(SCENE: The home manager's office at Target Field. Twins manager RON GARDENHIRE is on the phone. He is speaking with General Manager BILL SMITH.)
SMITH: Ron, Baker's going to have to go back on the DL. The elbow just isn't right, we can't risk pushing it at this point.
GARDENHIRE: Yeah, yeah, alright. We'll just plug Swarzak in, then.
SMITH: Actually, Ron, we're going to go a different direction on this one.
GARDENHIRE: You're finally giving Gibson the call? I thought he was dinged up, too?
SMITH: No, not Kyle, either. We're g--
GARDENHIRE: Ohhh, I get it, we're just gonna have Blackie pick up his spot in the rotation. Suppose pitching on two days rest will get that sinker to drop.
SMITH: Ron, it's gonna be Slowey. We're calling up Kevin Slowey.
(GARDENHIRE laughs uproariously.)
GARDENHIRE: That's a good one, Bill. You should have just said we traded TC Bear and some bats for Timmy Lincecum, I would have believed that more.
SMITH: Not kidding, Ron. We need Swarzak to pick up the rest of the guys if they come up short again. It's Slowey.
(The phone line goes dead.)
(SCENE: Progressive Field visitor's clubhouse. KEVIN SLOWEY enters. JIM THOME greets him.)
THOME: Hey Kevin! How's things?
SLOWEY: Oh, you know, just been out in New York, working on my game, reading some Nietzche.
THOME: Nishi? He wrote a book? I'll be danged! Hey guys, did you know Nishioka wrote a book? How cool is that?
SLOWEY: No, Jim. Friedrich Nietzche. The German philosopher. He had a lot of important things to say about the human condition.
THOME: Good talking to you, Kevin! Keep your chin up!
(SCENE: Progressive Field visitor's dugout. GARDENHIRE is back on the phone with SMITH.)
GARDENHIRE: Hey, Bill, listen, is there anyone else down in Rochester who we can fly in here for Sunday? I don't think this Slowey thing is gonna work.
SMITH: What happened now?
GARDENHIRE: He met with Andy and I, and he handed both of us a cassette, said it was a peace offering.
SMITH: Like, a VCR tape?
GARDENHIRE: No, no, he made us mixtapes. Said the songs on there were his way of saying, "No hard feelings."
SMITH: Well, did you listen to it?
GARDENHIRE: Are you kidding? Who the hell has a tapedeck anymore? He said cassettes were making a comeback, a lot of the bands he was listening to now were only putting their music out that way. What in blazes is a Neutral Milk Hotel?
SMITH: You've got me.
GARDENHIRE: He was wearing a fedora, Bill. A FEDORA. I didn't sign up for this shit, Bill.
SMITH: Jesus. Where is he now?
GARDENHIRE: The guys saw the hat and taped him inside his locker stall. I tried to get them to lay off, but they were pretty into it... (His voice trails off.)
SMITH: Ron, is there something you're not telling me?
(The line goes silent.)
SMITH: Ron? What's going on, Ron?
GARDENHIRE: OK, Bill, you got me. When they ran out of tape, I sort of went over to Cleveland's training room and got more tape.
SMITH: (sighs) Is that it, Ron?
(The line goes silent again.)
GARDENHIRE: OK, OK, Bill, geez Louise. When we ran out of that tape, I took a cab to a Duane Reade and bought more tape. Are you done giving me the third degree? We'll go get some boxcutters and cut him out.
SMITH: Good. Let's never speak of this again.
(SCENE: Saturday morning, the waffle station at the Hilton Garden Inn's breakfast bar, downtown Cleveland. SLOWEY is in line with JOE MAUER.)
MAUER: Man, there's nothing like a hot, plain waffle to start your morning, huh?
SLOWEY: Still no butter or syrup for you, Joe?
MAUER: Are you kidding? We have a day game after a night game tomorrow! Sugar plus dairy just makes me antsy-pantsy.
SLOWEY: (under his breath) I will shake off every other pitch you call for the rest of my life.
(SCENE: Sunday afternoon, Progressive Field, Cleveland. Twins are about to take the field in the bottom of the first. "SLOWEY" takes the mound for his warm-up tosses. Crew Chief TIM WELKE immediately calls for GARDENHIRE to meet with him.)
WELKE: Gardy, what the hell is this?
GARDENHIRE: What do you mean?
WELKE: Why is Cuddyer pitching in a Kevin Slowey jersey?
GARDENHIRE: I don't know what you're talking about.
WELKE: Gardy. Come on. That's just Cuddyer with a curly wig and...is he smoking a clove cigarette?
GARDENHIRE: Yep, that's Slowey, he can't get enough of those cloves! Can't you see the Morrissey t-shirt under his uni? He loves that mopey bastard.
WELKE: I don't know what a Morrissey is, Gardy, but I'll call the game for Cleveland right now if you don't get Slowey out there.
GARDENHIRE: (sighs). Alright, alright. Say, you wouldn't happen to have a boxcutter on you, would you?