Bull Pennings: The Valentine's Day mailbag edition

It can’t be Valentine’s Day without Love Letters, can it? I’m so far behind on my mail. …

FROM: Larry J

I'm wondering, did you have your head hollowed out and filled with birdseed? I'm trying to figure out how you can be so stupid. 

You can't be my Valentine. I will return to my local Bird Watcher’s Assn. and find somebody else.

FROM: Bob Grahmann

Re.: Spring training preview: Storylines aplenty as camp nears

Your spring training preview is my favorite baseball article of the year. I look forward to it every year, and it never disappoints.

You get down to Florida for spring training, dinner at Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Fort Myers is on me. The chicken parmesan and garlic rolls are fantastic.

FROM: Harold

Did you know the Reds are the oldest professional baseball team in America? Yes, they are. Been in Cincinnati since 1869. Older than all those teams you try to glorify and pump up. When you become a baseball columnist you'll probably learn a little bit about baseball and realize that there are other teams besides the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and the Angels. Until then, stop pretending.

You’re wrong. The Yankees are the oldest professional baseball team in America. Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte … they’re older than the Bible. Wait … you’re not talking average ROSTER age?

FROM: David Logan

Re.: Armed with damning documentary, disillusioned fan takes on Padres

Kudos on the Padres fan story. I like that you are reporting stories like this because this is clearly a situation in which the guy is not out to seek personal profit; he's just a fan that wants his team to change and he lets the facts speak for themselves. You have made me believe that not all of the media has lost touch. A great piece of journalism.

When journalism is at its best, David, it should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I've always believed that, and that's what made this column a slam dunk for me on the Padres and their poor, beleaguered fans.

FROM: Larino B.

Re. Steroid Cheaters May Reach Cooperstown But Won’t Get My Vote

One thing I have to say to you and all Hall of Fame voters is, first do not say Roger Clemens does not belong in Cooperstown. He was never accused of anything and your column could persuade other voters. And as for –

Sorry, cutting you off right there, pal. Clemens absolutely was accused of things. You probably mean he wasn’t convicted. But I don’t have time to read the rest of your diatribe to check for other errors. Goodbye.

FROM: Bob A.

I was a Marine platoon leader in Vietnam and I was the Chicago police Swat commander when I retired after 33 years. I do know what courage is and I salute you for having it. By saying someone, somewhere has to stand for what's right [regarding steroids in baseball] is, in my opinion, a measure of what you are all about. Your stance on steroids use could be applied to lots of tough choices in life. I would like to have known you.

As nice and as touching a note as I can ever remember receiving. I'm speechless.

Sunblock Day? Getting there. Mid-70s during the day in the desert, finally. But it's still in the 40s in the early mornings. We need to do something about that.

Likes: This Indians team with Terry Francona, Nick Swisher, Chris Perez, Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley and Mark Reynolds is going to be fun. Don’t know that they’ll win, but they’ve got a chance if they get any kind of pitching. … Telegraph Road by novelist Michael Chabon. The guy can write brilliantly (though sometimes I think he shows off a bit too much and complicates things), and it’s a good read about a couple of buddies who run a record store on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, Calif., that is threatened when a big chain is set to move in. … Oregano’s pizza in Phoenix. The thin crust is incredible. The pepperoni with black olives was sublime. The sausage with Roma tomatoes and basil was otherworldly. ... Love the latest disc from Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Buddy & Jim. Outstanding stuff, and the first track, I Lost My Job Loving You, would make the whole disc worth it by itself. ... Jerry Seinfeld's standup act on Letterman on Thursday night.

Dislikes: Hey, Mike Piazza, leave Vin Scully alone. You lose that fight in a TKO. ... Bonnie Raitt is playing Sunday night in Mesa (not far from the Cubs' HoHoKam Park), but it's sold out. To-do list for weekend: Work on snagging a ticket.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Lyric of the Day

“I’ve had thoughts about you

“That are going to keep you up at night”

-- Lydia Loveless, Can’t Change Me

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