Can I Get An Encore?: Ruben Calls On Cano

You crazy for this one, Ruben! - Chris Hondros

By now we all know about the M's-Hova beef and reconciliation. But I want to imagine what would happen if an unexpected suitor came knocking.

Interior: Ruben Amaro's office, 11:00 AM, December 6, 2013.  The windows are drawn, and Ruben is sitting at a table with several crushed coffee cups and take out bags strewn about.  Across from him is Ed Wade.  Neither looks like they've slept.

Amaro: Look, I know we have Chase, but you put him at first, or in the outfield...oh, or hey, at shortstop!

Wade: Ruben -

Amaro: No, you're right, we have Jimmy...but a guy like this only comes around so often, you know?  And if we could lock him up for the foreseeable future, I mean...can you imagine what that would do for the franchise?

Wade: Ruben.

Amaro: Of course, of course, the money's a thing, and we're up against the salary cap as it stands, but...who cares, right?  Not like we're not all god damned millionaires already, right?  I'll chip in for the lux tax if it helps me keep my job, and you can put that in writing.  Yeah, this is a good idea.

Wade: Ruben!

Amaro: Jesus, Ed, I'm sick of your interruptions, I'm putting my foot do-

Dave Montgomery loudly clears his throat.

Amaro: Oh! Hi Dave, uh, I didn't see you come in.  Ed, why didn't you tell me Mr. Montgomery was here.

Wade: Well, I tri-

Amaro: Classic Wade. Trying but failing.  Anyway, sir, glad you're here -- we were just about to call him.

Monty: I want to be sure this is the right decision, Ruben.  I know there are folks out there that think I'm some sort of cheapskate, and I want to fight that perception, but I don't want to buy the next Alfonso Soriano.

Amaro: Sir, I'll remind you: Soriano hit a lot of RBIs.

Monty: Hm...point taken.  I guess that's why we pay you the big bucks!  Make the call.

Ruben begins dialing.

Wade: Now Ruben, remember, this guy lives in a different world than you or me.  He's not going to take kindly to the way we talk to most agents.

Amaro: Ed, come on.  I know what I'm doing.  I know the lingo.  Ah, it's ringing.

Ruben puts the call on speaker.

Receptionist: Hello, Roc Nation Sports, this is Catherine speaking.  How may I direct your call.

Amaro: Katherine! It's ya boy, Ruben Amaro, Jr!

Katherine: Excuse me?

Amaro: Haha! You crazy for this one, Kathy!  The GM from the Phillies.  Put 'Hov on the line.

Katherine: I-I'm sorry, sir, but Mr. Carter is otherwise engaged at the moment.  Can I have him call you back?

Amaro: Naw naw, if you can't put me in touch with the Jigga Man, then you're gonna have one hundred problems, if you catch my drfit!

Amaro winks theatrically to Wade and Monty.  Monty nods, his fingers tented over his nose seriously; Wade buries his face in his hands.

Katherine: I, uh...I'll see what I can do Mr. Amura?

Amaro: Amaro.

Katherine: Whatever you say.  I'll see if I can get Mr Carter on the line.

Amaro: HOVA! HOVA! HOVA! HOV...looks like she put me on hold.

Tinny muzak trickles out of the speaker.

Wade: You'd think he'd have better music.

Amaro: Yeah, but why would he give it away for free like that? If you want to hear the good stuff, you have to buy the album.

Monty: I just torrented it.

Amaro: Shh!  You could get us arrested, Monty!  Play it cool, or else I swear, we're all dea-

Jay-Z: Hello?

Amaro: Oh, ah, Hov!  It's me R-A-J!

Jay-Z: Look, I'm a busy man, and I don't really have time for prank calls.  If that's all this is...

Amaro: Oh, ah, no, no.  Sorry.  This is Ruben Amaro, Jr.. The General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jay-Z: Oh.  Oh!  Mr. Amaro.  Damn, sorry; I thought it was some Amura guy.  I've heard of you, at least.

Amaro's eyes widen and he dramatically mouths "HE'S HEARD OF ME" while grinning ear to ear.

