(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Editor's note: Completely unsolicited this time, TGP received our old familiar digital recorder via FedEx yesterday, along with two pieces of paper: an invoice and a cease-and-desist order on all future installments of Veteran Clubhouse Presence(TM) if said invoice was not paid by the end of February. TGP has since started negotiations with SB Nation as well as Pat's representatives, Mike and The Guy, for serial rights. Not all details are worked out, but they permitted us to transcribe the following, as well as provide The Complete Set of Links to previous episodes of Veteran Clubhouse Presence, below.
The transcript follows.
YO, nerdos and nerditas, and blogarogadingdongs everywhere, it's me, your old pal Pat. First, let me unzip a little here on your website and just note that my wonder boy agentarinos, Mike and the Guy, just pointed out to me a couple of things, and I gotta be honest, they piss me off:
One: I do you little asswipes a favor, try to give you a glimpse, a taste of what life with The Bat is like, and while at least you got the transcript part right, goddamnit, some of your comments are really mean - you really didn't think I'd get a job last year? I'm a machine, true, but I got feelings. Damn. And a dog who's increasingly incontinent. I could send you losers worse than this packet with a recorder in it.
Two: My boys say that they noticed that you've got some ads on that site, real thriving businesses too, like Blockbuster and laptop computer companies and Head & Shoulders and whatever else you dorks need to keep up your sorry appearances and nurse your light beers through the night before you go home alone and take care of your business.
So, Three, and Listen Real Careful Here: They drew up some papers, said sign them Pat, teach these pricks a lesson, plus you gotta start thinking now that your financial picture is changing. Jam them up with a C&D or have them pay you. They said you guys are part of some big consortium or some shit, but they peeked at the financials, said that there's money there, so you wusses have to talk to them and then we'll get into a three-way negotiation and figure some way to get you paid, Pat. I said I liked both of those ideas in concept. Put some numbers on a piece of paper and I'll do my thing on that recorder thingy they sent me, and lay them out. So you're warned before you listen to any more of me, clickheads.
[If I didn't make it perfectly clear, there's more after the jump, blogarogadingdong.]
They are Truly and Well-Hung Up
My guess is you want to know why and how I decided to hang them up. It's my foot, buttwipes, you know that. You really need two of them to play baseball, so don't bother with your queer little statistical analysis any more than that. But you want my personal details, so let me give it to you all flashback-Pat-the-Bat style:
A visit to the podiatrist/ sports med guy/ surgeon - the same old, same old with Kelli, his smoking hot nurse assistant - she knows how I tent up when she gets that paper patient gown on me and takes my vitals. And we've got this little sexy banter - oh, it's all real discreet - about how I hate cold stethoscopes, and then I diagnose her as needing a dose of Pat the Bat, and. whoa. Enough there. Anyways, Dr. Sawbones, who's none the wiser to us over these last few years, comes in 10 minutes after we finish up and shows me the images and the bone spur. The options are limited. I look at the scars on my foot already and think how long it took to rehab, for a spot on a bench to get yanked around like I did in 2010 for the league minimum and for what? I look at my rings. Enough baseball. In a very strange way, somehow I feel relief and like I've outgrown it. I leave the place feeling about ten pounds lighter and with a coupla new scrips for PKs.
Bringing It All Back Home
More flashback: Later that afternoon, I have a long boozy talk with Mike and the Guy Over Drinks at a Strip Club - where we call up the Bouche and the Beaner - some options get discussed and my cell phone gets passed around, meetings get set up for tomorrow. Bouche I think mentioned college coaching. We laugh for a good ten minutes about that one, though the boys have to work on me a while to get me out of the ol' Hurricane Road Trip Memory Chamber and refocused. Beaner and I ping-pong a few concepts, no commitment Pat, but I can put in a good word with the owners. Somethin' like: It Gets Better Ambassador. I counter with "Clubhouse Looseinator." We escalate from there until threats are exchanged and I slip up and tell him the just-about ex-missus doesn't know about the doctor today- and so Beaner trumps with: I'll give you 24 hours to tell the Drill Sergeant, or I'll snitch and do it myself. Then you call me. Goddamnit, I say, you're not hot enough to be all up in my short hairs, gimme a week, just let me get back to Scottsdale this weekend, let me pack up the house, make some arrangements. I'll be in Tampa one week from today. Call you from there. OK, a week, he agrees. Click.
So I hosted a private Sausage Party in Scottsdale - basically a long weekend of strip clubs and ping/beer pong back in the basement with Wilson, Rowand (he actually cooked these awesome sausages), and Huff, during which Pineapple joined the fun from Vegas. When the fluffer got a load of the mess we left by Monday at lunchtime, I had to dig deep, turn on the Brown Eyes(TM), and say I'm sorry, and after some extremely loud negotiations we wound up with a much lovelier horizontal view of the mountains in the late afternoon from the bedroom windows. I'll really miss her, I mean those - mountains. Screw it [laughs]. I peel a coupla grands' worth of c-notes, tell her to find a cleanup crew and keep the rest, my foot is killing me, and I had a flight to catch to Tampa. Buh-bye.
