(Two weeks ago in Dave Dombrowski's office...)
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, Jim, I think having these exit interviews with the players this year was a great idea. We’ve had a chance to go over the positives and negatives from the season, as well as letting the players know what we expect them to work on in the offseason and into spring training. Where did you come up with this idea again?
JIM LEYLAND: (puffs cigarette) Iwasdrunk. (cough)
DOMBROWSKI: Yes, well, wherever the idea came from, I think it has gone splendidly. We only have a few players to go. (into intercom) Rachel, can you send in the next player, please?
CARLOS GUILLEN: (slides to chair, waits 30 seconds, sits in chair) Hey, guys. I think I just sprained my ankle…
DOMBROWSKI: Hello, Carlos. Funny you should mention that. Overall, we still think you are capable of being the kind of player that we are paying you to be. But what can we do to keep you healthy?
GUILLEN: Play me every day. And I don’t want to DH. And I want to play shortstop.
LEYLAND: (cough, cough) Jesusfuc…
DOMBROWSKI: Ahem! Carlos, how can we play you every day when you are constantly on the disabled list? We were actually thinking the opposite. Perhaps a couple days off a week, some extended DH time…things like that. We really need a full, healthy season out of you, especially with Placido, most likely, moving on.
GUILLEN: I want to play every day. I’m sick of changing positons. (raises finger) I want (finger snaps) OWW! (gritting teeth) I can’t perform well if I’m not in the lineup every day.
LEYLAND: Listen (cough) youdumbsonofabi…
DOMBROWSKI: Okay! Let’s make a deal, Carlos. You work on staying healthy and we’ll make a commitment, right now, to you being our everyday left fielder next season. Agreed?
GUILLEN: Si. Gracias.
(trips and falls in hallway)
LEYLAND: (lights cigarette) Areyououttayour (hack) frigginmind?
DOMBROWSKI: I just want the players to leave these meetings on a positive note, Jim. (into intercom) Rachel! Next player, please!
JUSTIN VERLANDER: (glares menacingly at Leyland and Dombrowski)
DOMBROWSKI: Hey, Justin. Thanks for coming in. Great season, by the way. I’m sure we’ll have no trouble coming together on a deal and avoiding arbitration this year. Don’t you agree?
VERLANDER: (glares straight ahead)
DOMBROWSKI: Um, yeah. Now one concern we have is your pitch counts. We need to work on making you more efficient. We can’t keep having you approaching 100 pitches in the sixth inning every night. Can we agree on that?
VERLANDER: (begins sharpening knives)
LEYLAND: (cough) GreatjobJustin. You’re (hack) excused.
(Verlander leaves saying nothing. Stares at Rachel for five minutes while sharpening knives on way out.)
LEYLAND: Youtryingtogetuskilled? (cough)
DOMBROWSKI: Sorry. We need to get him some help. (into intercom) Rachel! Next player, please.
DUSTY RYAN: Hey, guys. Thanks for having me in.
LEYLAND: (cough) Whothehellareyou?
DOMBROWSKI: Hey (looks at notecard) Dusty? Okay. Um, we have big plans for you in the future. Keep up the good work. That’s it! See you in Lakeland this spring!
RYAN: Um…thanks. (leaves)
DOMBROWSKI: (shrugs shoulders) (into intercom) Rachel.. Call security on whoever that was. And please send in the next guy.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Good day, gentlemen! I brought some wine for the two of you.
DOMBROWSKI: There he is! Mr. Franchise!
GRANDERSON: Don’t you mean Mr. Marvin Miller Man of the Year? Say that five times fast, ha, ha. But seriously. It feels great to be recognized for all I do, but I just like the feeling of helping people. Do you know the progress that we’ve made in my Grand Kids charity? The kids we have helped? Not to mention, the hospital visits I do, the charity basketball games, all sorts of stuff! I may be just one man, but I’m enjoying the heck out of making a difference for everyone I can come into contact with!
LEYLAND: (cough) Exceptus.
GRANDERSON: What was that, Skip?
DOMBROWSKI: Well, Curtis, what Jim’s trying to say is that your game seemed to suffer this year and we’d like to see you concentrate a bit more on baseball in 2010 than your side projects.
