One A.M In A Dallas Hotel Bar
By John Verburg
Disclaimer: This is intended to be fun. Nobody should take offense. It is my attempt to do an article a little differently by writing a scene for the readers from the GM meetings in Dallas. Entirely fictional of course.
Setting: The hotel bar at the winter meetings in Dallas. It is one o’clock in the morning, and various General Managers from baseball are scattered throughout the lounge. Some are winding up their night, some nights are just getting started. There are various levels of intoxication, and at this stage of the night, the calculating GM of the Detroit Tigers is looking to take advantage of an unsuspecting GM somewhere. The following conversation will take place at the actual bar.
Dave Dombrowski walks into Rodeo and sits down at the bar.
Mike (Bartender): What will it be Mr. Dombrowski? The usual?
DD: Yeah Mike. Cranberry juice on the rocks, splash a little water in there so it looks like I got vodka in it. I gotta stay regular if you know what I mean.
Mike Laughs. Dombrowski slips Mike a 100 dollar bill and tells him to keep it.
Mike: Yeah, I think I know what you mean.
DD: Anybody hanging around in here?
Mike: Oh yeah. Plenty. Usual suspects. Guys been popping in all night long. Cashman is over there in the corner. No one wants to talk to him. Friedman is over there on his computer. Billy Beane is over there talking our cocktail waitress, telling her about the movie made about him. Says he is going to make her a star. He keeps yelling, “who wants a Gio?” for some reason. Like he can’t wait to get rid of his car. All the younger guys are hanging out in the back there getting liquored up. Seen a couple new guys roaming around here, one of em’ is stinking drunk.
DD: Don’t let em fool you Mike, those young guys know what they are doing, even when they are drunk.
Mike: Whatever, I will defer to you on that one, but that Canadian dude Antho..whatever..keeps pressing his man boobs together and trying to get dollar bills from everyone. Guy was drinking tequila like he got bit by a rattler and it had the antidote in it.
DD: You hear anything going on? Any deals getting done?
Dombrowski slips Mike another 100.
Mike: Nothing specific, just a lot of bullsh*t talk so far. Well, that Boras guy is walking around though, laughing it up and saying he has got some big “fish” on the line. You know that guy is walking around in snake skin boots? Fitting huh?
DD: Yeah, I have had my dealings with him.
Jed Hoyer leaves the back table, where Alex Anthopolous, Ben Cherington, Theo Epstein, John Daniels, Dayton Moore and Jack Z. were all sitting to come up to the bar.
Jed Hoyer: Hey Dave, how’s it going?
DD: Not bad. Just sitting down to have a nightcap before I hit the sack.
JH: Well, some of the guys back there are going out to hit the strip club. I think we got like 10 of us going. Wanna come? You know what they say? Everything is bigger in Texas, and these girls have been eating their chicken.
Dombrowski is confused by that comment, and just assumes Hoyer is a little liquored. Ahhh….the hormones.
DD: I will probably pass on the strip club. How’s Chicago? I thought things were going good for you in San Diego. Why did you leave?
JH: Haha. Yeah, I liked San Diego a lot, but the job security in Chicago is great my man. It’s not like I am going to get fired for losing with the Cubs. Well, if you change your mind…..let us know, we are leaving in like 10 minutes.
DD: Thanks, I am good.
Enter, Rangers GM Jon Daniels who comes up and slaps Dombrowski on the back.
JD: David Dombrowski! How’s it goin you sumbi*ch? Ain’t see you since we took ya to the woodshed in the playoffs. Daniels belly laughs. You bastards was a pain in the bee-hind though, I will give you that!
DD: Why are you talking like that? Aren’t you from New York?
JD: Well, later you sumbi*ch. I got a whole sh*tload of singles and I know where to put em! Hell, you might even be able to keep one in that butt-chin of yours!!
Daniels hugs Dombrowski roughly and walks with Hoyer back to his table.
Mike: Looks like he has had a few.
DD: I don’t really have a butt-chin do I?
Mike: No, of course not Mr. Dombrowski. Oh man….here comes that new guy that has been pissin every one off. We kicked him out of here about 2 hours ago. Drunk as a skunk.
Dan Duquette walks into the Rodeo.
Dan: slurring. Holy sh*t. David Dombrowski. Been a while. Like this many years. Duquette holds up 5 fingers. Whatcha drinking?
DD: Hey Dan. Having a good time I see. Vodka and cranberry.
Dan: Thats a sissy drink. Bartender. How bout two whiskey’s neat?
Mike hesitates…Dombrowski nods.
DD: I can’t drink whiskey Dan, but why don’t we just make yours a double?
Dan: Fine by me. Ya know Dave, these kids (pointing at the back table), they don’t do business like we used to ya know. Have a few drinks. Duquette swallows his whiskey. Maybe, maybe make a deal in person. No, they are too busy being saber tooth tigers or whatever. That one can’t even look me in the eye. Points at Andrew Freidman.
DD: Well, things are a little bit different from 8 or 9 years ago. No more steroids. You looking to deal Dan? I still do things with a handshake?
Dan: What I got to do to get that Kelly kid off your hands?
DD: Dan, you know he is off limits. Jim has made it clear that he is going to have to be on our roster next year.
Dan: still slurring. I got this Markakis guy. Dave wipes spit off of his face. I need some pitching.
Dombrowski is having trouble containing himself.
DD: Well, Dan, since you and me go way back. I am going to do you a favor. I was looking at dealing a couple of my young arms to Cashman and the Yanks for Brett Gardner, but I suppose I could deal with you. I got Andy Oliver and Ryan Perry, but I am a little hesitant to deal them for Markakis. He is no Gardner, but if you hooked me up with someone else, I might swing the deal your way.
Dan: How bout Hardy? But you have to give me Kelly. Duquette belches and covers his mouth with his hand. He wobbles slightly on his feet. DD realizes that he has to get this on paper quick.
DD: Alright. You can have Kelly in that deal man, but you are causing me a lot of trouble. Jim is going to be pissed. Let’s get this on paper. Dave reaches out to shake Duquette’s hand.
Dan: Now looking sick. Slurs. ‘Scuse me, I have to go to the bathroom. Duquette runs off to go vomit.
Dombrowski turns to Mike the bartender smiling.
DD: Damn it. Holding his two fingers close together. This close. Everyone would be wondering tomorrow how in the world I got that one done.
Mike: laughing. So? You think he was pukin cause he had too much of the drink. Or you think it was cause he was about to take Don Kelly in a trade?
DD: I guess we will never know Mike. Dombrowski takes a sip of his cranberry juice and sets it down. Smiles. See ya tomorrow Mike.