My dude,

I am as shallow and as easily amused as anybody else, so I can admit I like your dumb fights. Keep doing your dumb fights. Do them to make me happy. But my dude, I’d be a bad friend if I didn’t tell you: You look dumb out there.

I don’t mean in the way that men acting like children often look dumb. I don’t mean in the way that you’ll get suspended and hurt your team and lose a bunch of money, and I don’t mean in the way that people who say you’re immature or a bad dude will use this fight for years to justify those takes. That’s all obvious. I mean you look like a dork. You are one of the world’s strongest and most coordinated men in the world, but in what will be the most-viewed moment of your career, you look uncoordinated and weak. Like a dork. You know? That’s how you look.

You’re my guy, so I’ve got to tell you that you look pretty good when that ball hits off your hip and you don’t even flinch, let alone cry or ask the umpire for a hug. And you look pretty cool when you point out at the mound. You are the type of guy who isn’t afraid to point out at a guy and tell him you’re not afraid to point at him. I can’t help but be impressed; I’m afraid of that guy, and I would not point. You pointed. Not bad, my man.

Then you flip the bat. You look pretty cool flipping that bat. So nonchalant; you’re in control of that bat. You have large biceps and strong thighs and you make that bat look so inconsequential, and in doing so, you’ve made the pitcher look small and inconsequential. I like the look, my dude. You look cool.

And then, my dude, you take off your helmet and, uh-oh, now you’re starting to look awkward. Now you’ve got to charge, and it’s a long way between you and your enemy, and you’ve got that problem we’ve all got when we walk into a business meeting or a job interview and the room is just too long and you don’t know what to do with your hands. When is it too early to reach your hand out for the shake? Should you make small talk on the way? Should you button your jacket up or unbutton it? Is it too late to check your fly? You’ve got to figure out, in the middle of this stressful and unfamiliar situation, just how long your strides should be and what your pace should be.

You end up getting self-conscious; the guy is just staring at you, waiting. Is it too late to turn back? It is too late to turn back! Your hands! Why are your hands so empty? So you grab your helmet. Now you’re holding a helmet. What are you supposed to do with the helmet? Are you supposed to smash the guy in the face with it? Flip it so that it will bounce in your wake, out of the way? Put it back on? Throw it?

My dude, I can’t believe you decided to throw it. You can’t throw a helmet. Have you ever tried throwing a helmet? First off, it’s not easy. The round part is slippery and way too wide to palm; the straight part, the bill, is way harder to grip than you’re expecting. It’s only about an inch and a half deep at the deepest point, and as thin as a cheap butter knife, impossible to get a good throwin’ hold on. And you’re wearing batting gloves, so you don’t even get that tactile adaptability that skin provides. You could work on your batting helmet throws all spring training and you’d still be no more accurate than Jon Lester throwing to first.

But second off, you didn’t work on your batting helmet throws all spring training. You worked on hitting, fielding, throwing baseballs, running bases, and it is because you worked on those things that you are an elite baseball player — elite at hitting, fielding, throwing baseballs, running bases. That’s how it works: The things you do a lot, you become elite at. The things you’ve never done, you’re terrible at. Don’t do those things in front of the world! Do them in your garage until you get good at them, then join the televised helmet-chucking circuit.

But, my dude, you’ve only just begun looking like a first QWOP attempt. Because after throwing the helmet roughly into your own dugout, you’re about to run into a guy who has been waiting his entire life — well, the past four seconds of his entire life — to punch you. He is ready! Unlike you! You are still half-trying to figure out whether you’ll need to allow for the slope of the mound and worried about trying to punch from the wrong foot and, because you bat left but throw right, trying to decide which hand you even are, and hoping that the helmet will hit him, and still truly undecided between punch and kick and tackle and going and getting the helmet to rethrow it. Also, your stupid helmet throw has left you off balance, so you’re going to get hit in the face with a punch right around the time you decide.

You can’t look cool getting hit in the face with a punch, my dude. Didn’t you think this through at all? This is you, my guy: