Scene: Chris Antonetti's office next to the boiler room in the bowels of Progressive Field. Sunday has just given way to Monday. The trade deadline approaches, and Antonetti has several computer screens open.
Antonetti pushes a stack of empty pizza boxes off his desk. The smell of flat Tab fills the air. He is wearing a ruffled white shirt buttoned about halfway up, with pizza sauce dotted at several spots near the top. His black jeans are slimming and gorgeously appointed.
Antonetti picks up his phone and dials.
Antonetti: C'mon, pick up. Pick it up. I know you're up you bastard.
After five rings, a woman answers.
Woman's voice: Hello?
Antonetti rolls his eyes, pauses, holds the phone back for a moment, then says: Oh, hi Flo. Is Chris there?
Flo, from the Progressive ads: Sure is! But do you want to talk about your plan first?
Antonetti: No. Look, I rather like the service I get from A-Nother Insure-
Flo: Oh, it's fine honey. I'm just trying to help you save money, and let's be honest. You need the money. You're not signing Choo without a lot more coin.
Antonetti: We're not signing Choo, period.
Flo: Right right.
Antonetti: How did you and Chris get together, anyway?
Flo: I saw him counting the money he makes from those ads. We have the same accountant.
Antonetti: Okay, sorry I asked. Can I talk to him?
Flo: Yep. (muffled voice) Hey, Rage Bear, it's that guy who looks like a nicely dressed Brent Lillibridge!
A raspy voice says: Hey Chris.
Antonetti: Hey Chris.
Perez: So what now? You traded my beard for Casey Blake's beard, right?
Antonetti: Not exactly. Look, I want you to know that John Adams called you out tonight.
Antonetti: He did. He said you have no respect for fans. He said he knows people who are hooking on East Fourth just to have money for tickets, and you don't get that.
Perez: Oh. Well, okay.
Antonetti: Wait, doesn't that infuriate you?
Perez: Should it?
Antonetti: People hate you here. You should be treated much better.
Perez: Is that what the GM says?
Antonetti: I AM the GM!
Perez: That's cute. Does Shapiro know you say that?
Antonetti: Why does everyone think he's still the GM?
Perez: Have you moved into his office yet?
Perez: Do you do the interviews on team philosophy and potential trades?
Perez: Anyway, what else do you want?
Antonetti: I'm trying to make sure you understand how much you're hated. You should probably get on Twitter, like right now. Fire out something strong and ragey.
Perez: Wait, is this a trap or something?
Antonetti: (laughs nervously) No, no, that's absurd. That's -- that's just absurd, is what it is.
Perez: This is a trap.
Antonetti: Yes it is.
Perez: Why? What's going on here?
Antonetti: Look, we can't trade Choo. We have to keep him for one more year. The Yankees have already offered him $200 million and partial ownership of the Korean military. But if we trade him now, we'll draw flies the rest of the way.
Perez: You really want to talk to me about attendance?
Antonetti: No, I don't. My point is, you're getting traded in the next 24 hours. This will be easier for us if you say something inflammatory. You know, like a good old, "Cleveland fans are just bitter because they're not as cool as Yankee fans" or "My favorite part of Cleveland is leaving for road trips."
Perez: Both those things are true.
Antonetti: You mean it? Will you say it?
Perez: I'm kidding. I may have had my tact surgically removed at birth, but I'm not dumb enough to say something like that. Especially about the Yankee fans. Have you met one? Even one?
Antonetti: So you're not going to help us?
Perez: You're on your own. By the way, I'd like to go to St. Louis.
Antonetti hears Flo giggling as Perez hangs up.
Antonetti slowly runs his hand through his hair. An AOL IM pops up from a user named "GM4LYFE".
GM4LYFE: White Sox got Liriano
Antonetti, who uses the handle FckPythagorus, replies: Who cares? Liriano sucks
GM4LYFE: It's not about good moves, it's about the appearance of effort
Antonetti: Come on Mark, we're not doing that crap, are we?
GM4LYFE: Yes. Did you talk to Perez?
Antonetti: Not yet. He didn't answer.
GM4LYFE: You have twelve more hours. Get him to do something stupid.
Antonetti: I can't change your mind, can I?
GM4LYFE: Get some sleep, little fella