Ron Costello

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Maybe Comcast Can Get the Phillies to Go Young and Hungry

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits...

Mr. Amaro, the Comcast executives are here.

Oh, okay Betty, send them in, please.

"Hey, Ruben it's good to see you."

"Jack, how are you? You know Pat, and our top two scouts..."

"Sure, how are you Mr. Gillick, fellows?"

"I'm glad you gentlemen stopped by," Junior said. "It's always good to stay in touch with Comcast. Anything special you wanted to discuss?"

"Well, as a matter of fact there is," CC1 said. "We wanted to sort of review your plans for next season, Rube, if it's all right I call you Rube?"

"Sure, call me anything you like. Half of Philly is calling me all kinds of things. Review my plans? What exactly do you mean?"

"Well, let's start with the infield," CC2 said. "Do you mind sharing your expectations there, you know, what your infield will look like next April?"

"Ha," Junior scoffed, and glanced over at Gillick. "Yea, I guess I can do that. Pretty simple, boys. We'll have Asche at third, Jimmy, of course, at short, Chase at second, and we'll mix thinks up at first between Ryan, Ruf, and Franco."

"We think Ruf can...

"Well," CC1 interrupted, "so you'll be going with the same old, same old, like last season?"

"I don't get the same old line," Amaro answered. "These men are professionals you're talking about, J-Roll and Utley, who've taken us through a hell of a lot of post season wins."

"But last season you lost 89 games," CC2 said, "and aren't you trading Ryan Howard to the American League?"

"In addition to that," CC1 offered, "you lost 89 games in 2013, too. How long will you keep going with the same older players?"

"What's this," Amaro responded, "Comcast is now writing out our lineup card? Telling us who to play and not play? I'm sorry, I didn't see any baseball experience in your backgrounds and now you're telling me what our infield should look like."

"You boys be sittin' in the dugout with Sandberg next April?"

Gillick and the two scouts laughed. The Comcast executives ignored the comment.

Said CC1, "Comcast has a tremendous investment in the Phillies, Rube. We would just like a discussion, that's all."

"Don't you think you should go with a younger infield?" CC2 said. "What about Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez, why aren't they in your plans?"

"What the hell's this," Amaro said as he pushed his chair back from his desk," you guys taking over my job? You now want to fill out the lineup card? Why don't you move into my office, for Christ's sake."

"Rube,"Gillick, said, "take it easy, they just want to talk."

"Mr. Amaro," CC2 replied, "have you ever seen a blog called New Day Dawning?"

"I don't read blogs," Junior replied. "What kind of stupid question is that?"

The two Comcast executives looked at each other. CC1 spoke first. "Well, New Day Dawning is making suggestions about how to restructure the Phillies, and it's saying the infield should be Franco, Galvis, Hernandez, and Ruf at first."

"And allow them to play the entire season," CC2 added, "rather than move players around and continue to depend on the older players. We think it makes sense."

"A blog," Junior shot back. "You want me to read a freakin' blog. Hell, why don't we get all the damn bloggers out there and let them run the Phillies. Shoot, each blogger can fill out the lineup card on different days. Give me a freakin' break, you're talking blogs to me?"

Gillick reached over and touched Amaro on the shoulder. "Easy, man, easy," Gillick said.

"Gentlemen," Gillick chipped in, "We believe it's best to leave baseball to baseball men. If you don't mind me saying you really are not prepared to make major on-field decisions. You should leave that to the experienced."

"Well," CC1 said, "Father Comcast has a major, major investment in the Phillies now, and..."

"Whoa, whoa, wait," Junior cut in, "what's this father Comcast crap? Sounds like North Korea," he said, looking over at Gillick. They both started chuckling.

"The New Day blog refers to Comcast as Father Comcast," CC2 said. "And to tell you the truth, Mr. Roberts likes it. He thinks, Mr. Roberts, that is, that it's a good description of Comcast's relationship now to the Phillies."

"Like in a fatherly way," CC1 said.

"Oh he does, does he," Junior replied in jest. "What the hell does that make us, mother Comcast?"

The two scouts laughed. So did Gillick.

"Okay," CC2 said, "let's discuss the Cole Hamels' trade. Are you negotiating with any teams at the moment? How close are you to trading Cole for young outfielders?"

"Did the New Crappy blog suggest that too?" Amaro questioned.

"As a matter of fact it did," offered CC2. "Last season you ended the year, what? Twenty-three games behind Washington? With Mr. Hamels on the 25 man roster? I believe that's what you call it, right? The 25 man?. Why would you not trade him?"

"New Day Dawning says you can get two speedy outfielders who can hit and play defense," CC2 said. "And with Ben Revere in the middle, you'd have a much tighter defense than you've had in years."

CC1 followed right up. "Cole could win what, 12 to 16 games for you? If you go young..."

"Young and hungry is what New Day calls it," CC2 chipped in.

"That's good thinking," Scout 1 suddenly cut in. "Rube maybe they've got a..."

Amaro glared at the two scouts and cut Scout 1 off. "If I need advice from you two I'll ask for it, so for now, shut up, understand? Unless you want to be unemployed blog writers."

Gillick laughed but the Scouts didn't crack a smile. "Heh, heh, that's a good one, Rub," Gillick said, "unemployed blog writers."

"New Day also suggests you seriously look at the catching situation," CC1 said. "You don't want to be left without adequate catching if Chooch has to go on the DL, again."

"Perhaps," CC2 offered, "you might want to trade for a  younger catcher now, rather than depend on Tommy Joseph."

Amaro sat up in his chair and rubbed his chin. He looked over at Gillich. Junior seemed much calmer now, more in control. "New Crap blog tell you that, too? That I've got to replace Ruiz and Joseph?"

"Sort of," CC1 said. "It was just saying..."

Amaro cut him off. He stood up at his desk. "Okay, this meeting's over. I've heard enough. You come in here and tell me things you read in a stinkin' blog? You and that stinkin' blog DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT," Amaro shouted.

The two Comcast executives stood, too.

"Okay, Ruben," CC1 said. "Father Comcast won't be pleased that you won't at least listen to suggestions."

Amaro pointed to the door. "You go back and tell brother Comcast — "No, Rube, Father, not brother Comcast," Scout 2 added quickly — Amaro stopped and glared at Scout 2.


"You can tell Father kick ass that we will manage the Phillies system," Amaro said to the executives. "Tell him to worry about the Sopranos or I Love freakin' Lucy or I don't give a damn, but he's not telling us what to do, now go.

"Okay," CC2 said, "but he won't be pleased."

Amaro gave a hand motion for the two scouts to leave as well.

When the door closed behind them, Amaro turned to Gillick, who had a pained look on his face.

"That didn't go well, Rube."

"Ron, Ron, you were going to work on your blog. Wake up, you won't sleep tonight, come on, wake up."

Oh, sorry, Hun, I just dosed off a little. Had this dream...

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