Next Monday the Sox venture into the vast and mythical land where the illusive polyester-clad OPOS roams in its white orthopedic clogs; projecting financial fraud, usury and tax evasion, every chance it gets, upon the rest of the American population. Since Ponce de Leon, the senior citizen community has sought out the Fountain of Youth in Florida's murky waters and ozone depleted skies; to no avail.
Now sitting in their pink-walled death chambers, upon wicker chairs adorned in floral cushions…the OPOS' contemplate their imminent deaths, their ever expanding hyper-color skin-cancers, senior-citizen discounts and how to hide their wealth from their children and grandchildren. It is no wonder that Tampa Bay has two kinds of people, OPOS' and white collar criminals (mostly a combination of both). The entitled OPOS' allow poor people to live in trailers and duplexes on the devalued real estate, so they have someone to cut their crab grass, carry their golf clubs and shine their oversized Town Cars. As long as those in poverty are out of sight nothing can ruin the party!
As the late spring sun falls into the sheen of the Gulf of Mexico, the retired Carl Everett sits with Don Zimmer, Jermaine Dye and a talking manatee named Snooty; under a cabana at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club. They're all sipping old-fashioneds except Zimmer, who is on blood-thinners… he is drinking a half-glass of Malbec and sipping shark-fin soup with an amused scowl on his mug. Dye, in a ten-gallon hat and chaps, is strumming Patsy Cline on a Gibson Yoakam, adding to the relaxed yet virility absent ambience.
"That's right, dinosaurs never happened. I've heard all the theories and evidence science has to offer but I still ain't heard nothing convincing. That's all they are, just theories…intulluckshoouhl bankroopt. No one ain't never found a complete skulleton and how would noone not know how to put them together anyway. Sall' a bunch of hogwash. If the God's greenearth was created 6000 years ago, when was there no time for dinosaurs?
"My ancestors have been around for 60 million years, you have no idea what you are talking about. You can't believe everything you read or certainly think. Pour me a gin," thus spake the manatee.
"Yur the second manuhtee who has lied to me today. My bridge partner was trying to tell me earlier that evolution exists, it don't exist. Never did, never will."
"You scumsucking son-of-a-bitch, I'm not a manatee," opined Zimmer.
"I don't buhlieve you. You look enough like a manuhtee for me to say you are a manuhtee. Frum my purrspective my opunion is the only one that counts. I can't see from your eyes, your brain…I can only guess if you even think, you could be Satuhn's robot. You may not be a manuhtee but you're close enough. Kind of like dinosaurs, we don't even exist."
"Dinosaurs existed, they just don't exist in baseball anymore. There is an ageist conspiracy being led by the neo-saber community against players over the age of 35. I mean, c'mon, the White Sox can find money to pay Quentin, Teahen and Pierre to play the outfield but not me!?! The World Series MVP? I'm far superior both physically and intellectually to those clowns."
"Fuhngraphs don't never existed."
"I've been in the game for seven decades now and know it when I see it. You still have it Jermaine. The reason why I have assembled us here is I have a group of investors from Orlando and Boca that are willing to back me on the purchase of the Rays. What they've done to that franchise is knuckleheaded. Look where they are now with their new fangled stat mumbo-jumbo, they've run the club into the ground. We're going to pull a brody and sell off all the youngsters and fill the organization with dinosaurs. Its going to be a retirement community of all the greats from the late 90's and early 2000's. We'll show these kids whats-what, see?" graveled Zimmer. "McKeon has already agreed to manage this hodge-podge. We need youze guys as two of the cornerstones of our franchise. Donald Trump is one of our backers and he thinks he has the resources to reanimate Ted Williams' frozen head. The best part is we can get him on board for 100k a year. 'Teddy Ballgame' knows nothing of inflation. Our main objective at the moment is to woo Vizquel away from the White Sox, who just signed him to a two year extension. We think they may give him up for Hellickson but they are going to play hardball and try to get Damon too.. it goes with out saying I'm not sure we would be able to do that…I mean, Damon is getting up there and would fit our makeup well."
"The plan is to get this together for 2013. Barry and Meche are coming out of retirement. Piazza already had knee replacements put in. Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Schilling and Randy have all undergone voluntary Tommy John surgery and are currently undergoing rehab in Ft. Myers. Kent and Olerud are on board and Ripken plans on extending his streak. Stairs will DH. Bullpen details are still being worked out but it sounds like Thigpen, Assenmacher, John Franco, Radinsky, Hoffman and Orosco are all interested. There is a deal in the works for Mariano, all the Yanks want is Longoria and Price…and Cashman said he would even consider including Jeter in the deal but Mariano only has one pitch…we need more pitch selection out of our closers…we might just pull the trigger to get Jeter, since he is a gold-glover…we can't be making errors if we expect to win championships," continued Zimmer.
"Hoffman ain't not strong enough mentully to close games nomore, didn't you not see him in Milwaukee? Orosco has that prizefighter attitude and what people think is a short memory," interjected Everett. "Memory really doesn't exist, its just expurrience skewed by imaginashun. Orosco has 'it' if 'it' exists, its a shame most of his cuhreer was spent in a sit-up role. They wasted his grind in the 7th and 8th when they cud have used the icewater in his vayns in the 9th when the game on the line. If anyone exists it' Jesse."
By this time everyone kind of ignores Everett. He has absolutely nothing logical to say and he's starting to piss everyone off.
