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Ruben Amaro searches for reassignment in Phillies organization

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Join poor Ruben as the next chapter of his storied Phillies career begins...

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have a long, outstanding tradition of refusing to let things go. Analytics, desegregation, Domonic Brown's development - you name the movement, and the Phillies have stood in the way of it.

That philosophy translates into their personnel these days. A factoid of contemporary Phillies trivia popped into someone's head a year or so go, and it became common knowledge that the Phillies were at the time still employing not only their last two managers (Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel), but their last two general managers as well (Ed Wade and Pat Gillick) in various organizational roles. What the future holds is anyone's guess, but it's curious to think that the recently detached Ruben Amaro could potentially have a spot waiting for him somewhere else in the franchise.

***

[The Phanatic sits behind a large desk in a corner office, seriously eying a document. Next to him sits a TRANSLATOR. Across from them, on the other side of the desk. RUBEN AMARO sits, legs crossed, arms folded in defiance, looking out the window as if they aren't even there.]

PHANATIC: [Looks up, massages temples, begins communicating nonverbally with hands/belly/tongue]

TRANSLATOR: All right, Ruben, I...

PHANATIC: [Thrusts angrily]

TRANSLATOR: Hey! I'm talking to you!

RUBEN: Hmm? Oh, sorry.

PHANATIC: [Begins complex sequence of finger wagging/lifting up his shirt]

TRANSLATOR: All right Ruben, as you are well aware, you are now eligible for the Phillies' "Our Bad" program, in which we find immediate job placement in our organization for recently fired employees.

RUBEN: Yeah.

TRANSLATOR: So we'll be trying you out in a couple of different spots. Hopefully something sticks.

PHANATIC: [Gets up, looks out window with hands folded behind back, tongue juts out thoughtfully]

TRANSLATOR: We gave 'um a hell of a ride though, didn't we?

RUBEN: Remember that time in Denver...

PHANATIC: [Mimes heavy laughter]

TRANSLATOR: Ha ha ha!

RUBEN: You think they ever found it?

PHANATIC: [Stops laughing, grows somber]

TRANSLATOR: "Him," Ruben. Kyle had a name. Has a name, I mean. He's still alive.

RUBEN: Oh man, that's right. [Looks up at Phanatic, as if realizing something for the first time] Do you ever take that thing off?

PHANATIC: [Stares back blankly]

TRANSLATOR: What thing?

Broadcast Correspondent

TOM MCCARTHY: ...and after a 45-minute delay, officials are calling off the Domonic Brown search party after he once again fell into the stands chasing a foul ball and disappeared. We sure hope Dom's all right. Speaking of 'all right' we go down to our new stadium correspondent Ruben Amaro, who is with Josie Fubbles of the Philadelphia Right-handed School Children Choir, the group singing 'God Bless America' tonight.

RUBEN: [Texting]

T-MAC: What, uh... what have you got going on down there, Rube?

RUBEN: Well this guy said he was gonna let me crash on his couch but now he's giving me shit.

T-MAC: Ha ha ha, c'mon Rube, I don't think Miss Fubbles is going to interview herself.

RUBEN: Hmm? Oh, uh, right. [Shoves microphone into nearest fan's face]. Congratulations on your centennial, Mrs. Bubbles.

T-MAC: That's not what she's... and that's not...

DOMONIC BROWN: [Disguised as a fan sitting in the crowd] Hi there, Ruben. I'm just a normal, every day fan not in the middle of a desperately planned faking of my own death. Say, can you all blur faces?

RUBEN: [Not looking at him] Uh huh.

T-MAC: Ha ha, great stuff, Rube.

[TV broadcast goes to commercial]

RUBEN: Hey Tom, this guy's waiting for me outside and I promised him way more weed than actually I have in exchange for my own set of keys so I've go to--

T-MAC: Now you listen to me you turd covered in hair gel. I may have the reputation of "a goofy uncle, laughing numbly through years of newly-sought sobriety," but I am a god damn professional and if you aren't going to treat this medium with respect then you can get the fuck off my broadcast. Murphy?

[Gregg Murphy appears, snatches microphone out of a shocked Ruben's hand].

RUBEN: Gregg? I--

MURPHY: [Basically hissing] Do not speak my name, worm.

[Ruben is escorted away as they come back from commercial. Murphy is instantly smiling.]

MURPHY: Well Tom, I'd say we're moving in the right direction with Josie and the choir. [Touches ear] Oh, I'm getting word that there is an empty plastic bag blowing around in the outfield, so we're going to cut immediately to that.

T-MAC: Absolutely.

Concessions

BULL'S BBQ MANAGER: All right so the first thing you need to do is ask people what they want, and right when they start to speak, cut them off and tell them we're out of all of the food items except the last two. Those are the only ones we restock after the first week.

RUBEN: [Holding a giant turkey leg between index finger and thumb] People eat this stuff?

MANAGER: Yes

RUBEN: And they to pay $12 for it?

MANAGER: [Shrugs] Yeah

RUBEN: What is this, like a squirrel?

