Saturday, June 18, 2005

Administrative procedure, in one act

Monday, June 20, 12:00 pm

Mr. McHale: Dottie, do you have Mr. Robinson on the line?

Dottie: Mr. Robinson is on the line, Mr. McHale.

Mr. McHale: Good, Dottie. And make sure he stays there. I hate these teleconferences.

Dottie: Yes sir.

Mr. McHale: You know, it's funny. Back when my pop was president of the Expos, he had to personally deliver a contract offer to Dave McNally, straight to McNally's home.

Dottie: Yes sir.

Mr. McHale: Yep, didn't even have a fax machine, much less this teleconferencing stuff. You know that?

Dottie: Yes sir. I was your father's secretary, too.

Mr. McHale: Sure. And I bet the old man sure wished he could have faxed that contract off instead . . .

Dottie: Yes sir.

Mr. McHale: . . . because that s.o.b. McNally wouldn't sign!

Dottie: Yes sir.

Mr. McHale: Anyway, where were we?

Dottie: Mr. Robinson, sir. He's waiting.

Mr. McHale: Well, we can't make Mr. Robinson wait too long, can we?

Dottie: No sir.

Mr. McHale: Okay, well punch him through.

Dottie: Yes sir.

Mr. McHale: And Dottie?

Dottie: Yes sir?

Mr. McHale: Get me one of those coffee rolls DuPuy raves about. I don't care if it's noon.

Dottie: Yes sir.

{pause}

Mr. McHale: Frank, how the hell are you?

Frank: Fine, John. And how are the Devil Rays doing?

John: Ah, you know the drill. Pocket the revenue sharing, wear out the manager.

Frank: Yep.

John: Well, you're a cut above that Piniella, you know? Well, you don't have to respond to that. Anyway, the guy's crazy, you know? . . . Well, at least the play-by-play guy on tee-vee is top-notch.

Frank: That's nice. Most of our fans can't see ours.

John: Right, right. Good point. Well, let's get down to business. What is it you received again?

Frank: One game and one thousand dollars.

John: One game and one thousand dollars, right. And you're appealing?

Frank: Well, this isn't a social call, John . . .

John: Sure enough. Well . . . whaddya got?

Frank: I'm sure you already know what I'll say, but . . .

John: Bob Watson says he's heard it, yes.

Frank: . . . I think the whole thing's mule crap.

John: Mule crap?

Frank: Use your imagination.

John: Okay, but Bud discourages us to do that. {ha ha}

Frank: Don't remind me.

John: Anyway, give me all you got.

Frank: I want to be clear it's all Scioscia's fault.

John: Because his guy had the pine tar on his glove?

Frank: That's that dumbass Donnelly's fault. I'm talking about instigating the whole thing.

John: Instigating it. Looked to me like the pine tar thing instigated it.

Frank: Call it what you want. But just because your guy's guilty doesn't mean you have to threaten "undressing" my guys.

John: What did you want him to do, then?

Frank: I don't know; not be a dick, I guess.

John: That would rule out about half of us in the game, Frank! {ha ha}

Frank: Look at it this way: remember when Joe Niekro was caught with the nail file?

John: Sure. Who wouldn't? The damned thing fell right out of his pants pocket. {ha ha}

Frank: Right out of the pocket, right. Let me ask you this: before it fell out, what did Tom Kelly do?

John: I don't remember, Frank. I don't know; tell me.

Frank: I don't remember, either.

John: So, what's your point?

Frank: My point is, I don't remember. No one does. That's my point.

John: Great point. What is it, again?

Frank: It's that, sure, Kelly probably defended his guy. Maybe he even postured some. But he didn't go insane. I can't even remember what team it was against, but I remember no managers got suspended for it.

John: I'll have to look it up . . . Hold on a second, Frank. . . . Dottie? Dottie?! . . . That's one hell of a coffee roll, Dottie! . . . Anyway, Frank. I don't care about Tom Kelly.

Frank: Look, John, I didn't instigate the situation. I didn't bring it up. I didn't start it. All I was doing was replying to what he had said to me. And it was all words.

John: Looked like more than words . . .

Frank: Look again. Nothing else happened even though the players came out onto the field. Nothing happened.

John: It sure looked like something happened . . .

Frank: Nothing happened. I'll cut to the chase, John. I'll take the fine, but this is going overboard with it. If there were punches thrown, I could understand that. But there were no punches thrown. I think under the circumstances, a one thousand dollar fine is pretty significant. So I think that would be enough. But a fine on top of a game suspension? I just think that's a little much.

John: We gotta give you something, Frank.

Frank: I understand that, John. Make it a fine, then, and that's it. The fact that I'm being suspended also? I think it's overkill. And the person that initiated the whole thing is penalized the same as I am. I totally disagree with that, in this situation, because of him being the aggressor. He threw flames on the fire.

John: And Scioscia's not appealing.

Frank: If he appealed, I'd hop on a plane and kick his ass.

John: I'm not sure that'll motivate me to reconsider, Frank.

Frank: I'm speaking freely and figuratively, John. I believe I've earned that right.

John: Sure you have, Frank. We're speaking freely here. Alright, Naimoli's calling in a few minutes. Let's wrap up.

Frank: Look, you and I both know what it comes down to. Baseball officials are hesitant to fine one party in an altercation and not the other. So they just nail both sides---which, to me, is not fair.

John: You're right; it's not fair. Your appeal is denied.

Frank: . . .

John: Come on, Frank. You know the fine is bogus. And it's just one game. Tell the guy replacing you tonight to have fun. Sit in the clubhouse and fill up on Yoo-hoos.

Frank: Okay, John.

John: Kindof weird being on this end of it, eh?

Frank: The grass is greener . . .

John: I'm sure it is. Good luck to you guys. Pump up that sale price for us. Oh, and Frank?

Frank: I know what you're gonna say, and I'm way ahead of you . . .

John: Guillen's really got to shut up.

Frank: Like I said, I'm way ahead of you. He knows who his daddy is, and this daddy's into tough love.

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