The Conversation: Gardy Breaks the News to Pavstache

(SCENE: an office in US Cellular Field. GARDY is sitting at a desk, nursing a diet soda. PAVSTACHE enters.)

GARDY: Hey, Stachey, thanks for showing up...where's Carl?

PAVSTACHE: You know I speak for Carl, Gardy. What's on your mind? (PAVSTACHE draws hard on the last of an unfiltered Lucky Strike, uses it to light a fresh one)

GARDY: why don't you shut the door and take a seat?

PAVSTACHE: Aw, hell, it's one of THOSE meetings. (PAVSTACHE shuts door, sits down, and loosens his wide-knotted tie.) What's going on? Is it about that dancer in Kansas City? You know I didn't--

GARDY: Whoa whoa whoa, chief. This ain't about that.

PAVSTACHE: You saw the gams on that broad! I'm only a man, Ron.

GARDY: Well, technically, you're disembodied facial hair, Stachey.

PAVSTACHE: Yeah, yeah, bust my balls about that another time, why don't you? So, what's the rumpus? You need Carl for another charity thing? The Incmikoskiwitz kid need new shoes? Hear he's got the fallen arches real bad.

GARDY: Nah, FSN's gonna have Timmy Laudner carry him in a Baby Bjorn for the rest of the year. Weirdest goddamn thing I've ever seen.

PAVSTACHE: I bet.

GARDY: Anyway, the reason I'm calling you in is about tonight's game. There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just gonna be up front with you: Mauer's catching you tonight, and going forward, too.

PAVSTACHE: Like hell he is! (PAVSTACHE leaps to his feet and bolts towards the door)

GARDY: Easy, Stachey. You had to know this was coming.

PAVSTACHE: That don't make it right. THAT DON'T MAKE IT RIGHT! (PAVSTACHE leans against the door, fidgets with the knob)

GARDY: Hey, you think I like it any better than you? You think I like throwing Valencia and Hardy out there when I've got Nicky and Matty Tolbert ready to go out there and battle their tails off? Got all these damn statheads telling me about VORP and MORK and Christ-knows-what. They oughta invent a stat for how many girls they've Frenched, just so they can sit and stare at that big fat zero all friggin' day.

PAVSTACHE: Yeah, but you're the manager, Gardy. That's what you get paid to do. I'm paid to pitch, and I only pitch to Sweet Drew.

GARDY: You still calling him that?

PAVSTACHE: He GETS me, Ron! Don't you understand? He GETS me! (PAVSTACHE puts his back to the door and slowly slides down to the floor. He looks to be on the verge of mustache tears.)

GARDY: Hey, hey now, it's not so bad. Mauer's caught you before, Stachey. He's an alright kid.

PAVSTACHE: He's a damn Boy Scout, Gardy! I need someone who'll get his hands dirty. Remember in Arlington, when Sweet Drew and I told Ullger that he has to wave home every third runner or we'll burn his house down?

GARDY: Judas Priest, he STILL thinks that!

PAVSTACHE: I know, and you know damn well Captain Whitebread Pitchtaker would have said, "No, Pavstache, that could cost us a game!" Who cares about the game when you can just feel something, man? You know who told me that? Sweet Drew! He said it to me when we set all those dumpsters on fire in Milwaukee.

GARDY: I'm happy for you, Stachey, and you know how much you've meant to the team this year, but I've gotta do what I've gotta do. There's gonna be holy hell around here if we have Butera starting in the playoffs.

PAVSTACHE: Dammit, I know that. It still--it just don't make it right, Ron. It ain't right.

GARDY: You're preaching to the choir. We cool?

PAVSTACHE: Yeah, we're cool. Sweet Drew know yet?

GARDY: Stelly's telling him right now.

PAVSTACHE: Should probably go find him and buck him up a little bit. Maybe when we get back to the Cities tonight we can sneak into one of the zoos again and punch some animals. Sweet Drew loves coldcocking him some zebras. Says they're arrogant. Man, the smile on his face...

GARDY: Hey, I didn't hear anything. (GARDY smiles, winks at PAVSTACHE. PAVSTACHE opens the door and exits.)

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