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Scenes from a NOT-season, Volume 1

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When it's on-season, you're playing baseball. When it's off-season, you're thinking about playing baseball. When you're a fired manager with no new job? It's a NOT-season.

"I mean, I don't REALLY have to do anything, right?"
"I mean, I don't REALLY have to do anything, right?"
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

SCENE: Gardenhire family garage. RON GARDENHIRE sits alone in a lawn chair bouncing a racquet ball off the wall. A half-full can of Coors Light sits at the foot of Gardy's chair. The mountains on the can are not blue. CAROL GARDENHIRE comes into the laundry room adjoining the garage.

CAROL GARDENHIRE (yelling from the laundry room): Hun, have you cleaned up all those cans yet?

Ron pauses throwing his racquet ball.

RON GARDENHIRE: Yeah, I got rid of them. You can come look!

Carol does not come to look and goes back into the house without responding. Ron sighs and throws his racquet ball against the wall. The ball bounces back and hits his half-full can of beer, knocking it over.

RON GARDENHIRE (quietly, under his breath): God damn it.

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SCENE: Bakery section at CostCo in Maple Grove. RON GARDENHIRE stands in front of a table covered in large plastic bags full of various kinds of bagels. Each large plastic bag contains at least two separate plastic bags of bagels inside, both of the same flavor, except for one particular bag which contains both a bag of Everything bagels and a bag of Onion bagels. A sign on the table reads: "2 for $7."

A COSTCO WORKER walks buy.

RON GARDENHIRE (to the CostCo worker): Excuse me, how much are these bagels exactly?

COSTCO WORKER: Um... 2 for $7 sir. It says it right there on the sign.

The CostCo worker points at the sign that says "2 for $7."

RON GARDENHIRE (half mumbling): Thanks.

Ron picks up a bag of bags of bagels, looks at it, then puts it back and walks away.

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SCENE: Back in the Gardenhire family garage. RON GARDENHIRE sits on his lawn chair, this time in the corner. He glances towards the door to the laundry room before taking a drag off his e-cigarette. Feeling good, he starts trying to exhale vapor rings with no success.

RON GARDENHIRE (half mumbling, to himself): I didn't even want to manage this year anyway.

Ron suddenly sneezes, dropping his e-cigarette on the floor of the garage.

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SCENE: Gardenhire kitchen the next morning. RON GARDENHIRE is slowly eating a stick of turkey bacon and looking at his plate of scrambled eggs and toast, wishing he had a bagel.

The home phone rings. CAROL GARDENHIRE answers.

CAROL GARENHIRE: Hello? Oh hi! Yes, yes. He is here. Oh, I'm sure he'll be excited to hear from an old friend!

Carol covers the receiver and is about to tell Ron he has a phone call, but unbeknownst to her, he was already behind her and grabs the phone out of her hand before she had a chance to say anything.

RON GARDENHIRE: HELLO? Hey! Holy cow I've missed you!

MIKE REDMOND: Wow, Ron, same! I wanted to see how you're doing. How are ya?

RON GARDENHIRE (suddenly much less excited): Oh, hey Mike. How are you? Er, I mean... um, taken any naked batting practice lately?

Five seconds of awkward silence.

MIKE REDMOND: No. I haven't been taking batting practice since I stopped playing five years ago.

RON GARDENHIRE: Oh, ha! Right. I was just, uh, kidding... What's up?

MIKE REDMOND: Honestly not much. Not like I was planning to get fired right after the Marlins signed me to that contact extension! So haven't been sure what to do with myself now... Just wanted to see how you were spending your time. I mean, you were one of my favorite managers...

RON GARDENHIRE: Really?

MIKE REDMOND: Um... [muffled noises] Yeah! Of course. So have you been keeping busy?

RON GARDENHIRE: Oh, oh yeah! I've had a LOT going on! Almost made a big double purchase yesterday but decided against it at the last second. Wasn't sure if I was understanding everything at play though, you know? I'm thinking about things a lot more now.

MIKE REDMOND: Yeah? I've been a little lost. I started building a pyramid of empty Miller High Life bottles in the--

RON GARDENHIRE: You should come to visit!

MIKE REDMOND: Oh, um, yeah! I'd love to! I'm just trying to get a new job though as soon as possible, you know?

RON GARDENHIRE: Oh, of course. Good luck to you on that too.

MIKE REDMOND: Thanks Ron! I've really--oh, I have a call coming in on the other line, it's been nice chatting though let's get together soon!

RON GARDENHIRE: Yeah! Let's--

The line goes dead. Ron Gardenhire goes back to the kitchen table and sits down. He looks down at his plate: there's a piece of turkey bacon. Ron picks the strip up, admiring it for a moment, before angrily chucking it across the room.

RON GARDENHIRE (quietly, under his breath): God damn it.