Hello, my name is Steve Carlton. I don’t know if this story will ever come out, since I’ve never operated one of these portable computers before.

I got this one off some guy from the Detroit Free Press. He had the nerve to ask me for an interview before Tuesday night’s game — just because I was pitching for the Chicago White Sox, my first American League team, after supposedly retiring from baseball last week.

Honest to God. These reporters are such bloodsuckers.

Anyhow, I took care of him. Gave him a kung fu kick to the head. He’ll start breathing again in a few days. Maybe you didn’t know I was a kung fu master. But then, there are a lot of things about me you don’t know.

Which is why I’m writing this little article.

For instance, my favorite food is not boiled fish, as some people think. My favorite food is actually stuffed cabbage. And fried pork rinds. And rice. I like rice. I like to eat rice, and I like to stick my arm in rice and move it around.

Not the same rice, of course.

Once I tried to do my martial arts exercises in rice, but it didn’t work. I wound up with a huge order of Moo Goo Gai Pan.

I also like to meditate, which has been written about. But even more than that, I like to listen to polka music. Sometimes I even dance around the clubhouse. You probably didn’t know that.

But then, there are a lot of things about me you didn’t know. A viner, not a whiner I guess that’s because I don’t talk to the press. Except when I join a new team. This is my third team in 14 years. It’s also my third team in five weeks. I’m not having a real great year.

But, hey, I’m 41. I’ve won four Cy Young Awards. I’ve struck out 4,004 batters. Been around the majors 21 years.

So what if I flopped in my four weeks with San Francisco? Hey, I really only went there because it’s near the Napa Valley. You may have read about my vine collection. Not my wine collection. I only have three bottles of wine. But you should see my vines. All over the basement.

Why did I come out of retirement to pitch in the American League? Well, for one thing, the White Sox asked me. Being retired for a week is tough.

True, Chicago has to pay only about $20,000 for me. The Phillies pick up the rest of my $1.1 million-a-year contract. I’ll always have a warm spot for Philadelphia in my heart. And my wallet.

And I would have told the people in Philly so, except they sent all these reporters.

Which brings us, I guess, to the big question: Will I talk to the media now that I’ve returned?

Why should I? Really. Why should I? I mean, don’t you remember why I stopped talking in the first place? Don’t you? Huh? Why did I stop talking in the first place? My God. Because of the . . . Because of . . . the thing with
. . . uh . . .

I forgot. Color me quiet Well, whatever. I’m sure I had a good reason at the time. But you shouldn’t get the wrong idea. People have said I’m shy and only want to hunt and fish and stare at the clouds in the skies of Montana.

That’s not entirely true. Actually, my life’s ambition is to be a color commentator for ABC Sports. Tim McCarver, my old catcher in Philadelphia — who did my talking for me there — tells me the broadcast life is all right. So I’m gonna check it out. Maybe I could just think the commentary, and Tim could do the actual talking.

You probably didn’t know that about me. But then, there are a lot of things about me you didn’t know.

You know, this is kind of fun, talking into this machine. I think I’ll try real people next. Yeah. After the game. Maybe that guy from the Free Press will wake up in time.

Hey. The game. I almost forgot. I’d better find out which one of these guys is the catcher.

So let’s see. I’m going to push this button now, the one marked “SEND,” and see where this story ends up. Probably nowhere. But who knows?

OK, then. It’s been nice writing for you, whoever you are.

And for those of you who think my silence is stupid, who think that after 41 years on earth I should be able to find a way to co-exist with reporters, for those who think making a fuss over my return after one week is dumb, and that maybe, the way I was throwing, I should have stayed retired — well, to those of you out there, let me just say this:

Shhhhhhhhh.

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