Scene: [Deep in the bowels of Shea Stadium, Jerry Manuel calls a closed door meeting with the players in the Mets clubhouse. Chairs are pulled up, a table full of sandwiches is provided, and three different kinds of juices are available. Clearly, Jerry means business]
Jerry Manuel: Well I suppose you’re all wondering why I called you here. Right now, we are a team on the precipice. Now my smooth rough & tumble laid back antics can only carry us so far, and now it falls upon all of you to carry the weight. Gentlemen, I have serious concerns about the message we are sending to our fans.
Ryan Church: You mean our god awful performance? How we’re letting the division slip away? The fact that Mets fans are now jumping off our escalators intentionally?
Jerry Manuel: No Ryan, I am speaking of our financial solvency. This city is headed for dark fiscal times and I for one have noticed a lot of empty seats in the stadium at all our home games. I believe that this is no coincidence. Jobs are being lost, companies are going under, and people are being laid off. Who do these folks look to for role models? Those fat cats in Washington? No, they turn to us, a well managed sports franchise. We must set an example for our fans by doing some belt tightening of our own.
Brian Schneider: What kind of belt tightening are we talking about here Jerry?
Manuel: Well so far we’ve rolled out a number of cost reducing measures, which include but are not limited to: replacing our groundskeeping crew with a group of day laborers we pick up each morning in front of Home Depot, eliminating the fireworks displays when players hit walk off home runs, and waiting a few extra hours before turning on the stadium lights for night games. As you can see, even I have made cutbacks by no longer wearing my signature Emporio Armani glasses.
Carlos Beltran: But all you did was scratch off the bird logo on the frames!
Manuel: It’s the gesture that counts. Guys, we must no longer allow irrational exuberance to govern our expenditures. Yes, we’re a rich team, but we ‘aint Yankee rich. I have here an itemized list of personal expenses that we will need to slash [takes out clipboard]. First up is Carlos Delgado. Carlos, we struggled mightily with this one, and I’m sorry, but we can no longer afford to keep you on your current diet of live human infants.
Delgado: [roaring] But it is their tiny bones that give me strength!
Manuel: Yes but for now, you’ll just have to make do with Muscle Milk. Ok, on to Pedro. Now Petey, we understand that once upon a time you used to be an ace pitcher…
Pedro: I still am, Jerry.
Manuel: Well yes, arguably, but this hyperbaric chamber you insist on climbing into in between innings doesn’t exactly come cheap. To save on the electric bill, we’re shutting it down now, and for the love of god, please clean out the remains of Nelson de la Rosa from the machine before the technicians show up to dismantle it.
Pedro: A pox upon you Jerry! I will beat you like Don Zimmer!
Manuel: That’s terrific, Petey. Next up is David Wright. Now David, you’ve been driving around in a Cadillac Escalade for some time now…
Wright: Yep, its how me and Jose Reyes like to cruise around and pick up bitties!
Manuel: Yes, well we’re downgrading you to a 1991 Honda Accord.
Jose Reyes: &*$%^#!____!!!!!!!_____ &*$%^#!____!!!!!!!
Wright: You said it Jose, aw shucks!
Aaron Heilman: A 1991 Honda Accord? That’s an improvement for me, I want one of those!
Manuel: Uh, no Aaron, we’re actually putting you on mass transit. From now on, you’ll be taking the 7 Train to the game with the rest of the fans.
Heilman: The 7 Train?! They’ll tear me apart Jerry!
Manuel: You should’ve thought of that before you singlehandedly reduced game attendance by 17%. Here’s a Metrocard and a rape whistle. Think of this as something similar to “The Long Walk” from Judge Dredd, only featuring your candy ass rather than Max Von Sydow. Good day and good luck.
[Heilman hangs his head low, sadly and slowly exits the locker room to the crescendo of dramatic music]
Manuel: Who’s next? Ah yes, Fernando Tatis. Now Fernando, you’ve been using the theme from “Superman” as your intro song when you come to the plate.
Tatis: Yeah, it pumps me up, so?
Manuel: Sorry Fernando, but Warner Brothers is charging far too much for us to use the song. Your new intro song will be the theme to “Darkwing Duck.”
Tatis: Well fuck.
Manuel: Look, just be glad you’re not Mr. Met. We laid him off and replaced him with a guy wearing a barrel who throws fish carcasses into the crowd during the seventh inning stretch. Alright, next on the list is a groundskeeping item. The power costs for making the home run apple go up and down are proving to be exorbitant. Ramon Castro, from now on, you will live in the top hat with the apple resting on your shoulders. Assuming one of our players ever hits a home run again, you will hoist the apple up high above your head.
Castro: I shall become Atlas! [scampers off eagerly]
Manuel: Now that’s the spirit Ramon. Next on the list is Jose Reyes. Jose, where are you Jose?
Reyes: [hanging upside down from ceiling like a bat] ^^^ J ~ J ! ~ ^^^ J ~ J ! ~ ^ !!!
Manuel: Jose, in the spirit of belt tightening, we can no longer have you subsisting on a diet of Frosted Flakes and primo cocaine. We’re switching you over to crystal meth.
Reyes: &*$%^#!____!!!!!!!_____ &*$%^#!____!!!!!!!
Wright: But Rey-Rey’s September performance is bad enough as it is! There’s no way of knowing how he’ll react to this…
Manuel: Look David, do you know what Moises Alou’s hospital bills are costing us? $156,000 a day. And that’s even factoring in the profit we generate on exporting his bottled urine to small third world nations and selling it as holy water. We need to cut our costs, and we need to do it now.
[a small man wearing a suit and horned rimmed glasses enters the clubhouse]
Manuel: Ah good, he’s just in time. Listen up team, I’m sure you’ve heard about the recent layoffs from Lehman Brothers. Thousands of folks are out of work. Well, we found one that can throw a curveball. Gentlemen, meet the newest member of our bullpen, Herb Roth! Pedro Feliciano, you have one hour to clean out your locker.
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