BALLS!!! - Al Messerschmidt
The Good Phight brings you an exclusive transcript from today's first closed door team meeting prior to the first team workout of the Spring. Happy Baseball Everybody!
Interior: Phillies Clubhouse at Brighthouse Field. 7 AM.
The first day of full squad workouts is about to begin. 60 players are spread about dressing, and readying themselves for the big day. The atmosphere is jovial, but apprehensive. Everyone is in workout clothes save for Delmon Young. Who sits at his locker, sipping a diet coke and eating a bag of fat free lil' bites He's speaking with Darin Ruf and Dom Brown
Delmon: Naw, man, that stuff got blown WAY out of the stratomosphere.
Dom: It's stratosphere. You said stratomosphere.
Delmon: Whatever. Point is the best piece of advice I give to a young guy like you two is keep you damn mouth shut. Don't say nothing to nobody bout nothing.. (sips his soda and bites a muffin) Cause once... (deep swallow) you cross over to that dark side you in deep s&*t, brother. Deep deep epically religioumous s*&t.
Delmon: What I said?
Dom: What the hell is happening to me.
Delmon: You getting an edumacation my little brother. That's why the brass decided you me and little D gonna be roomies all damn SPRING! Now member lil D, light starch and I like my eggs runny but not so wet that they taste like snot boogies.
Darin: Gosh Mr. Young. I have to say that I can't begin to express how much I am going to appreciate following your lead and example this season, you know, provided that I get the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being a big league ballplayer. You know, funny story, when I was six I was the shortest kid in my class. My dad always told me, Darin, it doesn't matter how tall you are, or how big you are its the size of your heart that matters. Did your dad ever tell you that, Mr. Young?
Dom: Imma kill myself. I swear Imma kill myself.
Darin: Mr. Brown, I hope to learn from you too, you know. And I can't tell you guys how excited I am to be bunking together this spring. Did you guys ever see the movie The Three Amigos? It stars a young Chevy Chase and Martin Short and the other guy with the silver hair who...
a gust of wind blows by them. Ben Revere is suddenly standing in front of them.
Ben; Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo What Up fellow Outfield brothers! Big Ben is in the HIZZZOUSE!!! Holla for a dolla!! Holla for a dolla! D Brown? How dat hambone son? D Young? best watch them muffins my man! ( looks at Ruf) Its Donnie Right?
Darin: Darin, Mr. Revere, and can I say it is an honor and a privilege to...
Ben: Darin. Gotcha. Sorry bro I'll get it eventually. Anyway gotta fly gotta fly gotta fly! See ya boys out there!
The wind gusts again and Ruf's hat blows off his head.
Delmon: Sheeeeiit! And people worried bout us getting to balls.(Pours the crumbs from the bottom of the bag into his mouth) Now like I was saying last night. The difference between Catsup and Ketchup is actuamally pretty damn big a deal. So when we done here, you gonna go to the Publix and get me some Hunts for my chicken nugs, got it?
Dom: Kill me now, God. Trade me. Kill me. But god, why have you forsaken me?
Darin: Look guys, its the Skip!
Charlie hobbles in, followed by Dubee, and Ryne Sandberg, who pours over stat sheets on a clip board, and stays close to the entrance, while Charlie and Dubee step into the center of the room.
Darin: (waves his hands to get Sandberg's attention) Hey SKIP! Over here! Hi Skip It's me Darin Ruf!! Hi!!
Dom: He ain't the Skip, dumbass!
Darin: You sure?
Sandberg looks at Ruf with an evil eye and points to Charlie.
Ruf: Oh yeah. Right! Ruf winks at Sandberg, motions to Charlie. SKIP! Hey Skip! Hi! It's me Darin Ruf!!
Charlie looks at Ruf , waves and smiles, and shakes his head. Whispers to Dubee.
Charlie: He's an imbecil, but he can flat hit Dubes. Go ahead.
