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Scenes From A Preseason, Volume 1

SCENE: The Twins' training room in Fort Myers. Through the door, we see a handful of players already in the clubhouse for the day's game - Glen Perkins sorting through some mail, Josh Willingham working on a bat, Francisco Liriano trying to throw a wad of tape into the trash can but repeatedly missing. With the team announcing that henceforth, all injury updates will come from general manager Terry Ryan or assistant GM Rob Antony rather than the training staff or field management, the principals involved are gathering for their first injury update meeting. Ryan and Antony arrive, bustling in the door with a professional air, to find head trainer Rick McWane cleaning a fish on his desk.

MCWANE: Fellas, come on in! (gets up, moves around to front of desk, where he sits, apparently directly in the fish entrails) Boy, I can't tell you how glad that you fellas are going to be in charge of the injury updates this year. These meetings with Gardy were getting pretty strained by the end of last year. You wouldn't believe how many times I had to explain how sand wasn't the problem. Strange fixation on sand, that guy.


MCWANE: Never mind, never mind. Now, as I understand it, my job's to keep you guys up to date on what's going on with our guys, correct?

RYAN: Yep, that's right. We just want to make sure we're getting the right information out there. You know the kind of thing that happened last year.

MCWANE: Boy, don't I. Did you guys know bilateral leg weakness was an actual thing? I told Gardy to say that because it sounded like something my mechanic would tell me. Guy always says, "Rick, you've got some frelennia in your gronkulator here," or whatever he says, and then I end up paying fifteen hundred smackers. I figured I could make something up and it'd explain the whole thing. Who was I to know that I'd accidentally said something medically relevant? First time for everything.

RYAN: Oh my goodness.

MCWANE: Yep. That one's on me, fellas. Anyway, I'm supposed to give you some injury updates.

ANTONY: Let's start with Luke Hughes.

MCWANE: Sure. Guy's got kind of a bad wing and so we're taking it easy on him. Won't be swinging a bat for awhile. But we've got him on the usual rehab plan: he's writing "I will not bother the training staff" a hundred times a day, with the other hand of course, and in his spare time he's allowed to Google "shoulder injury treatment" and do anything he finds on the internets. I figure there must be something good out there. Other than the stuff Valencia uses that computer for, I mean.

RYAN: That's his rehab plan?

MCWANE: What do you want me to do, have him lift weights? Every time I make him try to throw the ball he whines about how it hurts. I'm like, I can't do everything for you, kid.

RYAN: What about Joel Zumaya?

MCWANE: Same thing: the usual. Got him throwing eleven times a day, and if he mentions anything hurting, I hit him in the arm with a fungo bat.

ANTONY: You're hitting him in the arm with a bat?

MCWANE: The other arm, doofus. The one that's not hurt. I'm not an idiot.

RYAN (faintly): Do I dare even ask about Brian Dozier?

MCWANE: Well, he's a tough case, I'm not gonna lie to you. Got a cut on his finger, and my leech supplier down here went out of business over the winter, so I'm running a little bit low. We'll figure something out, though.

RYAN: Oh no.

ANTONY: I think we're done here.

MCWANE: (waves airily) Sure, sure. You guys stop in any time.

They leave. McWane looks down at the fish carcass on his desk, then back up at the door.

MCWANE (calling after Ryan and Antony, who are out the door and halfway across the clubhouse): Say, either of you know how to clean a fish?