“Hey there,” said the Phillies, saddling up to the bar stool next to George Sherrill and Hideki Okajima. The two lefties had just gone out for a quiet drink without the desire to be poked, prodded, and eye-fucked by organizations starved for a southpaw, but here they were.
The Phillies were delivered a vodka stinger by the bartender and suggestively offered their glass in a toast. Neither George nor Hideki took part. George was particularly upset/confused and arched his eyebrows.
“What the fu–”
“There’s been an awful lot of hurt since J.C. left,” the Phillies continued. “Well, sort of.” It seemed as though they were completely oblivious to the two relievers’ disgust. “We certainly hope someone comes along to fill that… gaping left-handed void. Somebody with a respectable ERA and the willingness to accept an abbreviated number of appearances as a LOOGY; as we all know, anyway, size doesn’t matt–” The Phillies took a second to choke on their drink.
Hideki closed his eyes and shook his head at the display, embarrassed for everyone involved as George looked to end the conversation immediately.
“Look, we mainly just came here to relax–”
“Nobody comes to The Free Agent Pub to ‘relax’,” the Phillies responded. “Everybody’s here for something.” They gestured toward the corner, where a similarly furious Jayson Werth sat with an enraged grimace between his beard-hairs. The Red Sox, Tigers, and Angels were all hounding him; trying to buy him $17 million drinks over the course of seven happy hours.
“Even Jayson wants something, even though he’s playing it so cool,” the Phillies continued, trying and failing to hide the contempt in their tone. They turned back to Hideki and George, who had ordered the check while the Phils were distracted.
“Yeah, well, good luck with that,” George replied, gathering his things.
Seeing they were getting nowhere, the Phillies grew a bit hostile. “No, you have good luck, George… with that 6.69 ERA!”
“これはおかしいです!” Hideki said, moving quickly for the exit.
“You’ll be back!” the Phillies yelled discourteously as the door closed behind George. And then, in a quieted mutter, “…everybody comes back to the Free Agent.”
They spun around on their bar stool to once again give a longing look in Jayson’s direction. He was clearly giving the Red Sox the majority of his irritated, yet willing, attention; a few moments before, Carl Crawford had passed Hideki and George on their way out, and all three Werth-suitors were now attempting to gainfully employ the attentions of both outfielders.
A light snow began to fall outside as the Phillies swirled their drink mournfully toward their right fielder of four years. The night had not progressed as they had hoped, and still, they were without most of a bullpen and were probably going to lose Werth as well.
The ice melted a bit and hit the bottom of their glass.
“We’ll always have May 12,” they whispered.