Dubee: Listen up jerk wads. Skip has something to say!
Everyone looks at Sandberg. Sandberg lifts his head from his clipboard, shakes his head slowly and points at Charlie again. They all turn their attention towards him. Sandberg goes back to his statistics.
Charlie: Listen up ya'll. I got me sumethin to say.
the room quiets down.
Charlie: We got like, some new faces, young guys, old guys, another young guy...
(chuckles from the crowd).
Charlie: But mostly people say we got old guys, like, hurt guys, and like, apparently, we might not even supposed to be going on out and doing this today, cause like, hell... Why bother playing when the season is done over for it starts right? So we gonna cancel spring training. What you guys think? Hey Doc? lemme ask you sumthin' You think we should just pack it in?
Halladay is holding a baseball in his LEFT HAND. He throws it at a bell hanging above the entry to the door. He hits it and it rings.
Roy: I've been working the other arm just in case Skip. You f*&^$%S wanna see what I can do with my right hand?
Charlie: Piece, what you gotta say?
Howard lifts his leg in the air, and rotates his ankle, pain free. He stands stomps his foot three times.
Howard: I say Bring it Skip. BU-RING IT!
Charlie: Young James?
Rollins: Ain't no party like a Broad street party!
Charlie: Where's Utley?
Charlie: Um like, anyone know where Chase is? Is he like, here? Or is he like, not here yet? Cause like...
Sandberg: without lifting his head from his clipboard He's in with the trainer.
A gasp of air deflates the room. there's complete and utter silence.
Charlie: Well, Uh, well, like, I'm sure its nuthin, like lets all just grab our gloves and like balls and like, batter up.
But everyone has turned their attention to the trainers room, where they can see Chase Utley, sitting on a table, wincing as Scott Sheridan flexes his knee. No one moves. No one speaks. They just watch. Moments seem like hours, and finally Utley emerges.
Chase: My zipper down?
Chase: Who got traded?
Chase: Spit it out hair gel.
Hamels: Uh, so how's the knee Chase?
Chase: Which one?
Rollins: Either baby, either.
Chase: Hows the knee?
Charlie: Well, like the guys was like, getting revved up a little, and like you wasn't here, and we was watching you with Scott and like, you know, well....
Chase moves towards the craft services table, where Delmon Young is filling a plate with low fat pasta salad and baked lays potato chips.
Chase: Step aside Tubby.
Delmon: Who you calling Tubby?
Chase: You, you fat F*&K. I thought that was pretty blatant. Just cause it says diet doesn't mean you should eat that s*&t fat boy.
Delmon: Now lets get someportant stuff straight here big man. I'm Delmon You....
Chase drops down to the ground and leg sweeps Delmon ninja style. Young, dazed, slowly slides away from the craft services table.
Chase: That was for the jews. Move.
Delmon Young is silent as he stares in awe at Utley.
Chase: Hows my knee? Huh? You jags wanna know how my knee is?
Utley takes a bat and hits all the food off the table on to the floor. In one sweeping motion he bends and jumps vertically and sideways and lands flat on his feet on the top of the table.
Chase: That's How my F*%&$#G KNEES ARE! Toss that apple pretty boy!
He stands on one leg, holds the bat. Hamels throws an apple towards him and he crushes it into pieces.
Chase: Oh s$%t, Utleys corner. That was a double off the wall! Hey smiley? Orange me!
He shifts to the other leg. Still one legged, Cliff Lee Fires an Orange at him. Smash!
Chase: BOOM! Deep into Luzinski territory beyatch!
The crowd is going wild!
Chase: What else you got?
John Lannan: GERONIMOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Chase turns his head slightly, as the cantaloupe veers upwards. it tails, and hits him smack dab in the head. Utley falls into a heap on the floor.
Jimmy: You GOT to be kidding me Lannan!
They crowd around Utley.
Charlie: Dag nabit like, give him room.
