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Scenes from an Offseason: Thanksgiving with the Twins

Happy Thanksgiving to you, wherever you are, from all of us here at Twinkie Town.

SCENE: Just after dark. The exterior of a very nice, large family home, probably in some rich suburb like Edina. Those Edina kids have all the money. Anyway, we zoom in towards a large window as it lightly snows. Inside is a large dining room table, full of traditional Thanksgiving food, surrounded by PAUL MOLITOR, JOE VAVRA, JOE MAUER, GLEN PERKINS, BRIAN DOZIER, and TERRY RYAN.

MOLITOR: Well everyone, thanks for coming. It means a lot that we're all here, together.

MAUER: Yeah, about that...are you sure my mom can't come?

MOLITOR: Sorry, Joe. This is a family dinner. A Twins family-family dinner.

MAUER: She's waiting outside.

PERKINS: In the car?

MAUER: Thanksgiving without my mom isn't Thanksgiving at all, you guys.

DOZIER: I'm a big fan of your mom's pie.

MAUER: Me, too.

DOZIER: (/giggles)

PERKINS: (/giggles)

RYAN: (/makes far noises)

Everyone goes silent at Ryan's fart noise - Ryan looks around the room a moment too long before realizing nobody will laugh with him, and reaches for the mashed potatoes.

MOLITOR: Listen. I want to know what you guys are thankful for this year. Let's start with you, Perk, and go around the table.

PERKINS: I suppose I'm thankful for second chances.

DOZIER: The Hair and Makeup by Steph blog. I mean, it's not like an everyday thing, but there's some stuff on there that really helps me out.

MAUER: Kemps dairy products.

VAVRA: Joe, you know you're not required to endorse any of that boring stuff at Thanksgiving, right?

MAUER: I like Kemps.

MOLITOR: Let's keep it moving, please. Terry, what about you?

RYAN: The love of family and friends. The support of the Twins and ownership and the fans in a very difficult year.

Silence as the table reflects on Terry's words, unsure of what to say.

MOLITOR (softly, at JOE VAVRA): And what about you?

VAVRA: Dating the boss's daughter is awesome. Third time's the charm, boys! (Picks up eggnog, drains the carton.) WHOO!

In the distance a car horn is honking.


SCENE: The inside of a small shack, somewhere in the way north of Minnesota. Sitting around a hole in the ice, decked from head to toe in warm winter gear, are RON GARDENHIRE and ANTHONY SWARZAK.

GARDY: So he doesn't like to talk about Sasquatches, huh?

SWARZAK: Nope. It's like he don't even believe in 'em. Ain't that the damndest thing?

GARDY (finishing a beer, tossing the can into a corner where it clangs against a heap of empties): What did they tell you? I thought Terry was gonna cry when I walked into his office.

SWARZAK: I just knew when I walked into the clubhouse. Nobody would look at me, except Joe. You know, whenever he sees someone for the first time that day he goes all big eyes and that shy half smile, and he says "Heeyyy, Tony" in that awful Italian accent. (/laughs)

Silence as SWARZAK's laugh fades and he notices GARDY looking sadly out the window.

SWARZAK: Still thinking about him?

GARDY (sniffing): He always used to call on the holidays. And he taught Joe that thing, he laughed so darned much when he told me about it.

SWARZAK: Yeah, he did call you, until you started calling him in the middle of the night and heavy-breathing and not saying anything.

GARDY: I got nervous, gosh dangit!

SWARZAK: I know, coach. I know it's not easy. But I'm here, right? We have a bunch of cold ones sitting in the water. The Lions are going to get their asses kicked by the Bears in a little bit. Life's not all bad, right?

GARDY (on the verge of tears): The fact that you can say that to me, so soon after you've been cut...

SWARZAK and GARDY stand up and hug it out. Moments later, a phone rings. GARDY pushes SWARZAK away, who stumbles backward and falls over the box he was using as a chair.

GARDY (diving for the phone): IT'S HIM! HELLO?!?!?


GARDY (sadly): Oh. Hey, Carol.


SCENE: The inside of a dark bar, stale with cigarette smoke that never quite left the cracking leather upholstry of the booths and stools. Two men sit at the bar alone, as a television from the 90s plays SportsCenter in the corner. Behind them, one man is shooting pool beneath light fittings from the 70s. The distant white noise of the television and the occasional crack of billiard balls carries the two men through their silence.

RICK ANDERSON (finishing a sip of whiskey but not putting the glass down): I told 'em I didn't want to come back.

SCOTT ULLGER: Oh, yeah. Me, too!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!