Sometimes I fear that readers of the blog think of me as Paulie Gualtieri from the HBO series The Sopranos. No, I'm not a criminal, nor do I have that weird white streak going through my hair (although, I do have plenty of grey). No, these fears are based upon an episode (aptly titled Remember When) during the final season.**
I was somewhat surprised today to read that former Braves centerfielder Andruw Jones is planning on a return to the majors. Now, don't get me wrong- I'd really like to see the 37 year-old Jones return and be able to make a positive contribution for whichever team signs him. I'd just hate to see him further tarnish his 'legacy,' should he get signed and not be very productive. The last time we saw him, he hit about .197 and was no longer an effective outfielder. During his two years in Japan, he hit .232 with 50 homers and had decent OBP. Scott Boras, 'Druw's agent, claims that there are two major league teams interested in his client's services as an OF/1B/DH/RHBOB (right-handed bat off bench).
Imagine, if you will, 'Druw and former teammate Chipper Jones, out for a boys night out somewhere in northern Georgia- soon to meet with AJ's agent, Scott Boras.
Andruw Jones: Little road trip, just you and me...just like the old days.
Chipper Jones: Remember when we were young and our lives were an open book?
Chipper: Macon. You know, I played there, too. Put up some pretty good stats, myself: .326/.407/.518, 24 douce's, 11 trifecta's, 15 Bombs, 98 ribbies and 40 f'n stolen bases. Not bad, for a 19 year old.
Andruw: Those were the days, my friend- those were the days. I only had 5 triples. But... I did hit .277/.372/.512, wit 41 doubles, 25 Homers, 100 RBI and 56 stolen bases. But I was 18- not 19. Didn't you commit 56 errors in Macon?
Chipper: *looks away in disgust.
Andruw: You remember that place we used to go- after the games, and the women would flock around us?
Chipper: yeah, Hooters. Met my son's mom there. You want the old days? Let's go there.
(the boys make the trip to their old stomping grounds, but the place looks different. They find out it is now a Waffle House. Disappointed, they head towards Buckhead, to meet with Scott Boras)
Scott Boras: Remember, Chipper, when you won a World Series ring your rookie season? What'd you hit- three post season homers that year?
Chipper: (smiles) Yeah, I was just twenty-four...
Andruw: I remember watching that game from home. I wanted to be just like him.
Boras: And then the very next f'n season- bam! AJ comes on the scene and homers in his very first two World Series at-bats. At f'n Yankee Stadium! I could smell the money we'd one day make! 'Druw, how old were you then?
Chipper: (smiles, but turns away with a look of disgust)
Boras: Back in the day- '98, '02, you didn't hit anything within twelve-hundred yards of this guy without him catching it. Ten straight Gold Gloves!
Andruw: Remember when that yahoo mouthed off in the press. Then called you 'white trash'?
Chipper: Yeah, remember how we held our breath every time he took the mound?
Andruw: (looking at Boras) This maniac- he threw the ball all over the place. You never knew where his pitch would end up.
Boras: (sarcastically) Sound like a great guy.
Andruw: You wanna talk stand-up guys...This guy...this guy once moved to left field so we could sign Vinny. And, reworked his contract to free up about $5 million a year to pursue other players.
Chipper: Remember when we were both on the path to Hall of Fame careers? I'll be in Cooperstown in three years. What about you, AJ?
Boras: Remember when I got you that huge contract with the Dodgers?! And your skills mysteriously 'disappeared'?
Andruw: (now getting angry)
Chipper: 'Druw- you okay?
Boras: You seem kinda quiet.
Andruw: Yeah, yeah. It's just... 'Remember When' is the lowest form of conversation.
**After being informed that the Feds are digging the ground where his first kill had been buried, Tony decides that he and Paulie are going to take a road trip south, visiting an old friend (Beansie Gaeta) while they're there. During the trip, Paulie talks non-stop about the past and how he made similar trips with T's father, Johnny Boy. At one point, Tony has to chastise Paulie for chatting it up with a man in the breakfast line (they're supposed to be 'laying low'). By the time that Tony speaks those eight unforgettable words, it's pretty clear that Paulie's incessant reminicing and loose lips are starting to grate on Tony's nerves.