Sneaky fan butters up Nationals backup catcher in fan mail, then asks for Harper autograph

In an entertaining story from the Washington Post's James Wagner about pro baseball players and the snail mail they still receive in piles -- smaller stacks in the digital era -- comes the discovery of a bold letter that Washington Nationals 31-year-old backup catcher Jose Lobaton received.

Maybe it doesn't qualify as Lobaton "fan mail" since the sender had an obvious ulterior motive. Rather, the letter came from a Bryce Harper fan or perhaps someone seeking the 2015 National League MVP's autograph for sale:

"Hey Loby, I'm your biggest fan," the letter said, according to both players. "You're the future of the game. There's a Bryce Harper card in here. Can you have him sign it please?"

Harper laughed hysterically. Lobaton wasn't quite as amused.

"Loby is what, thirty-something? Late twenties?" Harper said later. "It was funny because Loby was like, 'This kid told me I'm the future of the game!'"

Lobaton won't be a gopher for that collector, but the disingenuous sender is at least pretty clever: Lobaton sits at a locker adjacent to Harper's.

But come on, you monsters, don't talk up Jose Lobaton like that unless you really mean it.