HumorMay 17, 2004


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Tricksy in Oakland

By Patrick Martin

The scene opens in the office of Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane. He is seated behind his desk with the A’s manager, Ken Macha. They have just called their starting shortstop in for a chat.

“Come on in, Gollum. Billy and I want to have a word with you before today’s game.”

Looking around the plush surroundings nervously, Gollum slinks into the office and sits in the offered chair. He holds his cap in his hands and twitches slightly while wringing it between his bony fingers.

“Do you prefer Gollum or Mr. Sméagol?” Billy asks.

“Gollum good to nice masters,” he hisses.

“Yes … well, fine then. Gollum, Ken tells me that you’ve been experiencing a few problems with the team.”

“We likes Oak Land very much.”

“You’ve been acting a bit odd,” continues Billy. “We’ve gotten a call from the League office about your habit of pulling second base out of the ground. You hug it and call it your ‘precious.’ You know that you’re not allowed to take it off the field with you.”

“Gollum wants his preciousss.”

“Well, that’s the problem, Gollum. You still haven’t bought into our philosophy. We don’t steal bases here in Oakland. Never.”

“Never,” repeats Macha, slapping the desk with his hand for emphasis.

“We wants it,” insists Gollum more forcefully, with a hint of danger in his voice.

“That’s just not how we play here,” Beane shoots back.

Gollum hisses and retreats back into his chair, his eyes blazing at the two across the desk.

“That’s another thing,” interrupts Macha. “Some of the players are complaining about your spittle. Plus there are fish heads and bones all over the clubhouse and on the bench. Why can’t you just eat sunflower seeds like everyone else?”

“Take it easy, Ken.” Billy holds his hands out with the palms up to calm the discussion down. “That’s not what we’re here for.”

“Everybody on the team plays by a certain philosophy,” explains Beane. “We take walks and we always keep a foot on the bag. You have such a small strike zone, Gollum, you should never swing at a pitch. Never. Keep that bat on your bony shoulder.”

“Ohhhhh … tricksy bad man,” Gollum whispers in awe. “And nasty fat man mean to Gollum,” he whines, pointing to Macha.

“Well, he’s the manager, that’s his job. If you can’t learn to follow what he says we may have to trade you.”

“Trade Gollum? No! Gollum nice to masters,” he cries out in alarm.

“I won’t lie to you, Gollum. We’ve gotten a call from Steinbrenner. He likes your style and wants you on his team.”

“Noooooooooo,” he wails as he buries his face in his hands.

“We know you got out of their organization once and swore that you would never return. They may be the evil empire, but this is a really good opportunity for you, Gollum. They have a great lineup this year, and George will stop at nothing to get a ring.”

At these words Gollum stops his wailing and his head snaps up.

“Ring?”
 

Patrick Martin, known in the Forums as Mookie4ever, had a great time writing this piece. His wife thinks he’s off his rocker.

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