12/6 – Atlanta Braves sign Eric O’Flaherty to a 1 year, minor league contract.
(Setting the scene)
EXT: TURNER FIELD: OCTOBER: PLAYER PARKING
COPPY and ERIC are loading rosin bags and stretch bands into ERIC’s pickup truck.
Mood between them is tense, as always, when their time together is about to end.
When the gear is loaded into the truck, COPPY pops a baseball glove against his leg a time or two… looks at ERIC.
So, you got any room in Buford, Copp?
COPPY braced for it all these months, and here it comes, late and unexpected.
Hell yes, I got room. What are you suggestin’?
I got to say this to you one time, Coppy, and I ain’t foolin’. All these other broken veteran southpaws, they could blow you’ games wide open if’n you come to trust ’em. I ain’t jokin’.
Try this one…
and I’LL say it just one time. Tell you what, we could’ve had a real good bullpen together.
A really good ‘pen. Had us some rings of our own. You couldn’t do it, Eric. So what we got now
is a broke elbow problem. I reckon we got Fredi to thank for that. I hope you know that, if you don’t
know nothin’ else… But count the damn few good appearances you gave us last year. Measure the short
leash Snit had to keep you on because your ERA matched your K/9 ratio and if batters put the ball in play on you, they hit better’n Ty Cobb. You measure all that up and ask me about Buford,
and then tell me some other vet’ran free agent will kill our pennant chances and blow the door off games. You got no idea how bad you were. We’re not gonna be Turner Field’s Braves. I can’t handle all the losin’ that comes just on the off-chance that you might look like you’ old self once or twice a year.
(looks away, long pause)
You’ll get your Buford contract… You’re too much for me, Eric, you worm-killing son of a bitch.
I wish I knew how to quit you.