Jay-Z: Anyway, to what do I owe the pleasure.

Amaro clears his throat, gets serious.

Amaro: Well Hov, it's like this: we want Robinson Cano, and we won't take no for an offer.

Jay-Z: I see, I see.  Well, Robbie is our top client, and we expect a top payout for him.  He won't be cheap.

Amaro: I know how the game is played, my friend.  Game, as they say on the street, is game.

Jay-Z: Uh...well, sure.  I, uh, don't you have a pretty solid second baseman?

Amaro: Who, Chase?  Well he's no Cano.

Wade dramatically gestures towards several spreadsheets that claim otherwise, but Ruben waves him off.

Jay-Z: No, you're right.  Robbie is one of a kind.  And that's why it's going to cost you.  We have an offer of 8 years, 200 million on the table.

Amaro: Well, that's a lot of money.  What if I were to offer, say, 9 years, 230 million?

Monty shifts in his seat.  Ruben holds his hand out, smiles, mouths "It's all part of the plan."

Jay-Z: Well, that is interesting...you know we do, confidentially, have one offer very similar to that floating around.  But, Robbie's a generational talent.  No one coming up the pipeline like him anytime soon.  I think he deserves a bit more.  We're looking 10 years, 252 million to save your franchise.

Amaro: Whoo, boy, you drive a hard bargain.  No wonder you're the king of New York!

Amaro laughs loudly.  Everyone else is stony, grim.  Monty's teeth are set in a death's head grin.

Amaro: You have balls to come in here and tell me your client is worth that much money.  But the good news is: I like balls. How about 11 years, 290 million?

Jay-Z: I...what?

Amaro: You heard me. 11/290.

Jay-Z: I'll have to take it back to my client to see, but...

Amaro: Damn!  No wonder they say you're going to be the next Boras!  Fine, fine, 12 years, 310 million.

Monty's chair tips over, he groans from the floor.  Wade is ashen, gripping several spreadsheets and pointing at them fruitlessly.  Ruben is smirking.

Jay-Z: I, wow, hah, I guess I still have to run it by my client, but...

Amaro: Okay, look buddy, now you're getting greedy.  And if there's one thing we don't cotton to in the Phillies organization, it's rampant greed.  Well, also walks, but we'll iron that out with your client when he gets here.  Last and final, and if you know what's good for you as an agent, you'll take it, because you overplayed your hand and you're not getting half as much anywhere else in this dried out market.

Ruben mutes the phone.

Amaro: We got him now, boys.

Monty gurgles on the floor.  Wade has leaned back in his chair, thousand-yard staring into the distance.  He has somehow produced a glass of scotch, neat.  Amaro unmutes the phone.

Amaro: 13 years, 333 dollars, and you let me in to the Illuminati.

Wade stands up, leaves.  Monty lets out a high pitched whine.

Jay-Z: ...you know the Illuminati isn't real?

Amaro: Jay, you're pushing it here, and a young agent shouldn't push established World Series winning GM's like me!  Now is it a deal, or what?

Jay-Z: Yeah, uh, yeah.  Deal.  Send the paperwork over.

Amaro puts the phone off speaker and whispers behind his hand.

Amaro: I'll call back when we're alone to find out who I have to kill to get in.

Amaro unmutes the phone.

Jay-Z: ...on't have to kill anyone. I don't know where you're even getting this from, but-

Amaro: Ah, Jay! We're back on speaker! Careful homie!

Jay-Z: ...

Amaro: Anyway, we'll fax those documents over.  Stay breezy!  I'm doing the Illuminati symbol over the phone right now!

Phone clicks off.

Amaro: Is it wrong if I hope he tells me to kill Dave Cameron? It's probably not wrong, right?  Ah...I guess it's probably wrong.  But hey, gotta hope.

Monty gurgles, coughs, sits up.

Amaro: Well, Monty.  What do you think?

Monty: It's, I, agh, it...brilliant!  Simply brilliant!

Amaro: Excellent.  I knew you'd be on board

Close Amaro trying to teach Monty how to do the Illuminati sign, failing.

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