There have been reports in the sporting press that the Astros’ Director of Baseball Operations Tal Smith phoned Cubs GM Jim Hendry earlier in the week to explain why Houston would be starting three rookie pitchers in their series against the Brewers. I haven’t seen any details of that conversation, but that’s okay.
That’s what reckless supposition is for.
JH: (PICKING UP HIS PHONE) Hendry here.
TS: Jim, it’s Tal Smith down in Houston.
JH: Tal, how are you? You boys gave us a helluva ride last week.
TS: It’s a pennant race, right? We wouldn’t want to make it too easy on you, you know what I mean?
JH: (LAUGHS) Well, I’d say you did your job. How can I help you? You looking to trade Oswalt? (GUFFAWS)
TS: No, no. The reason I’m calling is...
JH: (INTERRUPTING) Pence? You want to move Pence? I love that kid.
TS: That’s good to hear, and we love him, too. No, the reason I’m calling is to let you know we’re gonna have to start some of the kids against Yost this week, and I wanted you to know why.
JH: Hold on. The Brewers are coming in with a title on the line and you’re going with kids?!
TS: Hear me out, Jim. Oswalt’s wife is having a baby so we’re giving him a pass on Tuesday.
JH: You’re doing what?! Doesn’t he have a kid already? After the first one, there’s nothing new to see.
TS: That’s really not the point, Jim. And the guy that’ll be going in his place—Felipe Paulino—throws gas. Like 98, 99.
JH: Paulino? You’re pitching a catcher...against the Brewers?! What the fu....
TS: (INTERRUPTING) Jim, Jim, you’re thinking of Ronny Paulino with Pittsburgh. He’s a different...
JH: (STEPPING ON SMITH) This is bullshit, Tal. Texas-sized bullshit. What about Wednesday? Tell me Woody is going Wednesday! I know he's older than dirt, but...
TS: He’s not starting. Cecil wants to take a look at Juan Gutierrez, who we like a ton.
JH: You like him a ton? Cecil likes him a ton? Fine. Take him out for a fucking all-you-can-eat at Bonanza. But don’t put him into the middle of a pennant race so he can piss himself the first time he sees Prince Fielder in person.
TS: Jim, we’re looking to build something. We're tired of coming up short around here. I thought, if anyone, you’d understand.
JH: What the hell’s that supposed to mean?
TS: I’m gonna say three words to you, then wish you good luck and hang up: Nineteen-forty-five. Bye, Jim.
(HANGS UP, BUT HENDRY CONTINUES SCREAMING)
JH: That’s two words, you pennant-race-ruining bastard. I hope they bring Ed Wade in there and he packs your ass off to some retirement village! And I’ll be right there with him, loading you into the old people’s van! (HENDRY SLAMS THE RECEIVER DOWN, THEN SCREAMS INTO THE OFFICE NEXT DOOR). Angela, bring me a Bromo Seltzer...now!