"Look," Mulder says, "everyone knows that the rotation keeps track of personal stats – wins, ERA, all that junk – and that the guy with the worst stats for any given week has to buy the rest of us dinner. And for the longest time, we could always count on Matt Morris paying for our meals."
"Unfortunately, he's gone now," Marquis laments. "The good thing, though, is that each of us have, like, tons of money saved up as a result. And I guess it was about a month ago, I just said, 'You know what? You guys are the greatest friends I've ever had, and I would be honored to buy everyone dinner for the rest of the year.'"
"Yeah, he wasn't getting off that easy," Suppan says, eliciting laughs from the others. "Because I love these guys too, and I've also got plenty in my savings account thanks to Matty Mo's generosity last year. And as soon as Jason said that, it was like, 'you're on.' You know? I didn't want these guys picking up the check all the time. I needed to pitch in too."
"And I suppose I'm the new guy," chirps Ponson, "but given how much food I put away, I had to get in on the game. Because I'd feel like a downright dirty crumbum for letting these guys serve as enablers for my one remaining bad habit."
"Other than walking people!" yells Mulder. More laughter. "But seriously," he continues, "'tis better to give than to receive."
But what does Cards' ace Chris Carpenter think of this new approach?
"Chris... yeah. He's a bit of an odd duck," Mulder says with a grimace. "Everything's always 'win win win' with him, and I'm afraid that's rubbing off on the new kid, Reyes. But it's like I was saying to Soup the other night when we were cuddling: that's just not us, man. We're just not very competitive people."
So are all of the same stats in play for this new approach? Wins, ERA … hitting?
"Oh, yeah, hitting too," says Marquis, a Silver Slugger Award winner, batting only .171 this season. "That's why I'm always thrilled when Tony [LaRussa] inserts me as a pinch-hitter. It's like, 'Awesome! Another opportunity to lower my average!' I'm not really sure why Tony uses me instead of, like, one of the actual hitters on the team, but hey. If it helps me in my goal to buy dinner for these three beautiful guys, then I don't complain."
Ponson raises his bottle of O'Doul's high above his head. "Best friends forever!"
"Best friends forever!" shout the others.
Manager Tony LaRussa was unavailable for comment, as he was working late trying to figure out how to get more at-bats for Aaron Miles.
This satire piece courtesy of Forum Member emfdysi