Dubee: Lannan you A hole.
Lannan: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, its just...
The crowd gives him room. Utley hobbles up.Utley Stares at Lannan.
Lannan: I'm sorry Chase, It just happened. I got caught up in the moment and...
Chase: Help me up.
Lannan reaches forward, and Utley punches him square in the nuts. Lannan barrels over. Utley Hops up like a rabbit, and is back on top of the table with a smile on his face.
Utley: That was for 2007!
The crowd laughs hysterically.
Utley: Listen up you dweebos. Chase Utley is good to go! Got it? Good. So stop lolly gagging and start hustling your asses out there like pronto. Got it? I'm back muthaf*&%as. With a vengeance. We got a world f'in championship to get ready for right? Cause What we say round here James?
Rollins: Ain't no party like a Broad street party!
Utley: Damn straight!
Utley smiles as he watches the team leave. He sits on the table and calls out to one player.
Utley: Dom! Hold up.
The room clears, and Utley and Brown are alone.
Utley: Hows the hamate.
Brown: All good.
Utley: Look me in the eye and tell me the truth.
Brown: All Good Chase.
Utley: Then do me a favor.
Utley: Get your head out of your ass.
Brown: Say what?
Utley: Did I stutter? GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS! Stop moping around like some little baby. it's plain on your face Dom. You got to get that gone like yesterday. You hear me? I mean you really gonna let that fat f*&k and some rookie in your head? You have to beat out a jew hating fatso who can't step on the field and a rookie who's never played at AAA. If you can't do that you ain't who I KNOW you are. You hear me? You go out there and you make them KNOW. You understand me? Make them KNOW.
Brown: Easy for you to say, you ain't gotta room with them.
Utley: Boo Hoo. Try shacking up with Burrell and Uggie Urbina in a studio apartment two blocks from a high school and then come talk to me about misery. MAKE THEM KNOW!
Brown: Know what?
Utley: That your f*&^%#g Spiderman! That you can climb f&^%$*g walls and they can't hold your jock.
Utley: Damn straight! Spiderman. Every second, every minute for the next 6 weeks. From this moment forward you're Spiderman.
Utley: Great power, great responsibility. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just mash. MASH. You get that? Cause I swear to Harry in heaven that if that fat piece of crap is behind me in RF because you boned it, I will FIND you. I will find you in Toronto, or Lehigh, or Kalamafreakingzoo, I will track you down at whatever footlocker you end up working at cause you felt sorry for yourself and I will break your knees. You have no freaking idea what you have kid. None. Stop wasting it, and do something about it.
Brown: Yes Sir.
UTLEY: You are the future of this franchise Dom. I know it. You know it. Make THEM know it.
Brown: Yes Sir.
Utley: I ain't leaving this team to a bunch of idiots. You're the man Dom. Prove it. Do it. Bust your ass. Make them KNOW.
Brown: You going somewhere?
Utley: F*&k no. Just getting MY HOUSE in order. Good?
Brown: Hell yeah.
Brown leaves. the room is empty. Utley winces and gently and gingerly gets down. From behind the door to the trainers room, Amaro slowly enters.
Utley: That what you wanted?
Ruben: Worked for me.
Utley: Think it'll work for him?
Ruben: I hope so. Hows the knee?
Utley: Don't matter. does it?
Utley: Get the f&%k out of here will you....
Ruben leaves, turns
Ruben: One Question. Why not Superman?
Utley: I'm F&%$*#G Superman, Paco.
Ruben: Up up and away...
Utley: Go jerk off someone else, wouldya?
Ruben: Thanks Chase.
Utley: Screw off, Paco.
Ruben: You too.
Utley limps a little. Stretches out his leg, and hums...
Utley: Does da-da-da a spider can....
Utley looks at the sky.
Utley: Harry, help me out here just a little, huh?
And in the distance, over the Gulf of Mexico, a faint voice says..