Ruben, Jon, and Cole.

Ring tone sounds (Ruben Amaro Jr. telling reporters: “Fans don’t understand the game,” on a loop) . . . he picks up his phone:

“Yo.  This is Ruben.  Who this?”  

“Ruben.  Dude.  It’s Jon.  You’ve called me 20 times since March.  You know who this is.” 

“Oh, hey, Jon!  What’s shakin’, boss?” 

“You called me.  I’m calling you back.” 

“Oh, yeah, yeah.  Hey, man — you need a pitcher.  Wandy was real bad yesterday.”  

“So was Cole.” 

“Yeah, never mind that.  He’s got a bad track record against American League t—I mean, you know, seeing-eye singles and stuff.” 

“He got rocked.”  

“Semantics, Jon.  Don’t get all caught up in that analytics mess.” 

“Whatcha got, Ruben?”

“Those Astros keep winning, man.  Wow, right?” 

“They’re pretty good.” 

“And imagine Cole Hamels in a Houston uniform, dude!” 

“Houston’s on his no-trade list, Ruben.” 

“Semantics, man.  And negotiable!” 

“Whatcha got, Ruben?"

“You know, that reporter guy in Houston says the Yankees are in on Hamels.  See that?” 

“Are they?” 

“That Houston reporter guy says they are!” 

Heyman says they’re not.”  

“Reporters don’t understand the game, Jon.” 

“Whatcha got, Ruben?” 

“So I may or may not have had a scout at Chi Chi’s game on Tuesday, and when he was driving away from the park he heard on the radio that you guys would trade Chi Chi and Joey and Nomar and Jorge for Cole.  So — do we have a deal?” 

“Ruben.  That was a couple callers to a postgame talk show who said that.  And one of them identified himself as ‘Ruben Jr., from Philadelphia.’” 

“Rats.” 

“Sorry?” 

“Let’s talk about Mazara.” 

“Let’s talk about Brinson instead.” 

In unison:

“Nick Williams?” 

“Nick Williams.” 

“And about Chi Chi.” 

“You’re gonna need to ask about Eickhoff or Asher instead.” 

“Nick Martinez!  Jake Thompson!”  

Andy MacPhail.” 

“Astros!  Yankees!”  

“No-trade.  And no-interest.” 

“Jon, I mean, man, we like Jorge and we like Jurickson, but they need to be pieces 3 and 4 since they’re hurt.  Huge risk on our part to even consider taking either one.”  [twirls moustache]

“Ruben, are you twirling your moustache?  And when did you grow a moustache?” 

“Hey, man — [lowers voice] — Andy’s coming in.  He’s probably going to have some ideas.  I’ve heard he’s like that.  I’ve gotta score on this deal.  Helps me a bunch to get Cole out of the NL so we don’t have to face him while I still have a job.  That’s actually probably not true but I don’t really understand the game.” 

“Ruben.  You gave Cole a partial no-trade, and he made it so that the only AL teams he can’t block trades to are the Yankees and us.  And it looks like the Yankees are out.” 

“I did?  He did?  They are?” 

“Have you had someone sitting on Round Rock lately?  Michael Choice has been raking.  He basically forced our hand, and we brought him back up.  Interested?” 

“Nomar!” 

“And you’re going to trade Papelbon.  We don’t want him.  But you’re going to trade him, and Neftali might make some sense for you.  You’d be buying low.” 

“Keone!” 

“No.” 

“You know who Jayson Stark is?” 

“Yes, Ruben.  I know who Jayson Stark is.  I work in baseball.”  

“He wrote the other day that ‘clubs that have talked with the Phillies are still complaining that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. remains “fixated” on players those teams have continuously balked at trading, with one exec saying that at some point, Amaro will have to be “more creative” to get a deal done.’”   

“Yeah, Ruben.  I think he’s right.” 

“Oh.” 

“Anthony Ranaudo grew up an hour from Philly, Ruben.”  

“Oooh, nice.”  [twirls fake moustache]

“If we’re going to go down this path, Ruben, you’re going to have to tell me you’d pay Cole’s contract down in a big way if we’re going to toss around the names you want to toss around.  Love the pitcher, but $90 million is something I just can’t absorb, even for four pennant races.  Gotta subsidize the thing big if you want what it sounds like you want.” 

“Yeah, man.  I’ll chip in, like, $150k.  Hundo fitty large ones, broseph!” 

“Gotta go, man.  Talk later?” 

“Stark thinks I’m going to trade Cole to you 37 days from now.” 

“Hey, man — if the deal’s right, we don’t need to wait.  But you gotta make the deal right.” 

“What if I trade him somewhere else?” 

“Go for it.”  

“Chi Chi!” 

“Remember when I traded for Cliff Lee?” 

“Yeah!  You want him too?” 

“Remember that deal?” 

“Not really, but I think I heard about it.” 

“I put Smoak in that deal, and other prospects I wasn’t crazy about moving.  But I got Mark Lowe back in that trade, too.” 

“OK.  So?” 

“Ken Giles.”  [twists fake moustache]

“Later, chief.  Talk soon.” 

“Counting on it.” 

 
title_authors

Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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