GRANDERSON: But I hit 30 home runs this year.
LEYLAND: (hack) Andyouhitforjacksquatotherwise. Whoyouthinkyouare? BarryBonds?
DOMBROWSKI: Curtis, we love the player that you are, but what happened to the guy that hit line drives all over the park? Mr. 20/20/20/20? That’s the guy we want being the face of the Tigers!
GRANDERSON: Guys, I’d love to sit and talk to you about this, but I’ve got a charity auction to get to in a half hour. Then tomorrow, there’s this Make-A-Wish dinner. Then, I’ve got union talks to get into. After that…
GRANDERSON: Gotcha, Skip. Have a GRAND offseason, guys! Ha, ha, ha. (leaves)
LEYLAND: Hemakesmesick. (cough) Howmanymorearethere?
DOMBROWSKI: Sigh. Just two guys to go. (into intercom) Rachel? Is our next person ready?
FU-TE NI: Herro, Mistel Domblowski! Herro, Mistel Reyrand. How wonderfur to be hel with you.
DOMBROWSKI: Hello, Mr. Ni. Great to see you. We just wanted to tell you what a fabulous surprise we found you to be this year. Not only did you do more than a quality job out of the bullpen for us, but your impressions are hilarious!
NI: Sank you, Mistel Domblowski. Tly this one. (curls lip and sings) Don’t be cluer. To heart that tlue. I don wan no otha rove! Baby it you I think oooooooof! Sank you velly much!
LEYLAND: (opens mouth) (cigarette drops into lap)
DOMBROWSKI: Great Elvis impression, Fu. You really are too much. Anyways, keep in shape this offseason. We’re expecting your role to expand even more next year. See you this spring.
NI: Sank you. It’s been honol to pray basebarr in Detloit. Ter me, Mistel Domblowski…is Lacherr singer?
NI: Lacherr. The leceptionist.
DOMBROWSKI: Oh. I’m sorry, Fu. I believe that she is engaged.
NI: Oh. That is tellibre. Anothel night with plostitute fol Fu. See you ratel. (leaves)
LEYLAND: What (cough) thehelldidhesaythatwholetime?
DOMBROWSKI: You’re one to talk, Jim, quite frankly. (into intercom) Rachel? Is our last meeting here?
(bed is wheeled in by a nurse)
BRANDON INGE: (fighting back tears) Hey.
DOMBROWSKI: Holy hell, Brandon! You okay?
INGE: Great. Never better. I’ll be ready to hit the field whenever you need me. (sobs quietly)
DOMBROWSKI: Brandon, you were a true inspiration this year. You played in 161 games despite being hurt. But I’m worried that maybe you were hurting the team more than helping at times. Next year, if you’re in pain, we’re going to give you some time off.
LEYLAND: Likehellwewill! Gimmiemysmokes! (Inge's nurse hands over a carton of Reds)
DOMBROWSKI: Jim, you have him running errands for you in his condition?
LEYLAND: Helovesit. Shuddup.
INGE: It’s okay, Dave. Ow…I’m happy to do it for my Skipper.
DOMBROWSKI: Brandon, it was a hell of a season. I mean, you started out so great! You were killing the ball! Then out of nowhere, your knees just went on you. I don’t get what could have happen…
(door flies open)
GARY SHEFFIELD: Brendon! You no good piece of sh-t! Where’s Sheff’s sh-t? I know you got into Sheff’s sh-t!
DOMBROWSKI: Gary? What are you doing here?
SHEFFIELD: Sheff was pissed when you punks dropped his ass. I took off…left some of my, um, supplements behind. Brendon’s locker was next to Sheff’s. I know this punk bitch took my sh-t! You owe me money, sucka!
SHEFFIELD: You ain’t foolin’ no one, Brendon! Power goes up. Knees break down. Sheff knows the drill. You either give me my sh-t or give me my duckets, Brendon!
DOMBROWSKI: (into intercom) Rachel, please get security up here again!
SHEFFIELD: That’s it. Sheff’s gonna kill all you punk bitches! Unless you want to talk deal, Dave. How’s four years, forty million sound?
DOMBROWSKI: Well, um…
(door flies open)
GUARD: Someone call for a security guard?
LEYLAND: ShootmefirstGary. (cough)