Dear J.D.

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J.D. Drew? You’re done.

It’s been real. We had some good times. But we’re done now. Don’t let the door hit you in the coccyx on the way out, because you’d probably fracture it and be out for two to three weeks.

You’re in the third year of a five-year, $70 million contract. You’re 33 years old. You’ve seen your prime come and go. You’re not a  $14 million-a-year player anymore; though I’m sure your buddy Scott Boras would refute me.

You're hitting .190 in 14 games in the leadoff spot. That’s not great, J.D. (Can I call you J.D.?) I’ve defended you from the beginning. Through the worst of times. Never called you Nancy. Never criticized your supposed lack of effort. Your supposed lack of toughness. Your inability to play through pain. I defended all of it. In hindsight, I’m not sure why.

Hey, don’t get too down though. We had some good times. Remember the grand slam in Game Six of the 2007 ALCS? That was fun. The first job I had when I moved out west was at the Angeles National; one of the finest courses in Southern California. One day, toolin’ around the course on a golf cart, I saw former Indian Kenny Lofton and I came within a hair of yelling something. Needing the job, I refrained. You were the reason we won that series though, J.D. You were the reason I almost got canned for mocking poor, unemployed Kenny Lofton. And I appreciate that.

But Mark Bellhorn had a big home run in a Game Six of an ALCS too (three years earlier). Doesn’t mean we’re gonna pay him seventy mill for it.

The first half of 2008 you were, arguably, the AL MVP; .337 and 12 home runs in June, filling in for the injured Big Papi. My Dad and I would talk on the phone, taking back every bad thing we ever said about you. “How ‘bout that J.D.!” I’d shout excitedly when Dad picked up the phone. Hell, you even made the All-Star Game! Hit a two-run shot and nabbed the MVP trophy! (I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. I mean, you were there.) But then the old J.D. returned. Even with those 12 jacks in June, you only finished with 19 on the season and an average of .280. Granted, you had some October moments. A go-ahead homer against the Angels in the ALDS. The Crazy Game Five against the (Devil) Rays. But that one big game against Tampa didn’t make up for the other six lousy ones and our embarrassing loss to the 2008 Fluke of the Year.

And now this year you’re batting .239 with an on-base of .364. You’ve got twelve dingers. You’ve missed 12 games, with more to come I don’t doubt. You’ve toiled away in the leadoff spot before being mercifully replaced by ‘Coby.

I wish it could end some other way. You don’t seem like a bad guy. Just a little different. A little off. I guess that can happen to a man when he’s had batteries thrown at his head. I don’t think your career is over; I just think it’s over in Boston. I mean no ill will, I’m just hoping we trade you. And soon. I’m just not sure who would take you.

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About Ethan Booker