man. What you did to disgrace him in front of his family, in front of his friends, in front of fans, you should be absolutely fucking ashamed of yourself. If you have the balls to call me back, I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx

Naturally, I called Hall back. He didn’t answer, and he hasn’t returned my message yet. Some people just like to scream into a voicemail box and act tough. But if I do have a chance to talk to him, here’s what I’ll say (nicely, of course):

1.) The whole point of the story was that Guapo doesn’t take himself seriously—as evidenced by the quote where he says “I’m fat and I’m ugly, but I’m happy.” He’s always in on the joke, whether he’s making it or someone else is, and that’s precisely why we love him and why, even after his baseball career is over, he’ll be a success. We adore Guapo here at BoMag. The idea that my story was anything but positive publicity for Guapo and the Pride is, ahem, a joke.
2.) I would kick ass on Saturday Night Live.
3.) Seriously, Chris, you need to relax. Perhaps the next Pride giveaway can include elephant tranquilizers. Might do you some good. Just tap it into your veins.