- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Sounds Like a Plan

“Hey, Terry.”
“Yeah, Asdrubal?”
“Listen, I got an idea to get us going.”
“We could sure use one.”
“When I’m activated on Friday, put me at second.”
“Second? You sure? We didn’t even think of that. If we had, maybe we would have played you there while you were rehabbing.”

“Don’t worry about that. I’ve played plenty of second before. It’s no biggie. Here’s the thing, though — it’s not my idea.”
“What do you mean it’s not your idea? You just told me the idea. If it’s not your idea, whose idea is it? It’s not Dickie Scott’s idea. He would have told me on the bench while we were getting our asses handed to us in L.A.”
“No, Terry, it really is my idea.”
“Cripes, Asdrubal, I’m confused enough as it is by the time difference out here. I don’t know if it’s midnight or three in the morning, and every time I close my eyes, some frigging Dodger is hitting another home run. I was in the Dodger organization a lot of years, yet even I couldn’t take it anymore. Did I ever tell you I was in the Dodger organization? That’s where I met James Loney [1]. Justin Ruggiano [2], too.”
“Yeah, you mentioned that last year.”
“I got a picture of me with Koufax in my wallet. Lemme get it out…”
“You showed it to me last trip, before I went on the DL. And the trip before that. I need you to focus, Terry.”
“Sorry, Asdrubal. What were we talking about? You don’t wanna play shortstop anymore? Why the hell not?”

“You tell the reporters moving me to second base is your idea, something about how it gives us the best chance to win, blah, blah, blah, and then I’ll pitch a fit.”
“What? You wanna pitch now? ’Cause we really could use a sixth starter.”
“Not pitch, Terry. Pitch a fit. Complain real loud, draw attention to myself, get a whole bunch of stories and tweets going.”
“Oh. Wait — why would ya wanna do that? This isn’t gonna be some bullcrap about migraines and models and MRIs you don’t wanna take. Are your hamstrings all right? I can’t keep track of what’s wrong with who anymore.”
“Trust me, Terry. I’ll say something about how I wanna get paid more to change positions and now I wanna get traded. Some real diva nonsense.”
“You’re Asdrubal Cabrera [3], the popular, respected veteran clubhouse leader. You’d never act like that. Who’s gonna buy any of this?”
“Gotta shake things up around here, Terry. Everybody’s too complacent. Everybody’s going through the motions. We need something to happen.”
“Hasn’t enough happened this year?”

“Not this. This is a whole other thing. I make a big stink about second base, all the heat and pressure is on me, then the rest of the guys relax, go out and play loose. One of the old guys in Cleveland taught me about it when I was a rookie. I think they made a documentary explaining it. It was called Major League. Or Major League II. Whichever one starred Albert Belle [4].”
“I don’t go to the movies during the season. I’m too busy trying to find a way to fit Granderson and Bruce into the lineup while not playing Conforto too much.”
“I can’t help you with the outfield, Terry, but this will take care of the infield.”
“Well, I’m frigging out of ideas, so, sure, you at second all pissed off about it for some reason. We’ll do that.”
“Thing is we gotta make it seem like I’m miffed at you, so you gotta play along.”
“Play along how?”
“Act all…you know, the way you do when reporters ask you stuff.”
“What do you mean the way I do?”
“Don’t sweat it. Just keep saying it’s gonna help the team and maybe throw in some of that jazz about how important communicating is.”
“Communicating is key, Asdrubal. I learned that in Anaheim. Cripes.”
“You’re a great communicator, Terry, but this time we gotta act like you’re not. We can get Sandy in on it and make a big show of having a meeting. Reporters love reporting there’s been a meeting.”
“Can’t I just write down the lineup and hit a few fungoes? I love fungoes. They’re so peaceful.”

“Terry, if it were that simple, we wouldn’t be buried in fourth place a million games out. We gotta do something.”
“Well, Asdrubal, you’re the popular, respected veteran clubhouse leader. Besides, nothing else has worked. Fine, I’ll put you in at second, ask Sandy to call up Rosario and…”
“No, you gotta keep Reyes in at short.”
“What? Why would we be doing this to keep a one-ninety-something hitter who barely covers any more ground than you — no offense…”
“None taken.”
“Why would we shift you to second just to have Jose at short? Jose looks stuck in the mud and we have this hot-shot prospect all ready to come up. He’s supposed to be the real deal.”
“Terry, man, you gotta have faith. I’ll play second, Jose’ll play short, the kid can come later, like after the break if we haven’t turned it around.”
“So now you’re the GM and the manager, too, huh? Want me to ask Jay to let you do his job while we’re at it?”

“Terry, I’m the second baseman. The disgruntled second baseman. And this is all your idea. Remember that. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s just crazy enough to work.”
“Cripes, why not? My contract is up at the end of the year anyways. They pay me either way before then. Anything else I gotta do, Mr. Popular, Respected Veteran Clubhouse Leader?”
“Yeah. It would help if we could play the Giants for a couple of days. They’re going really bad. Oh, and start deGrom on Saturday night. He’s going really good. That should get us two wins [5], and by then we’ll have so much momentum you can do something totally nuts like put Montero back in the rotation.”
“I was gonna do that anyway. Rafael’s been working on some stuff with Dan and I think he’s gonna surprise some people.”
“Sure, whatever. Thing is, we win at least a couple of games in San Francisco and we won’t necessarily be screwed until the next time we are.”
“I like it, Asdrubal. Nobody’ll believe this was the plan, but I like it.”