At the Warehouse, a tired, old, past-his-prime Production Assistant has gathered together potential cast members for the new season of The Bullpen: Baltimore.
Production Assistant: Alright gentleman, thanks for being here today. You are all here because you are candidates to be part of the next season of "The Bullpen: Baltimore." Some of you have been here before while others are brand new. However, we feel we have a good mix of veterans and youngsters to make for an interesting and entertaining season. Before we get started, let’s do a quick roll call.
PA: Where’s Jim Johnson at?
Jim Johnson: 'Sup?
PA: Jim, for this season we would like you to reprise your role as the closer full time. You were excellent in the role at the end of the last season, and although we kind of toyed around with the idea of spinning you off to the Starting Rotation: Baltimore, we think you are better suited here for the time being. Think you can handle that?
PA: You don’t say much, do you, Jim?
PA: Good man. Moving on to the set-up pitchers… Alfredo Simon?
Alfredo Simon: Si!
PA: Good to see you again, Alfredo. We almost lost you last year, but we respect the way you kept things dramatic. This year, if you’re going to bust out the handguns again in celebration, make sure you don’t point them at anybody. Okay?
Simon: /hangs head
PA: Alright, next up is… oh no, not again. Kevin Gregg?
Kevin Gregg: Salutations to my pitching brethren.
PA: Listen Kevin, you were probably the worst part of the Bullpen last year. However, you were also the most controversial which is usually good for ratings, but you still managed to be a ratings disaster. If it were up to me, I would not have had you back for this season, but unfortunately the last Director on Duty thought it would be a good idea to give you a two year contract for God knows why.
This season we’ve reduced your role to take some of the pressure off of you. Do you think that you can handle not screwing it up too much?
Gregg: Probably not, but I’d love to give it a shot anyways!
PA: Whatever. Moving on to the lefty specialist… Troy Patton?
Troy Patton: Hey, I’m here!
PA: /doesn’t hear anything
Seriously, has anybody seen Troy?
Patton: You’ve got to be kidding me. Not this again. Seriously, guys! I’m right here!
PA: Troy Patton? Left-handed pitcher that got called up and down from the minors a few times last season?
Patton: WTF, Alfredo?! I came to your BBQ last year. You made everyone walk through a metal detector at the door.
PA: Dammit people, where is Patton?. Alright let me make a phone call real quick to the new Director on Duty and try and get a replacement.
/makes phone call
Hey, DD. Listen, Patton is missing again. You don’t know who he is either? I swear, you guys are all trying to give me an aneurism. Anyways, I need a replacement left-handed pitcher for the Bullpen. What’s that? No, I don’t care if they’re Asian, what is your obsession with Asian pit… you know what, never mind. I really don’t want to know the answer to that question. Just get it done.
Alright while we’re waiting for him to send over a replacement, let’s move on to some of the other middle relief roles. Is Darren O’Day here?
Darren O’Day: Present and accounted for.
PA: Welcome to Baltimore for this season, Darren. Last season you were out in Texas and spent the year yo-yoing between the Disabled List, the minor leagues, and their Bullpen. Do you think that you’re healthy enough to be a contributing factor to the Bullpen this year?
O'Day: Absolutely, my arm is feeling great this year so I am ready to go.
/tries to give thumbs up
//throws out shoulder, starts year on the DL
PA: Fantastic. Next up is the new fan favorite… where’s Pedro Strop?
Pedro Strop: Hola!
PA: Pedro, you were a late edition last season, but you came in to Baltimore throwing heat and striking out guys at a high clip. Since we decided to keep JJ off of the Starting Rotation this season, we’re going to need to you excel in the middle relief role again. But just keep in mind some way down the line, we may be looking for you to fill that closer’s role, so be ready.
In the mean time, is there any advice that you have any advice for any of the other guys in the Bullpen?
Strop: Vote for Pedro!
PA: Vote for Pedro, indeed. Moving on again…
/hears knock at the door
Well I wonder if that could be our new lefty specialist…
Clay Rapada: Hello, my precious…
PA: GAAHHH! Kill it with fire!
/slams door shut
I think we’re just going to have to look for Troy Patton some more.
Patton: Seriously, you’re all assholes.
PA: For the final spot in the bullpen, we have the Mark Hendrickson Memorial Long-Relief role. This year the role will be filled by Tommy Hunter. You hear, Tommy?
Tommy Hunter: Howdy, partner.
PA: Hey, Tommy. Now, I know that in the past you’ve been a part of the Starting Rotation cast, but due to some new acquisitions this year, we’re going to try you out in this role. It’s a lot less stressful, and usually you’ll be pitching in mop-up duty of a blowout one way or the other. Sound manageable to you?
PA: Anyways… now it’s time to go ahead and check in on some of the alternates in case any of you guys happens to get hurt…
PA: …doesn’t perform up to expectations yet again…
Gregg: /smiles and waves
PA: …or ends up getting arrested again.
Simon: /starts sobbing in the corner
Patton: I got a designated driver for this season!
PA: Alright, so for alternates, we got Berken, Bergesen, Drake, Phillips, Eyre, and Neshak. Wow, that sounds like the world’s worst law firm. Bergesen, what are you doing here anyways? You’re usually part of the Starting Rotation cast.
Brad Bergesen: Well see I was, but then the DD decided to go out and sign half of Asia for the Starting Rotation, so there’s no room for Bergy-berg over there anymore.
PA: Well, I can’t promise you any work over here, as Berken can attest to from last season…
Jason Berken: /already on a bus to Norfolk
PA: But we’ll see what we can do. Alright, now I’m going to need to the starting cast of the Bullpen to go in the recording booth and record the introduction for this season.
/all seven pitchers cram in recording booth
Johnson: This is the true story…
Simon: Of seven teammates…
Gregg: Picked to pitch in a bullpen…
Patton: Work together and have their performances scrutinized…
O'Day: To find out what happens…
Strop: When Orioles pitchers stop completely sucking…
Hunter: And start performing adequately.
All: The Bullpen: Baltimore
PA: Christ, this is going to be another long season…