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Scenes from a NOT season, Volume 4

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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.

"Kids shouldn't be eating all these animal 'crackers' anyway."
"Kids shouldn't be eating all these animal 'crackers' anyway."
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

SCENE: Gardenhire family den/office, late at night. RON GARDENHIRE sits alone on the couch watching MLB Network on his old box TV. On top of the TV there is a VCR flashing "12:00". Gardy has his hand deep in a plastic container of Kirkland brand animal crackers.

A segment about the Twins comes on. Gardy begins chuckling, and then it turns into soft laughter, and then slightly harder laughter. Suddenly he starts choking on his animals crackers, or they go down the wrong tube or something, and he's hacking and coughing. He pounds himself on the chest a couple times and sits up straight, regaining himself, before leaning back and grabbing his can of Coors Light off the side table. The can is empty. Gardy forgot that he had finished it, but he tries to take a swig anyway. There might be a drop left in there.

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SCENE: Gardenhire family backyard in the afternoon. RON GARDENHIRE is asleep on a chaise lawn chair. His phone starts vibrating on the small glass table next to him. Gardy is stirred awake. He groggily picks the phone up and flips it open.

GARDENHIRE: Hello?

RUBEN AMARO, JR: Grady! How's it going? Ruben Amaro here, jus--

Gardy flips the phone closed. He looks around and picks up his warm, half-full can of Coors Light on the table next to him. He attempts to take a sip, but spills beer on his white tank top instead.

GARDENHIRE: Son of a...

He groans as he puts the can back on the table and lies back down on the lawn chair, still clutching his phone.

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SCENE: Gardenhire family kitchen the next day. CAROLL GARDNEHIRE is watching four of her nieces and nephews for the afternoon. The kids are running in circles around the house chasing each other in some indiscernible game they made up. RON GARDNEHIRE sits at the kitchen table with a large bottle of aloe vera gel, which he is appling generously over his very red arms, chest, and face. He turns to Caroll.

RON GARDENHIRE: I should have just worn my windbreaker yesterday and this never would have happened.

Caroll doesn't respond. She's busy cleaning dishes at the sink. Suddenly, the children run in the room and up to Caroll.

KIDS: Aunt Caroll! Can we have a snack!

CAROLL GARDENHIRE: Of course! I bought just the thing for you.

Caroll Gardenhire goes to look inside the pantry and furrows her brow.

CAROLL GARDENHIRE: Wow, well I could have sworn I bought some... Huh. I guess, um, I have some Ry-Crips. Would you like those?

KIDS: What are Ry-Crips?

RON GARDENHIRE: They're like cardboard.

CAROLL GARDENHIRE: Ron!

RON GARDENHIRE: Sorry...

KIDS: We like cardboard!

Caroll shoots a look at Gardy.

CAROLL GARDENHIRE: Well here you go!

Caroll hands out the Ry-Crip crackers to the kids. Three of them make it about two bites through the cracker before they put it back on the counter. One little girl devours the whole thing.

KIDS: Can we go swimming now!?

CAROLL GARDENHIRE: Well I don't kn--

RON GARDENHIRE: I have an even better idea!

The kids all turn to Gardy.

KIDS: What!?!

RON GARDENHIRE: How about I set up the slip n' slide right here in the backyard? I can do it right now!

KIDS: YAY!!!!!!!

The kids all run out into the backyard as Caroll rolls her eyes and continues washing the dishes. Gardy sort of shrugs before getting up and going out to the garage to get out the slip n' slide.