The Committee Will Come To Order
Manuel: Fellas, welcome to the first meeting of the New York Mets Closer-By-Committee. Let's have a roll call first. I'll be doing these in alphabetical order. Jose Feliciano?
Feliciano: That's Pedro, not Jose. Here.
Manuel: Ahh, sorry. I always screw that up. Aaron Heilman? Aaron? Anyone seen Aaron?
Smith: He's in the bathroom throwing up.
Manuel: Gotchya. Eddie Kunz?
Kunz: Here. And ready when needed.
Manuel: Duly noted. I'll get to ya. Ruddy Lugo?
Manuel: Is that a name or a skin condition? Har, har, har... Carlos Muniz?
Lugo: Oh, I think he hopped a flight back to Norfolk. I passed him in the airport.
Manuel: But we didn't send him down.
Lugo: He's been up and down so many times he got confused. I'll call him.
Manuel: Eh, who cares, really. Duaner Sanchez?
Sanchez: Here. Sorry I'm late. Had to stop off for some Carribean food. There's this great place, it's open late...you want some?
Manuel: No. Scott Schoeneweis?
Schoeneweis: You mean Scott "the Closer" Schoeneweis? Here.
Manuel: Uh, sure. And Joe Smith?
Manuel: OK. [Heilman returns from bathroom] Ahhh, Aaron. Glad you could join us. Here, take this seat right next to me. [Heilman sits]
Manuel: Now, let's get down to business. Fellas, a man becomes a preeminent manager, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms... Enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy?
Manuel: [Dan Warthen hands him a baseball] Pitching! A man... A man stands alone on the mound. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the game, what? Part of a team. Teamwork... Part of one big team. Pitches himself the live-long day, Santana, Pelfrey, and so on. But if his bullpen don't pitch...what is he?
Sanchez: No one!
Manuel: You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? l'm goin' out there for myself. But...I get nowhere unless the team wins.
Heilman: Team!! [nodding] Team...
Manuel: [walks over to Heilman] Aaron?
Manuel: Let me ask you a question. You take the mound in the 9th after teammates have just handed you a 4-run lead. The first batter of the inning is hitting .228. What do you do?
Heilman: Walk him on four pitches.
Manuel: Uh-huh. And after a little bad luck from your defense puts a second runner on, you're facing a guy with 8 home runs and only 27 rbi on the year. What do you do then?
Heilman: Serve up a titanic 3-run home run?
Manuel: I see.
Heilman: Hey, what are you doing? Stop that!
Manuel: I'm cramming this baseball in your mouth. Ahh, there.
Heilman: Mmmmph!! Mmmmmph!!!
Manuel: Duaner, you wanna do me a favor and take him downstairs and help him into a cab?
Sanchez: You bet!
Manuel: Meeting adjourned.