MANAGER: It's a turkey.

RUBEN: A whole turkey?

MANAGER: RUBEN IT'S A TURKEY LEG - THE MENU, RIGHT THERE, SAYS "TURKEY LEG."

RUBEN: So why not sell whole turkeys if people are paying $12 for just the leg?

MANAGER: [About to literally explode]

PHANATIC: [Approaches with small splatters of blood on his jersey, picking teeth with grey fluffy tail]

TRANSLATOR: [Arms full of squirrel carcasses] Here's this week's "turkey leg" shipment, Dan, I--

PHANATIC: [Stares at Ruben]

TRANSLATOR: Don't eat the turkey legs.

Lineup Card Author

[Ruben finishes painstakingly writing all of the names on the lineup card. It looks pretty good. Pete Mackanin walks up, takes it from him, and gives him a subtle look of disapproval, slowly exhaling through pursed lips.]

RUBEN: No.

[Mackanin points at the "r" at the end of "Francoeur" - it looks more like an "n."]

RUBEN: No! Not again!

[Mackanin goes to erase the lineup; it doesn't come off. He looks down at Ruben]

RUBEN: I thought for my 47th attempt I'd try a permanent marker.

[Mackanin nods sagely]

RUBEN: So I guess... that's the one we'll have to go with...?

[Mackanin clutches the lineup card in both hands and closes his eyes. The lights flicker, the room slightly shakes, a small maelstrom howls through the room... then all returns to normal. Mackanin hands the card back to Ruben. It is now empty.]

MACKANIN: Again.

Groundskeeper

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: Now, tell me what you see.

RUBEN: [Examining radar] Clear skies?

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: [Looking at frighteningly green and yellow splotches heading straight for the stadium.] Uh, close. Why don't we practice rolling out the tarp anyhow.

[They and the rest of the crew begin rolling the tarp over the infield.]

RUBEN: You know, you forget how fresh air smells, cooped up in an office all day.

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: I bet.

RUBEN: Sometimes the phone would ring but it really gets old, reading all of the articles about yourself ever written, including the comment sections.

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: The only 'comment section' we got out here is these chuckleheads. [He gestures playfully toward the rest of his crew, who all respond with good-natured laughs.]

RUBEN: The last time I heard genuine laughter was when somebody recognized me in a mall and took a selfie with me as I walked past a Victoria's Secret. They tweeted it with a "Rube the Boob looking for some support" caption.

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: Well the only 'tweets' we have out here are from the birds.

RUBEN: [Smiling, listens for birds. There are none.]

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: I mean we only hear birds once or twice a summer; we're surrounded by a parking lot, remember; plus, this is Philadelphia, so most sounds are drowned out by highways, construction, and people retching spit in their throats.

RUBEN: I think I might like it out here.

HEAD GROUNDSKEEPER: Heh heh, yeah, most people do--[His eyes suddenly go wide]. SQUIRREL-HOLE! SCATTER! SCATTER! SCATTER!

[Groundskeepers drop the tarp and flee in every direction; arms flailing, screams warbling. Ruben looks around, confused and horrified. Phanatic appears, poised for action, his translator standing next to him.]

PHANATIC: [Rips his jersey open, clenches his fists, stares at the nest in the tarp from which multiple squirrels are pouring]

TRANSLATOR: Let's do this!!

***

Back in the Phanatic's office, the boss is squeegeeing squirrel guts out of his green fur as Ruben sits across from him, eyes wide.

RUBEN: This organization has a lot of moving parts.

TRANSLATOR: Mmm.

RUBEN: Way more than I realized.

PHANATIC: [Nods]

RUBEN: A lot of those moving parts are squirrels.

TRANSLATOR: Not for long.

PHANATIC: [Stands up, looks out window again]

TRANSLATOR: Ruben, I'm starting to wonder if you'd even want a place in the Phillies organization. The future is fairly wide open and perhaps you'd like to invest your energy somewhere else. Tom and Gregg tell me they could barely do enough coke during the last broadcast to cover for your mistakes.

RUBEN: I understand. I appreciate your efforts. The past few days have been nothing if not eye-opening. This company extends far beyond the front office, I now realize.

[Ruben and Phanatic shake hands. Ruben gets up and walks toward the door.]

TRANSLATOR: Ruben.

[Ruben turns around. Phanatic is pointing his hot dog cannon at him; tears in his eyes (somehow).]

TRANSLATOR: I'm sorry. You've seen too much.

RUBEN: Wait, I--

PFFFT-SPLAT

[A hot dog splatters against Ruben's very fine suit. It explodes and bits of meat and bread go everywhere. A greasy stain immediately nestles into his clothes.]

RUBEN: Eww...

PHANATIC: [Fires several more shots; one hits Ruben in the pant leg, another flies past him and breaks some sundry items on a nearby shelf.]

TRANSLATOR: I'm so sorry it has to be this way.

[More hot dogs fly, causing more damage to the room than to Ruben, who sighs, turns around, and walks out the door.]