::answers phone:: Hello?


Hey. Who’s this?

So… you’re pretty good at handling that knuckler, huh?

::rubs his temples:: Mirabelli, what do you want now? I’m right in the middle of–

Damn thing moves like a Mexican hooker on ritalin. But you’ve got a good handle on it, right?


Well you better, chum. Cause when the game’s on the line and there’s 35,000 drunken contractors screaming all around you, one passed ball could earn you some slashed tires. I’m just saying, is all.

Duly noted. Now can I–

Also, now that you’re Timmy’s personal catcher, I want to make sure you’re aware of the pitcher-catcher rituals you’ll be expected to partake in.

Such as?

On game day, during warm ups, no pants. Not even an option.

I see.

Also, when you want the fast ball, just start singing the first stanza of “Muskrat Love.” That’s the sign. You do know the first stanza of “Muskrat Love,” don’t you?

“Muskrat Love”? I dunno… isn’t there some line about bacon?

That’s the third stanza, motherf@#ker! Damn, you better get this shit straight by opening day.

Tim never told me any of this, and I–

Also, the night before, just to make sure you’re both on the same wavelength, Timmy will be expecting you to sleep over. In the same bed.


Sometimes Tavarez shows up to join you guys, but only if they’re expecting to give him some work the next day. He’s mostly harmless, though, unless he brings his Foghat records and a vial of choloform. That means he’s ready to party. And you probably wouldn’t want to experience any of that.

I see.

Or at the very least remember any of it.

Look, no matter what you say or how much you try to freak me out, I’m the backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox, Doug. It’s my job. Let it go.

Bite your tongue, junior. Nothing’s cast in stone in this town. One slip up, one passed ball too many that lead to some Yankee runs, and they’ll be calling for me in the stands, on the radio, in the supermarket and in the casinos.


Think you can snap your fingers and make people forget the name Mirabelli? Not gonna happen, pally. Just when you think you’ve got the world on a string, they’ll be sending a police escort to pick me up at Pizzaria Uno on Boylston. And let me assure you, f@#knuts: I’ll be drunk. And I’ll be ready.

Anything thing else you wanna say before I hang up?

Er, actually, yes. Could I interest you in a line of home equity, starting at the highly competitive rate of 2.5 percent?


I’m calling from Wachovia Bank, and our records show that you’re pre-qualified for a fifty-thousand dollar line of home equity. Any interest?

::hangs up::

F@#k. This post-Wakefield career is going to be tougher than I’d thought.

And now, tonight’s musical guest, the New Monkees!