Tonight is a special night, as we’re joined by the Bench Coaches of no less than three ballclubs: Luke Gray of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pedro Gandarillas of the New York Mets and Danny Ojeda of the Washington Nationals. Together they’ve lead their teams to identical 33-50 records this season, and yet all three teams sit just a few games back from the lead for the division title! They’ve agreed to share a little National League East wisdom with us on how to do so.
Announcer: Gentlemen, thank you for joining our broadcast team here tonight.Danny: Certainly. But we can’t join you. We’re already signed for the season. Nyuk. Nyuk. Nyuk.
|Pedro, Luke and Danny - NL East bench coaches.|
Pedro: That’s easy. I tell them to keep an eye on the ball.
Danny (picks up a baseball and holds it an inch in front of his right eye): Ooh! Like this?
Luke: No, stupid. Like this. (Slaps the ball into Danny’s eye.)
Danny: Eehm! (Drops the ball, squinting and wipes his face three times with his hand.)
Pedro (watching from behind Luke): Hey! How come you didn’t let him keep his eye on the ball!
Luke (turning to Pedro and pulling his moppy hair up): Oh, I didn’t, did I? Keep your eyes on this. (Luke pokes his two fingers into Pedro’s eyes.)
(Scuffle breaks out among the three bench coaches. Luke pulls Pedro’s tie, Danny knocks Luke over the head with his fist.)
Announcer: Gentlemen, please! Please! Settle down! Sit back down. Thank you. How about we just proceed with the next question. In the course of ballgame, when do you call for time?
|The bench coaches formative years.|
Danny: It’s 10:30.
Luke: What are you? A wise guy? (Smacks Danny in the back of head. Danny frowns, like his feelings are hurt. Luke turns to Pedro.) It’s your turn to answer the question.
Pedro: (Looking serious, raises his finger skyward, to demonstrate a point, and then): When I’ve forgotten my glasses.
Luke: (Looking angry.) Hey! What’s the big idea?!
Pedro: (Throwing his hands up.) If I don’t have my glasses, then I can’t see the clock on the scoreboard!
Luke: You can see this, though, right? (Holds up fist, then kicks Pedro in the shins. Spins around to Danny with two fingers ready. Danny puts a hand vertically up in front of his nose, protecting his eyes. The melee continues until…)
Announcer: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please! Please calm down. I suppose we should just skip ahead to my last question.
Danny: Certainly. I love skipping! (Makes an angelic face.) Nyuk. Nyuk. Nyuk.
Luke: (Glaring menacingly at Danny, who suddenly scrambles to recompose himself).
Pedro: Fire away!
Announcer: When do you choose to pinch hit?