The following is an excerpt of an audio recording received exclusively by 500 Level Fan. Its contents are shocking:
Date: April 26, 2012
Time: 9:58 PM, minutes after the Blue Jays were swept by the Orioles
Scene: Inside the visitors clubhouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
[a CRASH resonates across the locker room as Brett Lawrie throws his glove against the wall]
[a SMASH echoes across the room as Casey Janssen kicks a chair in disgust]
Brandon Morrow: Hey Case, settle down buddy. It’s alright, it’s just one game.
Casey Janssen: I know man, but damn it! Right down the f*#$kin’ middle! Who throws a ball down the middle to the only guy on Baltimore that can hit?
[SMASH as another chair goes flying]
Brett Lawrie: DAMMIT!!!! HOW DO WE GET SWEPT BY BALTIMORE!!!! AHHHHH!!!!
J.P. Arencibia [walking in behind the rest of the team]: Relax bro! Long way to go in the season. We’ll get ’em next time.
Lawrie [stomping his feet]: GRRRRRRR
JPA: Is that a growl? Ha, ha, ha!!!
[At this point manager John Farrell walks in to address the team]
Farrell: Tough night out there boys. I thought we –
[Suddenly team leader Jose Bautista stands up and gets Farrell’s attention. Farrell stops talking and cedes the floor to Jose]
Bautista: I don’t like to lose. In fact, I HATE to lose. Losing makes me very, very angry. But do you know what makes me angrier?
[silence falls across the room as the team looks at their leader]
Bautista: Doubt. People say that I’ve lost the ability to hit. They say the league has caught up to me. They’re doubting me and they’re doubting us. I don’t like that. But guess what? They’re wrong. ET – how many home runs did I hit last year?
Eric Thames: Uh, 40 something.
Bautista: 43 – close enough. Double R – what about the year before?
Ricky Romero: 54 boss.
Bautista: There’s a man who knows his baseball. Correct. Brett, what does that add up to? Nevermind…it’s under 100.
[some laughs trickle out of some players]
Bautista: And do you know how many extra base hits I had the past two seasons?
[some head shaking]
Thames: Probably a hell of a lot more than I did!
Bautista: Ha! Right on. 161 of them. But now they’re saying I can’t hit. Do you really believe that after those two years I have suddenly lost the ability to hit big league pitching?
JPA: Maybe it’s all the Booster Juice you drank in the offseason!
[laughter. somebody throws a towel at Arencibia]
Bautista: J.P. – do you know what playing possum means?
JPA: Of course….no….you can’t….really?
[Bautista smiles and nods]
Bautista: Do you really think I can’t hit a curveball or a slider? Do you really think I don’t see the infield shifts and have the ability to poke a few oppo-field doubles? I can hit a f*$#kin’ curveball 600 damn feet! I can crush a slider and have it land in Texas if I wanted to.
Lawrie: So why not do it now? Why wait?
Bautista: Because they think they have me now. The rest of the league thinks they have me exactly where they want me. They’ve figured me out. Ain’t that right Murph?
[hitting coach Dwayne Murphy can only chuckle and shake his head]
Bautista: They keep tossing in the off-speed s*#t, they keep lolly gagging this trash to the plate thinkin’ they got me all figured out. They keep moving the second baseman to the left side of the field thinkin’ I’ll wilt under the shift. I could have started hitting it right now, but why give it away already? Everybody says that a win in April is just as important, and that’s true. But come on dammit. We’ve played the Orioles, Royals, and Indians 13 times!! I’d rather beat the Yankees, Sox, and Rays. I know we played them already, but it was too early.
Janssen: So what are you sayin?
Bautista: I’m saying that now I’ve got them all fooled. Now that the league knows how to pitch to me, they’ll commit to it. Now that they see I’m hitting under .200, they’ll pull this s*#t day in and day out. And now that that’s locked in? BOOM!
[Bautista swings his arms and starts a miniature home trut around the locker room to the cheers of his teammates]
Bautista: It all starts tomorrow when we kick the s*#t out of the Mariners! Let’s teach this league who’s boss. Who’s with me? Huh? WHO’S WITH ME!!??!!??
[cheers erupt from the group, including from manager Farrell. Even Colby Rasmus gives a fist pump]
Lawrie: I’M FIRED UP! IIII’MMMM FFFFFIIIIIRRRREEEEDDDD UUUUPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So there you go.
Bautista has spoken.
We’ll be fine.