Scenes From An Offseason, Volume 9

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

And now, we look into our offseason script... one more time.

SCENE: The Twins front office. We open on an outer office. Several employees work quietly in their cubicles. In the background, a telegraph chatters to life occasionally; we hear one of the employees muttering to himself about "damn telegraph spam."We cut to a conference room, within the office. Sitting around the table are TERRY RYAN, RON GARDENHIRE, ROB ANTONY and JIM POHLAD. Sitting in the corner, wearing a dunce cap, is BILL SMITH.

RYAN: All right, gentlemen, let's get this meeting out of the way. I've got my weekly fifteen minutes of reviewing available free agents' injury histories.

POHLAD: I want this over quickly. I've got a 2pm appointment to go over to the State Capitol and steal money out of the treasury, or something like that. I can't remember what the ol' smartphone says.

He holds up what is clearly an analog wristwach, with no digital capabilities of any kind.

GARDENHIRE: All right, item #1. There's an article on the internet that says we're all idiots. I don't like it.

POHLAD: Nor me.

RYAN: Don't worry. I'll get La Velle to take care of it.

ANTONY: What?

RYAN: I'll just talk to La Velle, soften him up a little bit, and he'll take it off the internet.

GARDENHIRE: You need me to help? He won't take it off the internet willingly.

ANTONY: Guys, that's not how the internet works.

RYAN: Oh, our bad, Bill Freaking Gates.

ANTONY: No, seriously, I don't think -

GARDENHIRE: Can it, Mr. Computer. Item #2: the free agent market.

RYAN: (/makes farting noises)

ANTONY: Terry, we really need -

SMITH (cutting across him): Let's sign Jamie Moyer!

POHLAD: Quiet, you!

He heaves a brick at Smith. It misses by ten feet and shatters a window.

POHLAD: Damn!

TREVOR PLOUFFE (from outside, in the distance): Nice throw, boss!

SMITH (catching on): Ouch! You really got me there, sir.

POHLAD (grumbling): Shut up.

RYAN: Listen, there's no point in preparing for free agency. Every dance, there's a few dames without partners by the final song, am I right? Once it starts ticking on towards February, there'll be plenty of players who held out for bigger money, and are starting to see their major-league spot slipping away. That's when we make our move - two million here, three million there, a few minor-league contracts with an invitation to major-league camp, and we're done. Easy.

ANTONY: And how does that make the team better?

RYAN: And how does what now?

GARDENHIRE: Perfect. Item #3: We get to hire another coach.

POHLAD: That one's done. It's going to be Paul Molitor.

GARDENHIRE: What? No!

POHLAD: Sorry, Ron, but it makes us look like we're doing something!

GARDENHIRE (horrified): NO!

RYAN: Ron, look at it from our perspective. We hired you, but now we have to make it look like we're really doing something. And this is perfect; it mollifies all of the parochial goofs in these parts without actually doing anything!

GARDENHIRE: But he's nothing but whiny questions! "Ron, why don't we teach Ben Revere to bunt. Ron, why don't we tell Nick Punto that third base isn't like the free space in bingo. Ron, this. Ron, that." I'm sick of it already!

POHLAD: Look on the bright side, Ron. He loves bunting!

GARDENHIRE: (/grumbles inaudibly)

RYAN: And he used to play middle infield....

GARDENHIRE: True, but... (/more grumbling)

POHLAD: And if you want, you can make him and Terry Steinbach wrestle in the clubhouse...

GARDENHIRE (brightening up): Really?

RYAN: Sure! Why not?

GARDENHIRE: Can I get Dan Gladden to come down and hit Molitor with a board?

POHLAD: Of course!

GARDENHIRE: Oh boy!

ANTONY: (/slaps self in forehead)

SMITH: I think we should hire Rick Anderson as a coach!

His chair breaks and he falls to the ground, where he lies motionless. This is ignored by everyone.

RYAN: Okay! Are we done here?

ANTONY: What about the starting rotation?

GARDENHIRE: (/makes fart noises)

RYAN: (/makes fart noises)

POHLAD: (/tries to make fart noises but spits all over himself)

ANTONY: I give up.

GARDENHIRE: Feels good, don't it?

He stands up. Pohlad jumps on his back, and the two run out of the room shouting wildly. Ryan walks to the door, then thinks better of it and walks over to kick Smith before leaving. Antony is left, head in his hands. In the background, we hear the telegraph chatter to life.


SCENE: The basement. Probably mom's basement, let's be honest here. A lone blogger, bathed only in the glow of a laptop screen, sits amidst a bunch of old pieces of printer paper.

The blogger looks down, and makes a mark. We see that the pieces of paper are lists; the two nearest the top read "Nick Punto Jokes To Make" and "Mike Redmond Jokes To Make." All of the items are crossed off, except one, which the blogger considers, and then draws a line through.

BLOGGER: Well, that's that.

He closes his laptop, a half-smile on his face, then walks up the stairs towards an open door, which mystically opens at his approach. A ray of sunlight shines brightly into the basement; the blogger briefly shields his eyes, then - taking a deep breath - he steps out of the basement and into the light.

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