THUNDERDOME: Naming Mike Matheny the Cardinals Manager


In an underground lair, deep beneath Busch Stadium, Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak sits behind a folding table. On the table is a pitcher of water. Mozeliak wonders why there are no glasses. In front of the table sits six folding chairs, beside him one more. A door opens from behind and Bill DeWitt Jr, Chairman of the team, sits down next to Mozeliak.

"Are you ready to do this?" DeWitt asks. Mozeliak nods. "Good," says DeWitt as he reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a glass. He pours himself some water.

"Did you just pull a drinking glass out of your sports coat?" Mozeliak wonders.

"Yes. I distinctly said cups would not be provided. This is a business, not a charity, Mo. Did you not get that memo?"

"I... guess not."

DeWitt takes a drink. "I can't believe we let you run this team... Anyhoo... MCGWIRE!" DeWitt bellows "LET US BEGIN"

Mark McGwire appears from the shadows and pulls an oversized red wagon across the room. Standing in the wagon are Joe McEwing, Tito Francona, Jose Oquendo, Mike Matheny, Ryne Sandberg, and Chris Maloney. The wagon stops and the men climb down and into their seats. McGwire disappears into the shadows.

"Gentlemen," DeWitt begins, "Thank you for joining us. May I offer you a glass of water?"

Everyone but Maloney produces a cup. DeWitt, enraged, stands above him. "DID YOU NOT GET THAT MEMO, CHRIS?"

"I... I... I guess not, s-s-sir," Maloney says weekly.

"This isn't Memphis anymore, son. McGwire, help Chris out," DeWitt orders. McGwire steps out from the shadows, quietly walks up behind Maloney and without making a sound, snaps his neck. Maloney falls out of his chair, his lifeless body lays on the ground in a heap. McGwire vanishes into the shadows.

"Strike three, Maloney," says DeWitt as he sits back down next to Mozeliak. "Since the five of you are responsible enough to read my memos -- unlike some people, Mo -- I trust you are responsible enough to manage my baseball team. I've asked the now five of you to join us. We have interviewed each of you seperatly and came away impressed. You all have tremendous qualifications. Except you, Matheny, but my God you're handsome. Now, as is Cardinals tradition, we will meet in this basement until a new manager is named, at which point in time smoke will be released from the arch indicating we have made our decision. Now, the first roun--"

"Sir," McEwing interrupts "I think that's the pope, that's like a totally different Cardinals thing."

"I see," says DeWitt. He nods towards the shadows. McGwire appears, holding a bow and arrow and shoots McEwing in the throat. McGwire disappears.

"Ball four, little Mac," says DeWitt.

"I'm not sure that one makes sense, sir," Mozeliak comments.

"Oh, well I am ceratin that you do not make sense, John Mozeliak. Now... Matheny!"

"Yes, sir?"

"It's the seventh inning, Dotel is the only reliever out for that day. Carpenter is pitching, but he's laboring, already at 115 pitches. Game is tied 3-3 and there's a runner at second, one out. Prince Fielder is coming up. What's for dinner?"

"I'm fixing a delicious whole rainbow trout stuffed with lemon, onions, fennel, and peppers. With a side salad, sir."

"Sweet heavens you're good," says DeWitt. "Oquendo, same scenario, okay?"

"Okay, sir."

"Browns are favored by three, you taking them or the Rams?" asks DeWitt.

"Um, the Browns. I don't trust the Rams."

"Well that's too bad. RAMS RULE!" DeWitt casts his hand over Oquendo. Jose falls to his knees and collapses. "Heart attack... And at his age. That really is a shame," says DeWitt.

"Wait... Did you just make a man have a heart attack?" Asks Mozeliak.

"A man with my kind of money can do a lot of things. FRANCONA! Who is batting eighth?"

"Um, sir, I'm not real sure I want this job anymore," Francona says nervously. "If you don't murder me, I promise to not speak of what I have seen."

"Very well. McGwire, please show Mr Francona out."

McGwire walks Francona to a side door, gives him a handshake, and opens the door for him. Francona takes one step out and is eaten by a bear.

"Now that's a balk," says DeWitt.

"Are you trying to do those CSI things? Is that what these are?" Asks Mozeliak.

"Quiet you. SANDBERG!"

"Oh, God... I mean, um, yes sir!"

"You are not as physically attractive as Mike Matheny."

"I guess not sir, he is a handsome man."

"I agree, therefore you will not be our manager."

"Do you have to kill me?"

"No", says DeWitt. He pauses and grabs the pitcher of water. "But I will anyway." He douses Sandburg with the contents of the pitcher. Sandburg's head quickly dissolves. "Talk about team... Chemistry."

"Wait..." says Mozeliak, "The pitcher had acid in it?"

"Yes."

"But you were drinking from it."

"I'm filthy rich, you stupid idiot. My insides are plated with gold."

Mozeliak and Matheny lock eyes. Both men are terrified.

"Well, Mike," DeWitt says, "I guess you're the right man for the job. The right, terribly attractive man."

"Welcome aboard Mike," says Mozeliak.

"Thanks gentleman. Now, how about some frozen yogurt? Or, as I like to call it: 'Fro Yo!'"

The three men share a hearty laugh and exit the room. McGwire begins the tedious task of cleaning up the bodies. Smoke rises from the arch, indicating a new era in Saint Louis baseball history has dawned.

Matheny gets gummy bears on his fro yo.

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