Good morning, beautiful! Lovely dress.

Okay, you’re probably wondering what’s been going on with me lately. Falling asleep in meetings. Missing deadlines. Perpetual five o’clock shadow. The distinct smell of whiskey on my breath. Hair askew, tie mangled. Drooling on The Patterson File. Not making lewd comments when Felicia from accounting strolls by.

I’m off my game. And it’s painfully obvious to all of you.

Well, I just want you to know that it’s not my fault. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Major League Baseball and, more specifically, the Red Sox.

As you well know, our boys are in the playoffs. And they’re doing quite well. So well, in fact, they’ve made it all the way to the World Series, that most elusive butterfly that’s finally flitting within distance of our oversized net.

As a result, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep this month. Not since this roller coaster began with the ALDS, which now seems an eternity ago.

But I want to assure you that it will all be over soon.

This week, the Red Sox are either going to win or lose the World Series. If they win, coffee and donuts are on me for the rest of the year. I’ll man the grill at the company cookout. I’ll mow the goddam office park lawn on the weekends. Your car? Consider it waxed and buffed for the rest of your days, my friend. President’s 80-year-old secretary needs a little cozying-up-to on those lonely Saturday nights? Er, I know a guy.

If they lose, well… that’s where it could get rough. Remember last year around this time, when I dropped that unexpected cockpunching on Tico, the copy machine repairman, because he said something about Aaron Boone? You’ll probably see some simliar “antics.”

You just have to understand. It’s been a stressful time for me. No one lives and dies with this team like I do, and everyone at the office know this. So I’m the guy they come to, every day, to ask about the games, to gauge my reactions, to hear about my game-viewing rituals [my new thing, no joke, is running toward the TV as a pitch is uncorked], and to learn what time the riot police eventually showed up at my door.

It may seem strange to you, but I’m standing on the precipice of something I never thought I’d witness in my lifetime [besides, you know, that Hall & Oates reunion I'd been praying for]. It is bigger than anything. Ever. And it demands my full and complete concentration.

That means not just watching the games, but also the pre-game. The post-game. The websites. The blogs. The newspaper articles. The radio talk shows. Kicking off my day with a nutritious bowl of “Mike Timlin: The Cereal.” It is every hour on the hour, and I just can’t let things like work interfere with the mojo.

So today, just so you know, when we meet to discuss next year’s ad budget, I’ll be thinking of Pedro, wondering how he’s going to perform tonight on the biggest stage of his life.

Tomorrow, when we proof the new marketing collateral, I’ll be dreaming of parade routes and the image of Curt Schilling hoisting a World Series trophy over his head in City Hall Plaza.

And next week, during management training, I’ll either be the happiest fella in the auditorium, or a homicidal shell of a man, plotting to take out the CEO because he wears his goatee just like that Suppan prick.

But let’s just pray it doesn’t come to that.

Affectionately yours,

Red

P.S.: Regarding the recent inquiry into who spray painted “Arroyo Rocks Your Balls Off” on the walls of the first floor conference room? Wasn’t me.