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Can this dream be made real?

Customers queue to enter Starbucks Coffee Shop...
Tony La Russa’s new office.
Michael McNerney/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

(Tony La Russa is sitting at an office desk. There is a knock at the door. Rick Hahn enters)

TLR: Who are you? What are you doing in my office?

RH: My name’s Rick Hahn, Tony. I’m the general manager.

TLR: Of what? Some taco stand?

RH: Of the White Sox.

TLR: Oh, yeah, you’re the wimp who was crying after he had to announce my buddy Jerry made me the manager. What happen, you grow a pair? Too late, wimp. No way you can fire me. Jerry’s got my back. Even if I don’t have anyone else’s. So get out of my office.

RH: About that office thing. I heard what you said to Lance Lynn about him just having a locker and you having an office. Might have been cute if you hadn’t used that line before when a player ticked you off. Colby Rasmus, was it?

TLR: Well, it’s true.

RH: Was true. And will be true for about one more hour.

TLR: Whadaya mean, wimp?

RH: I had our attorneys look over your contract, and there’s nothing in there that says the team has to provide you with an office. Since you’re a lawyer yourself, you can appreciate the options that leaves us. I got a communication from the players that indicated they’re not happy about the current setup.

TLR: What players? They’ll never play again. Just tell me who they are.

RH: Actually, it was all 26 on the current roster, plus those on the injured list, plus everyone who has been active at any time this year. They suggest a change to the office, so that’s what we’re going to do.

TLR: What change?

RH: They’d like a foosball table in here. We’ve purchased a really nice one. It’s ready to move in as soon as you move out. Which should be in about 58 minutes. We have a van ready to haul off any stuff you want to keep.

Tönnies wants to have flats built for contract workers
Only the best in replacement equipment for TLR’s ex-office.
David Inderlied/picture alliance via Getty Images

TLR: Where am I supposed to work?

RH: During the pandemic, many people have learned to work well at home, and many companies have found that it benefits everyone. So you’ll be working at home. Or at a new office we’ve arranged.

TLR: You wouldn’t dare.

RH: We did dare. But to give you plenty of options, we contacted the Starbucks near your home and arranged for a table for you there. They didn’t like the idea at first, but slip a barista some game-worn jerseys and minds change.

TLR: There’s not a Starbucks near my place here.

RH: Oh, did I say here? No, no. Back in Arizona. With the miracles of modern electronics, no need for you to be in Chicago, or anyplace else the team is playing. The van is ready for the trip. We’re even going to cover the gas.

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
New employee learns to work from home.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

TLR: YOU CAN’T FIRE ME! JERRY WON’T STAND FOR IT! I’M A HALL OF FAMER BASEBALL PERSON!

RH: Nobody said anything about firing you. You’re right — Jerry wouldn’t stand for it, bless his teeny little heart. You’ll still be the manager. Your name will be on the website and everything. We might even include you in the World Series ring purchase. It’s just a little remote work, a time out if you will. Until, oh, maybe November.

TLR: I’m telling Jerry. He won’t like this.

RH: We already told Jerry the same thing we’ll be telling reporters when they ask about your absence - “non-baseball health reasons,” which we can’t specify due to privacy laws. That could mean anything from COVID to, uh, well, with your history...

TLR: I can’t run the team from Arizona!

RH: Quite true. So we’re making a few other little adjustments. On a game-to-game basis, Miguel will make out the lineup card, Ethan will make all the pitching decisions, Frank will deal with the hitters, and Joe will set the defensive alignments. Let’s face it — you weren’t any good at any of those things anymore, anyway.

TLR: You can’t tell the world I’m not managing any more!

RH: Wouldn’t dream of it. You’re the one that likes to throw people under the bus, not me. As I said, you’ll be the manager. Even on the company letterhead. And you’ll still be paid.

TLR: Don’t you dare shut me out!

RH: Heavens, no. You’re welcome to send in any advice you like, whenever you like. You have the email addresses of all the coaches, and they assure me they check theirs regularly. At least once or twice a week. So you’ll be in full control, though we have changed all the pertinent phone numbers. Feel free to keep some uniforms to wear on game days.

TLR: I never dreamed you’d have the balls for this.

Chicago White Sox Summer Workouts
Could his search for self-respect ever be successful?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

RH: Push people hard enough, anything can happen. I think we’re done here. I’d suggest a farewell toast, but in your case that’s probably not a good idea. You’ve got about 55 minutes now. And don’t even try to stay. There are 26 mostly quite large men outside this door ready to make sure you can’t.

TLR: I’M A HALL-OF-FAMER BASEBALL PERSON!! A Hall-of-Famer Baseball Person! A Hall-of-Famer Baseball Person. A Hall-of-Famer Baseball...(mumbling dies out)