Scene: The theater stage is bare and dark, except for a large, wooden desk at center with one lamp. Two chairs face each other on opposite sides of the desk. In one chair, leather and mahogany, sits Sandy Anderson. Well dressed, legs crossed, relaxed. The other is a cheap metal folding chair, the kind typically rented out for events at the Polish Union Hall.
Enter stage left, Terry Collins, carrying an odd assortment of papers, index cards, Post-It Notes. A few scattered pages fall and flutter to the floor as he hustles forward, like the plume from a jet airplane. He is, of course, smiling and nodding his head enthusiastically. (Note: If possible, the part of Terry Collins will be played by a well-trained labrador puppy — that kind of boundless, clumsy energy.)
Collins (bursts into room): “I’ve been thinking, Sandy!”
Alderson (the hint of a wry smile reaches Alderson’s face): “That’s nice, Terry.”
Collins: “I’m super excited to meet with you today, Sandy! I’ve been jotting down my ideas, see, I’ve got all these papers and notes and things. I just love when we sit together and put our heads together, you know, kind of hash it out, two baseball men discussing strategy. So first off, Justin Turner. I really believe in this guy. He’s so versatile. Wright’s hurt, sure — who could have seen that coming, huh? not me! — but I can just slide Justin in there every day and –”
Collins: — or, um, maybe bring up Lutz — he’s got real power, that guy, and —
Alderson: (Uncrosses and re-crosses legs.)
Collins: — then there’s Flores, who is smacking the hell out of the ball in Vegas. I was talking to Wally and he said that —
Alderson: (Clears throat, arches an eyebrow, reaches into his pocket for a pen.)
Collins: — er, no? yes? maybe? — I had this other thought, see, um, where is that darn piece of paper? — I wrote it down last night — oh, here it is!, Andrew and Mike!, those two guys could platoon, you know, I could MIX AND MATCH, see, play the odds, like you taught me, Sandy. Like when there’s a right-handed pitcher . . . I put in . . . the right-handed batter — wait, no, let me think — I put in the left-handed batter! — and [sputtering now, talking faster], wow, Lucas is almost back. Big Lucas! My slugger! What an eye! So that solves the whole — except, oh no, what about Eric Young? — maybe he could become like a specialty pinch runner — I could move Wheeler to the pen, because we can save his arm by not having him pitch, you know! — keep him fresh for next season — and that’s about the whole shebang. Right? Isn’t it?
Collins: Shebang! I love that word, don’t you? Shebang, shebang, shebang! Huh, Sandy? Um, right, whoops — Murphy! I forgot about Daniel! He can play third base, am I right? We can just slide him over there, maybe, and bring back Jordany — oops, right, I forgot — or, um — Eric Young! I could see a big wheel in the clubhouse where I have the names of all the guys, and different positions, and I’ll spin it before every game. That’s the ticket! Obviously, we don’t touch Ike. He’s a CORE GUY. Right? Am I right, Sandy? We don’t want to mess with Ike, do we? Byrd won’t be here next year, so he’s got to play every day, obviously!
Alderson: (Opens notebook, begins writing.)
Collins: Oh hell’s bells, I forgot about Josh Satin! Um, Jeez. Can we bring Kirk back? Anyway! Buck is going to have a baby, I mean his wife is, ha-ha, imagine big John having a baby — that’s crazy — where would it come out? his poop hole? — ha-ha — and, um, I don’t know what we think about that, exactly, but I was kind of wondering if Mike Nickeas was available — budgets, I know — and — er — great guy! — and —
Alderson: (Carefully rips page out of notebook. Slides it across desk to Collins.)
Collins: Flores used to play shortstop, you know, but Omar, we don’t want to lose him! Super valuable! Of course, Justin could hold down short for us — wait, what, he’s at third, am I right? — I still think we could give him an outfielder’s glove — and — gotta find a way to get his bat into the game —
(Collins reads the paper, sits back in chair.)
Collins: Or — hey — this lineup works, too!
Alderson: Thanks for sharing, Terry. Please come again. I find these little talks so refreshing.
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