According to “sources,” Joe Girardi called Alex Rodriguez and they talked for about an hour. Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com reported the story and mentions that ”Joe could not have been more supportive, and Alex could not have been more receptive.” Well, that’s all fine and dandy and it was probably necessary after Girardi benched A-Rod for most of the ALCS. Being a former employer and talking to employees brings to mind that the words you sometimes use with employees are not exactly the ones you are thinking. And the same goes for the employee. As such, it was rolling around in the noggin this morning what Girardi and A-Rod were actually thinking during the conversation. Sure, both had to SAY the right things as they have to work together in 2013 and beyond. But here is a purely fictional and conjectural construct of what the conversation might have sounded like and what the two participants were actually thinking.
The conversation is in regular text and the thoughts are in italics:
Alex: What’s up, Joe. Good to hear from you. Darn right he should call after embarrassing my ass during the post season.
Joe: Hi, Alex. I wanted to touch base with you after the way the season ended and talk it out together. I wish you had touched more bases during the post season. I hate having to make this call.
Alex: You didn’t need to do that, but I’m glad you called. You should come crawling to me. That sucked.
Joe: My biggest concern is that you know you are important to us in 2013 and I haven’t lost confidence in you going forward. I’m stuck with this guy for another five years. Might as well make sure he isn’t pouting.
Alex: I appreciate that. I’d like to think that I am still important to the team and can still contribute. Yeah, so what about the next time I have a slump?
Joe: Oh, absolutely. You’re still the man, Alex, and I have every plan on penciling you into the lineup every day. What else the heck am I going to do when we have to pay him that much money?
Alex: I won’t let you down. I am going to come into the season ripped and ready to roar. I wish I could still take steroids.
Joe: I know you will. I never have a doubt about your work ethic and how hard you’ll work to get ready. I wish he could still take steroids.
Alex: Thanks. Yeah, I have my off season regimen all planned out. I’ll be ready. Nobody will ever out work me.
Joe: That’s a fact. Hey look, I want to apologize if the way things went down in the post season hurt your feelings or put you in a bad light. I had to make some tough decisions there. I wouldn’t blame him if he was pissed.
Alex: You’re the boss, Skip, and gotta do what you think will help the team. I mean, I’ve got my pride and it did hurt. But I understood and rooted as hard as I could for the team. Eric Chavez over me? Seriously?
Joe: Hey, man, I’ve been there. I know how it feels. I’m glad you understand and I did appreciate how professionally you took it all. Whew! This is going better than I thought it would. I lost my job to Posada? Seriously?
Alex: Thanks. It did shake me up a bit. And it does make me wonder if I have to worry if I have a few bad games here and there. Gosh, am I washed up? Why can’t I do what I used to do?
Joe: Absolutely not. You need to have some days to rest here and there, but I’d like you to play a hundred and forty games next year and put up some nice numbers for us. Yeah, that would be nice and I’ll believe it when I see it.
Alex: That will be the goal, Joe, and you and me will get ourselves another ring. I AM still the man. He still thinks I’m the man.
Joe: Great. And yes, we all want another ring. Hey, look…I have to bring up that dugout incident with those two girls…I wasn’t real cool with that whole thing. He got caught this time and that’s what sucks.
Alex: Oh, here we go. Yeah, I understand, Joe. I’m still a young guy and she was hot. It was probably inappropriate and I’ll take responsibility. But what the heck, right? I got my needs.
Joe: Just so you understand that it made the team look bad and some of the guys weren’t happy. She was hot though.
Alex: I do take responsibility, Skip. It won’t happen again. I won’t get caught next time.
Joe: Well, that’s enough about that. I wanted to also talk a little about some things I’d like you to work on this winter if you have a couple more minutes.
Alex: Sure. Fire away. Like I don’t already know what I’m doing?
Joe: Great. I’d like you to work a little on your lateral movement. I know the knees and hips are restrictive, but we need a little more ground covered this coming season. Because I doubt Chavez can put another season like that together if he even comes back.
Alex: Okay, I’ll talk to the gurus I work with and see what I can do. Anything else? Like Jeter isn’t a statue?
Joe: Yeah, one more thing. Kevin and I would like you to drive the ball more and elevate more of your hits. We aren’t paying you a gazillion dollars to hit grounders.
Alex: Oh yeah, I understand that. Kevin and I will work on that all winter. It’s just a timing thing. We’ll figure it out. Why couldn’t I hit those meatball fastballs?
Joe: Great. Well, it was good talking to you, Alex. I’m glad we had a chance to talk and I’ll stay in touch. It doesn’t sound like he is going to pout all winter. Mission accomplished.
Alex: Thanks, Joe. I want you to know I’ve got your back and it sounds like you’ve got mine. Everything is fine. As long as you play my ass all season.
Joe: Take care, Alex. I’ll talk to you soon. Enjoy the winter.
Alex: You too, Joe. I will if it doesn’t stay as cold here in Miami as it was in Detroit. It’s 55 this morning! I’ll see ya.
Joe: Nothing could get as cold as you were in Detroit.