Merry Christmas! Recently, Phillies’ owner John Middleton met with team president Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld to plan out the team’s holiday party. Thanks to my super-secret source within the organization, I was able to obtain a transcript of their conversation. And as my Christmas gift to the readers, I will share it with you.
Middleton: Dave, Sam, thanks for helping me with this. Last year’s party ended up being a huge hit, and I want to make sure this year goes even further.
Dombrowski: I’m going to make sure that happens. First thing we need is a new Christmas tree. Sam, what are your people saying?
Fuld: They say we need to get a 20-foot tree.
Middleton: Wait - we already have a tree!
Dombrowski: We do, but we don’t have a 20-foot tree. The Mets have an 18-footer, so this is an opportunity to outdo them.
Middleton: They do?
Fuld: They do. So do the Dodgers. I heard the Yankees were also considering a 20-footer.
Middleton: Well then, I guess we need one!
Dombrowski: Glad we’re agreed. Now let’s talk decorative animatronics. We’ve got some good choices: Rudolph, lots of Santas, the Grinch...
Middleton: Where are we going to put these? It feels like they’d all be best positioned in one space, but how many can we really fit?
Dombrowski: We’ll figure that out at some point. Sam, what are your reports saying about the inflatables?
Fuld: It looks like a waving Santa is probably going to age the best out of all our options.
Dombrowski: Waving Santa it is! You think we need another?
Fuld: It wouldn’t hurt. You can never have enough depth.
Middleton: Whoa, wait a second. I want a well decorated party as much as the next guy, but there is a limit to how much we can spend on this. And we haven’t even considered the taxes!
Dombrowski: Tax? Teams like the Pirates and Royals worry about the tax. Do you want to be lumped in with teams like that?
Middleton: Of course not, it’s just-
Dombrowski: Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page, because we haven’t even gotten to the entertainment. Sam, can you tell John what Mets are doing for their party?
Fuld: I heard they were getting Pentatonix to perform with a Cirque du Soleil show.
Middleton: Pentatonix? I heard they were in San Francisco.
Fuld: It sounds like they were going to go there but decided at the last minute that they’d rather go to New York. And the Mets gave them a lot of money.
Dombrowski: See? That’s commitment to having the best possible party. Now I’m not saying we need to hire Mariah Carey, but if we don’t make some effort to keep pace, then last year’s efforts are going to be quickly forgotten.
Middleton: What about the Braves? What do they have?
Fuld: They signed Kelly Clarkson to a multi-year deal to perform at their party for way below market value.
Middleton: Kelly Clarkson? How? And didn’t they sign Michael Buble last year at a low cost?
Fuld: Yes, we can’t quite determine why these stars are signing below-market deals with the Braves.
Middleton: Who can we get?
Dombrowski: My scouts say that Gwen Stefani would fit our vibe perfectly and would be a big hit in our clubhouse.
Middleton: I do like Gwen Stefani. How much does she cost though?
Dombrowski: She’s been in negotiations with the Padres, but we’ve gotten indications that she’d actually sing for us for less money
Dombrowski: It still isn’t going to be cheap though. Sam, what did her people say about our proposed 12-year deal?
Fuld: She’s interested, and it would keep the annual cost down.
Dombrowski: See, John, we’d be saving money!
Middleton: But 12 years? Won’t she be rather old by then? Will anyone still want to hear her sing a decade from now?
Dombrowski: With inflation being what it is, the cost won’t seem that bad in a few years. And we figure she can transition into more of a backup role by then with newer, younger stars taking over the spotlight.
Middleton: But what if newer stars don’t emerge?
Dombrowski: That will be a problem, but heck, we might all be dead by then. I’ll probably be in Nashville, and it will likely be Sam’s job to deal with.
Fuld: I’m on it!
Middleton: Sigh...fine, we have to keep up with the Mets and Braves. Let’s get the deal done with Gwen.
Dombrowski: Terrific! This is going to make you very popular, John.
Middleton: I hope so.
Dombrowski: I know so! Oh, by the way, did I mention that I signed Craig Kimbrel to a $10 million deal last night?
Middleton: Sure, whatever. Just throw him on the pile.
From all of us at The Good Phight, have a very Merry Christmas!