Back In Tampa: Spin Cycle
I hung around most of the day schmoozing and ogling the hot new trainers at the cycling studio Grampy and I paid for before the Drill Sergeant found time in her busy schedule to call me into her office around four. I told her about the decision, then -- on cue -- I get a forty minute lecture about did you talk to this person, did you talk to that person, did you ever get rid of those drunken idiot agents of yours like I told you to, did you read anything about the MLB pension, did you talk to the player reps, Jeezus even Victorino seems to have a grip about money, my lawyer says this, my lawyer says that, you know I could take you for millions Pat, millions, and no jury would convict, and did you sell the condo in Philly - goddamnit Pat you're not a kid anymore, baseball's not writing any more fat checks, you wanna spend the rest of your life with losers like Bowa at memorabilia shows?
She was angry, raging, walking around me like a bad cop in an interrogation as I just sat there. But she was in her workout clothes, having just come from a class. And eventually she stopped. And I started.
It's a rocky detente we have, but we've always been good at that. I left her sleeping on the couch, with a note thanking her for getting me straight, I'll work on those things, I'll call her, Love Pat. l head back to the airport to begin the next phase in my new, buh-bye-coastal married lifestyle. A flight back to San Fran. The place is like an old hemp shirt to me these last two years. I don't think I'll ever leave now. I text Huff to meet up at the Tipsy Pig to unwind and get vodkarific. We rage.
Propers: The Calls Roll In
And Utley. Jeez, that guy. If there were a competition for guys that just suck on the phone, Uts would be the WFC - part dead-air cowboy, part scolding, pompous high priest of animals. Swear to God, here's how it goes, goddamn every time too, I'll give you the playback basically word-for-word, no joke:
Uts: Yo Pat, it's Uts.
Me: Yo Uts, what's shakin'?
Uts: Heard you're retiring. Wanna wish you well.
Me: Thanks Chase. Thanks for the call. Means a lot. It was crazy fun. How's Jen?
[pause. I hear him breathe a few times.]
Uts: Good. Say, she and I want to know how Elvis is doing. Last time you called you were bitching about him crapping all over. Did you change his diet like I told you?
Uts: Goddammit Pat! Jeezus, listen. Stop pouring booze in his water dish for laughs, and Elvis can't digest chocolate like we can, either. And did you read that article about bulldogs I sent you? Pat, you gotta take good care of dogs like that, they fall apart unless you do, Pat, and if you can't man up and express his anal glands like I showed you, take him to an effing vet for once. He's only gonna get stinkier if you don't, and...
Uts: Listen. Eff it Pat, I just wanted to wish you all the best, man. It was an honor. But goddammit.
Me: Thanks for calling, likewise. I'll get the dog.
And like I do every time he calls, I call Elvis over and hold the phone up to his ear, and the big furry goofball comes trotting over all cockeyed, with his tongue all out, which always reminds me of when I saw Cholly jogging around Clearwater that year he was trying to lose weight on SlimFast or uppers or whatever. Anyways, this little routine we have worked out -- at least now there are no surprises when I take Elvis outside, because as soon as he hears Utley's voice he squats and pees like the whiny submissive bitch he's become over these last three years. It used to make me laugh, but now it just creeps me out, it's so pathetic. And I think he does this just to make some kind of point, but Uts always spends more time talking to my goddamn dog than to me. Always. I worry than someone's gonna see me holding my phone up to my dog's ear for more than five minutes.
I hate to admit it, but I'm wondering how many more years of this I gotta put up with.
Pat the Bat: The Dreams Live On
So late yesterday afternoon I went to my undisclosed batting cage out near Las Gatos, and sweated out another session, shirtless and just murdering the ball, with a cooler of ice, some beers and a pocketful of PKs. I took a break, and my eyes just glazed as I stare out at the billboards behind the net as the sun was going down. And bang! Just like that. All of a sudden I'm back there again. And there.
Hey - don't EVER pity me for being retired. You want to pity someone, look at the jackass in your bathroom mirror. All you blogarogadingdongs will ever know at a cage is fantasy. When I close my eyes and remember, it's all real. See, Pat had it both ways: the fantasy and the reality, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Well, that might be a bit much, [laughs], but I made my point. And maybe it's the half-tabs of Vicodin I took to keep this goddamned foot from barking at me while I swing, I don't really give a crap, but I saw myself taking a good long ride around the dirt track at the 'Zit with the top down - the club mix blaring behind, and everybody's shirtless and beautiful, and I am throwing red and blue beads at all of your skyward-pointing nipples, bronzed and happy to see me again in the hot summer sun.
If you're a good-looking chick, I mean. Whoa! these PKs don't eff around.
Pat definitely outtahere. Lose my number, mmmkay?
The Veteran Clubhouse Presence Oeuvre:
Bonus Ginsberg Fanboy Beat Poem Homage: BURL - August 19, 2010
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog entry are purely those of the writer, who is now strangely appreciative of the time he thought he wasted about 20 years ago in a postgraduate, cliche-ridden reading binge diet of Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Hunter S Thompson. The content and allegations contained in this piece and all those linked to hereabove are merely inspired by actual events by current or former major league baseball bats or players, one of whom is permanently ensconced in his memory, riding
smiling in your dog-
parade down the Broad Street across Philadelphia with beers
to the core of my being on a baseball night