"Our farm system will be like a purgatory for recently retired players, if a player recently retired he goes to Rookie ball, until we decide he can take walks." Thus spake the manatee.
"Really, the only things that could derail us from a championship are rampant, terminal melanoma or dementia. Just think how the population of Florida would embrace this team of OPOS'! We've already worked out a concessions menu. We recently discovered a previously unknown stash of millions of cans of Moxie that Bing Crosby had been hording since the 40's. We'll offer crackerjacks, popcorn, peanuts in paper bags and foul tasting hard candy in buckets. A choice of porridge or cottage cheese in little helmets. The rest of the fare will be buffet style. All games will start at 2:30 so our fans can get home in time for Wheel of Fortune. We're building nursing homes and retirement communities in the parking lot. For those who don't have the dough to live there, we'll bus em' in from Jacksonville and Orlando, make a day of it… Between innings there will be wheelchair and walker races and atop our dugouts will seductively dance menopausal cougars in red hats. How much do you think an 80-year old retired financier would pay for a lap-dance from a 55 year old! After much hemming and hawing, I would imagine our fans would reach into their couch and spend the cash they've been hording in case the banks fail. For opening day we will be handing out jars of buttons and Devil Ray tennis balls to put on walkers. Bingo night at the Park, Bridge Club Mondays and Shuffleboard Tuesdays. If you have more than 10 liverspots on your hands you get in the game at ½ the price. If you're senile you get in free to the padded skyboxes sponsored by LifeCall The Trop is now Viagra Field." thus spake the manatee.
"What's your policy on cowbell?" asked JD, ever so curious.
"The more of it…the better. Our fans and players won't be able to hear it anyway and if they can they can adjust their hearing aids. Ah, here is the equity guy, he's a crazy son of a bitch and a White Sox fan to boot." Thus spake the manatee.
"Good…I like anything that has to do with cows…sea and not," flirted JD.
At that moment a windowless van screeches to a halt on the sidewalk and an Italian OPOS in a checkered mohair shut, whose whole face is one big liverspot and has a haircut a crack rascal from the early 80's would be proud of, emerges and saunters toward them, ankles and knees cracking. JD thinks he hears the barely audible whimpering of children coming from the back of the van but decides that he was probably just hearing things. The OPOS is carrying a briefcase and staggering as if drunk but more likely because he ran out of percocet. He groans into the only available chair at the table and his face gets a calmed look to it as if he is relieving himself in a pair of adult undergarments. They all noticed two wet spots growing around his groin.
"Shit! I forgot to put on Depends this morning. Hold on a sec…without embarrassment there would be no success." He opens his briefcase and reveals a manila folder (which he haphazardly tosses at the manatee), a box of Depends and a two changes of clothes. They notice he has a wedding ring on every finger. After dismissing himself he comes back in a bright green I-zod polo-shirt, white polyester pants and a pair of Florsheims.
"You gentlemen can call me winningugly. You're really going to go through with this. You guys are insane, you got some big stones to have a team full of relics. The kids tell me the stats are where it at, these are good smart kids. Too small of a sample size to know if a team like this would work. Its okay though because my White Sox can kick your geriatric asses, we've had trouble with you in the past."
"We're out to prove commonly held theories wrong. Older men can still play baseball, we know it in our gut and our gut is better than any brain, just ask . The way science is these days, we can field a team of modern Prometheus'. Trump has masking agents developed for HGH, we should be dandy. Statistical regression is a thing of the future's past." explained Zimmer.
"Well if you check out that portfolio on the table, the financing is done. We bribed the proper officials, were able to milk federal tax money by getting historical landmark status for The Trop and we pushed a referendum through that breaks the back of the middle and lower classes, especially the fucking teachers, in order to give you some extra cash on hand. Our piece of shit governor let us raid their fucking retirement funds. We also bet a large sum of money on Japanese inverse funds prior to the Chinese inflicting Tectonic Warfare on those nips and made a fucking killing" said WU.
"I thought Trump and a group of investors was backing you, why do you need all that?" asked JD.
"Why pay for something if you don't have to? The fucking little people are powerless, they don't understand this shit. Its tits on a Ritz baby! Trump and his apprentice Daryl Strawberry have their coke nails all over this deal, don't you get your depends in a bunch," exclaimed WU, popping prescripton pills like they are sweet tarts. "Anyone want a Bit-O-Honey, I've got some in my van?
The lucidity of the scene started to slip away…the omnipotent observer of this portrait started experiencing a shaking of the world, the five men at the table stared into this being like they were staring into a hidden camera and all had manically evil smirks…the colors melted like a Sisley into reality, if that is what you call it, everything began to slip into a darkened oblivion......................
"Mick! Mr. Mick! Oh, thank God you must have dosed off! I thought we lost you there for a second! You must have fallen asleep on the veranda. Lets get you off the davenport and inside for your sponge bath. Its split-pea smoothie tonight for dinner, your favorite!" said the blonde buxom nurses aid at Sleepy Pines Retirement Community.
"Getchure hand off me you port slut cunt! I can get up myself!"
"You haven’t ben out of that wheelchair on your own in over a decade. Smells like you made an accident for me? We’ll go change those diapers.This might be case for the heavy duty wipes. It smells like one of your thick oozy stools."
"Damn it all to hell!"
Just then Mick heard a little boy scream followed by a car door being slammed. A man in a checkered mohair suit peeled around the corner in a windowless van, with an asian man riding shotgun and sped away.