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Scenes from a NOT season, Volume 5

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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.

"It's everything proof? This is perfect!"
"It's everything proof? This is perfect!"
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

SCENE: Gardenhire family backyard. NICK PUNTO has semi-haphazardly set up the Gardenhire family slip n' slide. It's really not even that hot out. Punto makes a few tweeks to the slide mat and then jogs to the front of the house.

NICK PUNTO (yelling, from the front of the house): GET MONEY GET PAID!

Punto sprints along the whole side of the house, across the lawn, and lands perfectly on the beginning of the slip n' slide mat and flies down the whole length of it. He slides into the inflatable pool at the "end" with such force that he rips the entire back of it off and continues sliding across the gravel landscaping behind it.

NICK PUNTO: WOOOOOOO!!!!

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SCENE: Gardenhire family backyard, a few hours later. RON GARDENHIRE and CAROLL GARDENHIRE pull into the garage after a trip to CostCo. Ron takes an open-top box full of wholesale goods out of the back of the car. He walks out into the backyard and immediately notices the haphazard, broken slip n' slide.

RON GARDENHIRE: What the...?

Gardy brings the Cost Co box of wholesale items inside and puts it down on the kitchen counter. He walks around the house to investigate. In the office/den he sees a damp NICK PUNTO, fast asleep on the couch. Gardy softly chuckles and pulls the blanket hanging over the back of the couch over Nick.

RON GARDENHIRE: Never change, Nicky, never change.

_________________________________________________________

SCENE: A lake up north. RON GARDENHIRE, MIKE REDMOND, and NICK PUNTO are sitting in a small speed boat with their fishing lines in the water, not speaking to each other. No one has been catching anything or saying anything for quite some time. Ron has a sweet Altac Lansing Speaker that starts playing Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is."

Gardenhire sighs and starts to get a little agitated. Suddenly, he picks up the speaker.

RON GARDENHIRE: "Watch this!"

Gardy throws the speaker clear into the lake. Before he can even explain, Punto dives into the lake to get after itthe speaker, that iswhich is actually still now floating on top of the water, and still playing Bruce Hornsby.

BRUCE HORNSBY:  "That's just the way it is..."

Gardy starts rubbing his eyes. Redmond is still looking at his fishing pole on the other side of the boat and hasn't even acknowledged any of this. Punto finally resurfaces.

NICK PUNTO: "I'm so sorry I didn't get--"

Punto stops when he suddenly hears the sweet sounds of Bruce Horsby still playing.

BRUCE HORNSBY:  "Some things will never change!"

NICK PUNTO: "Oh my god!"

Punto turns around and swims freestyle over to speaker and grabs it. He swims back to the back of the boat, climbs up the back ladder, and presents the speaker to Gardy.

RON GARDENHIRE: "It's an Altec Lansing speaker, Nick. It's everything proof."

NICK PUNTO (still holding the speaker): "Oh my god!"

Nick Punto looks down at it. He looks back up into Ron Gardenhire's eyes, and then over at Mike Redmond's back, since Redmond is still looking the other way and literally paying no attention what so ever to the other two.

NICK PUNTO: What if we poured beer on it?

RON GARDENHIRE: Go ahead!

Nick Punto cracks open a brand new can of Coors Light and holds the speaker (which is six and one-half inch long) over the side of the boat. He pours the entire can of beer directly across and into the speaker, and nothing happens. It's still playing Bruce Hornsby.

BRUCE HORNSBY:  "Oh yeahhhh!"

Nick reaches into his pocket and takes out some wet sand and throws it at the speaker, which has no effect on it.

NICK PUNTO: Gardy, it's like... if I was a speaker. I would be this speaker.

RON GARDENHIRE: I know, Nick.

There is no response to this conversation from Mike Redmond, who can clearly hear it sitting a few feet away in the front of the boat. He just doesn't care. He's trying to actually catch a fish.