(Florida Marlins clubhouse, 11 am)
OMAR INFANTE: Yup.
RAMIREZ: A month ago, we were great. Now, we suck.
RAMIREZ: This new manager guy, Jack McKeon’s like 80 years old. Can you believe they gave him the job?
RAMIREZ: I wonder what he’s like? Hope he doesn’t make us run or some crap like that.
/Handicapped restroom door flies open
RAMIREZ: But we’re early, sir. The team normally doesn’t get to the park until after noon.
MCKEON: Noon? Hogwash! The day’s nearly over by noon! From now on, everyone gets to the ballpark by 9am. That way, everyone has time to stop by the Cracker Barrel at 7 o’clock and enjoy a nice breakfast.
/emits smell of mothballs
RAMIREZ: Cracker what?
MCKEON: You’re a funny one, sonny. You remind me of my great-grandson, well other than the whole colored thing.
RAMIREZ: What’d you say, old man?
MCKEON: Calm down. Here.
/pulls butterscotch candy out of pocket
MCKEON: Here you go, son. Enjoy. Now, since you kids are the first to arrive, I think we should talk a bit before the other boys get here. What’s your name, son?
INFANTE: Omar. Omar Infante. You know me. We’ve met before, sir.
MCKEON: I do? Well, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.
INFANTE: That’s okay, sir.
MCKEON: Thanks. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.
RAMIREZ: I’m Hanley Ramirez, Mr. Jack.
MCKEON: Yes, they told me about you. I hear you’re a fine ballplayer. They even say you’ve got as much money as Mr. Charles Lindbergh himself!
MCKEON: Keep practicing you game, sonny. They might even pay you a million dollars someday. Now boys, remember to speak up. I don’t hear as well as I used to. I did, however, just get a brand new hearing aid. It’s state of the art, they tell me.
/keeps chewing despite having nothing in mouth
INFANTE: What kind is it?
MCKEON: Oh, it’s about twenty after eleven, right now. Anyway, part of being a good ballplayer is eating properly. I want you boys to be fit as a fiddle so we can turn this season around. Now Henry…
RAMIREZ: Hanley, sir.
MCKEON: Yes. Now Henry, where did you have dinner last night?
RAMIREZ: Um, I ate at TGI Fridays, sir. Me and a couple of the boys went out.
MCKEON: That’s horseshit. I want you boys to eat better than that. For instance, my daughter and I went out for a fine meal for dinner last night.
RAMIREZ: Where did you go, sir?
MCKEON: Oh, dear. Help me out here. What’s the name of that pretty flower? Smells nice…has thorns?
INFANTE: A rose?
MCKEON: Yes! Yes, that’s it!
/dials phone number
MCKEON: Rose? It’s your father. Where did we eat last night? Yes, that’s it. Thank you, Rose. Love you, too.
MCKEON: We ate at TGI Fridays. Nice place.
RAMIREZ: Oh boy…
MCKEON: Anyway, listen up. I'm an old man…I know this. I've had 2 bypass surgeries. A hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer, and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear shit, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. I have bouts with dementia and poor circulation. Hell, I can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. I can't remember if I'm 80 or 85. Most of my friends are dead. I shit my pants three times a week. Sometimes I actually notice. But God bless America, the state of Florida keeps renewing my driver’s license. And that means I’m gonna keep coming to work every day. And you boys need to shape up.
RAMIREZ: You sure you’re the right man for the job, Mr. McKeon?
MCKEON: Why because I’m old? Because when I was in my teens, the Dead Sea was only sick? Because I’m only alive in the sense that I still can’t legally be buried? Hell, I don’t feel old, guys. Then again, I don’t feel much of anything until noon, but by then I need a nap. Um…what were we talking about again?
INFANTE: You were telling us that you had work to do in your office.
MCKEON: Thanks, sonny. Let me know when Pete Rose gets here. I wanna ask him how he feels about playing first base. Also, Henry, you’re benched for at least one game. I don’t like the cut of your jib. Seeya on the field, boys.
/walks into a closet
RAMIREZ: I’m calling my agent. Gotta get the fuck outta here.
INFANTE: You reading my mind, dawg. Reading my mind.