His name is Blake. Seems pretty good. We sent him over to the stadium after the game yesterday. This is what apparently went down:
Blake: Let me have your attention for a moment! So you’re talking about what? You’re talking about… bitching about that save you blew, some son of a bitch umpire squeezing you, somebody that thinks you’re just a platoon guy, some broad you’re trying to screw and so forth. Let’s talk about something important! [turns to Ron Roenicke] Are they all here?*
Roenicke: All but one. But it’s just Dillard so it doesn’t matter.
Blake: Great, tight ship you’re running here. Let’s talk about something IMPORTANT!
[Sees Axford pick up a cup of coffee]
Put…that…coffee…down! Coffee’s for closers only.
Axford: [laughs a bit, sends a tweet]
Blake: You think I’m fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I’m here from downtown. I’m here from RRSMB. And I’m here on a mission of mercy! Your name’s Axford? You call yourself a pitcher you son of a bitch?
K-Rod: I don’t gotta sit here and listen to this shit.
Blake: You certainly don’t pal, ’cause the good news is you’re fired. The bad news is you’ve got… all of you’ve got just one week to regain your jobs, starting with this afternoon, starting with this afternoon’s game! Oh… Have I got your attention now? Good. ‘Cause we’re adding a little something extra for you alleged “relief” pitchers. As you all know first prize is this lovely, environmentally friendly Toyota Prius wagon. Anyone wanna see second prize? [hold up a Shake Weight] Second prize is a Shake Weight. Third prize is you’re fired. Get the picture? You laughing now? You looking forward to riding a bus from Nashville to Peoria for the next 3 years? You got leads. Zack and Yovanni put in a good effort. Get your shit together and finish them. You can’t close the leads you’re given? You can’t close shit? You ARE shit. Hit the bricks pal, and beat it ’cause you are going DOWN.
Veras: The leads are weak!
Blake: “The leads are weak.” The fucking leads are weak? You’re weak. I’ve been in this business 15 years-
Veras: What’s your name?
Blake: Fuck YOU. That’s my name.
Blake: You know why, mister? ‘Cause you were traded for a washed up, defensively inept 3rd baseman; SOMEONE wanted CASEY MCGEHEE more than they wanted you. You were traded; I’m the one who trades. That’s my name. And your name is you’re wanting. You can’t play in the man’s game, you can’t close them – go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this game: Take the lead that is given you, and give up fewer runs than the lead. You hear me you fucking asshole? A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always…be…closing. You think the 6th or 7th or 8th is less important than the 9th?The way you fuckheads have been pitching it is, but in real-life it’s ALL fucking important. ALWAYS BE CLOSING.
WHIP. Walks, Hits, Innings, Pitched. Walks – Your walking papers will be issued shortly. Do I have your attention? Hits – Have I beaten you up enough yet? I know I haven’t, because Axford is still tweeting. You close or you hit the bricks. Innings – How many are you willing to go, for Christ?! And Pitched. Something you all allegedly do. W-H-I-P. Get out there – or we’ve got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don’t bus around Nashville because he finds it interesting. NO ONE finds Nashville interesting. They’re sitting out there waiting to take your jobs. Are you gonna let them take it? Are you man enough to keep it? What’s the problem, pal?
Kam Loe: You’re such a hero, you’re so rich, how come you’re coming down here wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
Blake: You see this ring?** You see this ring?
Kam Loe: Yeah.
Blake: That ring is what you get when you do your job and win. Do you have a championship ring? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here – close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a mound? You don’t like it, leave. I can go out there tonight with the lead you’ve got a nail down a save. Tonight! In 5 minutes! Can you? Can YOU? Go and do likewise. W-H-I-P. Get mad you son of a bitches, get mad! You want to know what it takes to close baseball games? It takes BRASS BALLS to close baseball games. Go and do likewise gents. Glory’s out there. You pick it up, it’s yours. You don’t, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on that mound tonight and close, CLOSE. It’s yours. If not you’re gonna be shining my shoes. And you know what you’ll be saying – a bunch of losers sittin’ around in a bar. “Oh yeah. I used to be a relief pitcher. It’s a tough racket.” [holds up a stack of Topps commons featuring the likes of Chad Fox, Ray King, and Valerio De Los Santos ]
You will have new leads. The Greinke/Yo/Marcum leads. The Weeks finally got his head out of his ass leads. And to you they’re gold; and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They’re for closers. I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer your question, pal, why am I here? I came here because RRSMB asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said the real favor would be to follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.
*It’s shocking how little of this you actually have to change for it to apply to a Major League bullpen.
**There’s a Super Bowl ring on Ebay. We thought it would help drive the message home.