After years of rumors, it was learned last week that Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa had decided it was time to listen to Tony's good friend Steve Perry and go their separate ways. For a team in desperate need of stability and leadership, this could not stand. So a scrap-heap pitcher, career back-up utility player, and professional pinch hitter decided they had to do what was necessary to keep their coaches together.
Jeff Suppan, Aaron Miles, and Nick Stavinoha were here to save the day.
"I sat down with the Skipper and told him, until you and Dave get your relationship back on track," Suppan told us, "you're going to see me pinch hitting, Miles randomly pitching, and Stavinoha playing second base. And you're not going to be able to do anything about it because we're all medium build 30-ish white dudes with dark hair and goatees. Nobody can tell us apart!"
A classic triple "Parent Trap" was born.
LaRussa reluctantly acknowledged the truth.
"Dunc and I were studying tape—that's the only place we can even spend time together anymore—and we realized Miles was actually pitching the third inning of Sunday's game. I knew Soup threatened to do it, but I didn't think he'd pull it off. And, hell, Miles and Soup pitched almost identically. I won't say one was better then the other, but you know... tied for first."
Said an obviously intoxicated Nick Stavinoha: "Tony and Dunc were the glue, but things got too hot. You know what happens when glue gets hot? It melts. And like David Freese would say, it's time to cool out."
Said Aaron Miles between bites from his pregame Bomb Pop: "We're going to keep this team together... Miles Style!"
Even relief pitcher Dennys Reyes tried to get into the act, showing up in the on deck circle before it was Nick Stavinoha's turn to bat in the first inning of Wednesday night's affair.
"You're a hundred pounds heavier then those guys. And Mexican!" Screamed LaRussa from the dugout.
"No me gusta!" replied Reyes (who was also wearing a bumblebee costume for unknown reasons) before sulking back into the dugout.
No one knows how long the three will continue to play the charade, though Suppan insists it's until "Skip and Dunc pinkie swear to never leave us again."
Asked how they pull it off, Stavinoha explained, "We just go into the tunnel while (Cardinals hitting coach) Mark (McGwire) distracts Tony and Dunc, and we all change jerseys. When we come back out, we ask everyone in the dugout who's who and nobody ever gets it. We even got Kevin Pollak to wear Miles' uni once and only Ludwick noticed. Of course, the biggest Juwanna Mann fan on earth would notice."
Said closer Ryan Franklin: "I don't know what they're trying to pull, really, but since Miles is about as good a pitcher as Soup, and Soup can hit like Stav, it really doesn't matter. I think their script is a little thin and Boog isn't the greatest of directors, but whatever works, you know?"
Not all on the team are amused by the goateed trio's antics, especially having to begin every afternoon's stretching exercises while James Brown's "I Feel Good" plays in the back ground and Suppan, Miles, and Stavinoha play on a slip-'n-slide, screaming at Brendan Ryan to film "the montage" in slow-mo and to use the "star wipe" more.
"If this is a movie, it's the dumbest fucking movie since Short Circuit," deadpanned Jason Motte.
Asked what Duncan could do to warm the relationship and bring the nonsense to an end, La Russa replied, "Give me my goddamn 38 Special cassette tapes back."
Duncan refused to comment on the situation and when further approached simply turned the collar of his jean jacket up and walked away in disgust.