DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Good evening, gentlemen. If I could have your attention, please, I’d appreciate it. You all know that tonight is the biggest game of the season thus far. This is as close to a “must win” as a game gets without it being an actual elimination game. Now Jim has made a statement in his own way with the lineup tonight, as you are all aware of. But just like when our backs were against the wall versus Oakland, I think you need to hear a speech to magnify the intensity of the situation. Unfortunately, Kirk Gibson is not available at this time. Here, let me read his text so I get this right.
(pulls out phone)
DOMBROWSKI: Here it is. “Can’t come. In woods killin’ shit. Tell ‘em to quit being pussies and hit.” Well said, Gibby. But still, I think you guys need to hear more. So, we’ve gathered a group of former friends and teammates of yours. They are here because they care. They are here because they want to see you succeed. Please listen to what they have to say. Okay? Good. Gentlemen, the team is all yours.
BRANDON INGE: Thanks, David! Hey, fellas! It’s great to see you all again! Boy, I sure wish I could be out there with ya! I mean, jeepers, it seems like yesterday I was playing third, doing my best for the fans, and representing the D the best I could. Golly, I just…I just…
(breaks into tears)
DOMBROWSKI: Maybe someone else should talk.
INGE: Take me back, David! I’m sorry! Please! I can do it! Ask the Skipper! He’ll tell you! Just give me a shot! (starts bawling)
DOMBROWSKI: Please. Anyone. Speak.
DAVID PAULEY: I think what Brandon is trying to say is that we’re here for you. We believe in you. You guys…
DOMBROWSKI: Seriously. Someone else speak up.
PAULEY: Hey! I’m trying to…
DOMBROWSKI: Did anyone else hear that?
CASPER WELLS: Yo, I’ll speak, dawg. What up, Dee-troit? Upstate Balla’s yo hookup. It be TIGHT to be back in the D, son. Y’all got a big game tonight, yo. The Red Sox be for real…hey. Do I play for Boston?
WELLS: Oh…good. Balla can’t keep that shit straight anymore, yo. Willy Fresh knows what I mean.
WILL RHYMES: It’s true. No one wants us.
WELLS: But still, no matter where we go, no matter what city’s honeys we be getting’ up on, we still consider us Tigers fo’ life. Speaking of which, Davey, can we have a job?
DOMBROWSKI: No. This may have been a bad idea.
(clubhouse door dramatically opens)
FU-TE NI: Herro! (removes shoes) It gleat to see evelyone! And so good to see old fliends again! Blandon! Wirr! Upstate Barrel! I hope evelyone is werr. Now, risten up! These Led Sox be vely good team. But you guys all bettel! You all stlongel and fastel! You wirr lip them to shleads! Now…can Fu have job?
DOMBROWSKI: We need to wrap this up. I apologize…
JEREMY BONDERMAN: EXCUSE ME’S. BONDO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.
DOMBROWSKI: Yes, Jeremy.
BONDERMAN: I LIKE PANCAKES.
GARY SHEFFIELD: Enough of this shit! You are better than this! People doubted you all year! But who didn’t doubt you? Sheff, that’s who! So quit feeling sorry for yo-self and get yo swagger back! You won the Central! You lifted a city’s spirits! And you became the best closer in the National League!
DOMBROWSKI: Huh? Gary?
SHEFFIELD: What? Sorry. Sheff’s on his Blue Tooth talking to his client, Jason Grilli. Yo, Cheeseman! Sheff’s gotta go. Peace. Okay. Now what’d you fly Sheff in for, again?
DOMBROWSKI: We wanted you to talk to the team and try and get them motivated.
SHEFFIELD: Why Sheff give a shit about these motherfuckers? Sheff’s an agent now. These ain’t Sheff’s clients.
DOMBROWSKI: Technically, you’re still on our payroll, Gary. The deferred payments, remember?
SHEFFIELD: Yeah. So? Hey…wait. Sheff getting’ a ring if y’all win?
DOMBROWSKI: Uh…that can probably be arranged.
SHEFFIELD: Sheff get a playoff share? You know Sheff love his paper.
SHEFFIELD: GENTLEMEN! (smiles) Sheff is here for EACH and EVERY one of you! You see, Sheff’s been in your position. Sheff’s been the young guy trying to prove that he somebody. Sheff’s been the superstar that everyone lookin’ to. And Sheff’s been the old guy tryin’ for one last moment in the sun. Yeah, Sheff’s been all of you. But you know what Sheff NEVER was? A quitter! And y’all all look like a bunch of fuckin’ quitters to Sheff right now! Now don’t get Sheff wrong, I know y’all ain’t quitters. But that’s what THEY are sayin’ about you. Them reporters. Them fuckin’ fans. Them ugly motherfuckas in the other clubhouse. They all sayin’ you boys are quitters. Now, if you all’s cool with that, then fine. Be quitters. Or, there’s Option B.
RHYMES: Option B?
SHEFFIELD: Shut the fuck up, little boy, and go home to yo mama. Yeah, there’s Option B. Option B is you boys quit makin’ excuses. Option B is you all forget about what happened yesterday and before that. And Option B says you all get out there tonight, play like fuckin’ CHAMPIONS, and give those Beantown mothafuckas a beating they NEVER forget! Y’all go out there and hit like you all capable of! Torii Hunter! Sheff known you a long time and you been waitin’ your WHOLE CAREER for a ring? So do everyone a favor and START PLAYING LIKE IT! Prince! Big man! You capable of hittin’ a home run every time you step to the plate. So quit bein’ a fat piece of shit and start bein’ the MONSTER these men are payin’ you to be! And Miguel. Mister MVP himself. We won a ring together when you was just a pup. And I know you want another one. So push aside the pain, grab a hold of that hunger you have inside, and UNLEASH HELL on these pussy Red Sox! Tie this shit up! Then win this fuckin’ series like you ALL know you was meant to do! Next stop, the World Motherfuckin’ Series! Y’all feel me?
SHEFFIELD: I said, y’all feel me?
SHEFFIELD: Then quit sittin’ here listening to Sheff and get out there and whoop some ass! Then we ALL gonna be champions and we ALL getting’ all the ass OR pancakes we can eat!
(players cheer and run out to the field.)
DOMBROWSKI: Wow, Gary. I’m impressed. Thank you.
SHEFFIELD: Yeah. Sheff knows. Just make sure the check clears. And Sheff want extra diamonds in Sheff’s ring. You need an agent, Dave?
SHEFFIELD: Oh. Well, fuck off then. Hey, Brendon…that you? Why you cryin’? You need an agent?
INGE: (sniffle) Maybe.
PAULEY: Um, I really wanted to talk to the team.
SHEFFIELD: Did anyone hear that? Sheff could have sworn he heard something…