by Shep Sheperton
Port St. Loosey-Goosey, Fl.–Today was the last day of Spring Training for the World Champion Gotham Rats. Tomorrow they will begin the move north and start preparing for their Opening Day series against the Good Griefs. The atmosphere here this spring was drastically different from last year when they were considered the league under-dogs by many of the best baseball minds. That won’t happen twice, however, as most analysts have jumped on the bandwagon and are predicting that the Rats will be strong contenders for the title this year.
Starting third basemen Evan Longoria noticed the change also, “You know, last year we just wanted to be competitive and show people that we can play ball, but this year we have a bit of a chip on our shoulders. We know we can play and we plan on defending out title.” His sentiments were mirrored by the trio of sluggers Howard, Teixeira, and Fielder.
“Ryan Howard likes the way this team looks. Ryan Howard thinks that there are some real good players on this team, we will have good chemistry,” boasted Ryan Howard. When asked about his propensity to strikeout he replied, “Shit son, when Ryan Howard hits 45 homers and drives in 130 RBI’s every year, it doesn’t matter how many strikeouts Ryan Howard has. Ryan Howard is a force to be reckoned with, like a tornado or something.”
“I’m just here to contribute to the team in anyway that I can,” droned Teixeira in one of his cliched statements.
Newcomer Prince Fielder was in good spirits today and remarked, “I think I’ll do much better this year. New York has plenty of vegetarian restaurants so it won’t be so hard for me to find a tofu burger. It was damn near impossible for me to find that shit in Milwaukee. Every time I asked for one some joker would give me a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. Man that shit was whack!” Prince then meandered off to the outfield apparently looking for some food.
Meanwhile the Manager, Pablo Rodriguez, summed up his team stating, “Well all I can say is that this is a top notch organization from the top to the bottom. Our ownership puts us in a position to compete every year, and we picked up some good youngsters in the draft. Once we bring up David Price, and add him to the already formidable Shields, Lester, and Liriano, well our pitching is going to be tits. Offensively we are even better than last year with the additions of Dunn, Prince, and Tulo. Honestly, we have a strong team that is well-balanced offensively and defensively. We have some good vets and some promising youngsters, and I expect great things from all of them.”
One of the most upbeat players in camp was Ubaldo Jimenez who stated “Main, bodee bop fastball boodoop doop err good main, badop pop, yah you know, pa toop whoop.” No one ever knows what Ulbaldo is saying but you can’t argue with his upside so most players have just learned to encourage him with lots of nodding and high-fives.
The Rats are chomping at the bit to get this season started and Opening Day seems more like a year away rather than just one week. Regardless, this team does look formidable and unlike last year they have confidence in themselves. That should help them get over the hump and back into the playoffs. Rats fans are in for a treat this year as this team should hit the ground running firing on all cylinders from the get go. When asked about expectations for the year Carl Crawford bluntly boasted, “To win it all again!”
The Rats sent P David Price down to Triple-A McKracken where he will sit around and play Xbox 360 for a month while the Rats try to squeeze another year of eligibility out of him.
Also Marco Scutaro will potentially be sent back to the Dominican Republic for a box of Puerto Rican rum, but negotiations are stuck because the Dominicans don’t think he is worth 5 bottles of Don Q.
Shep Sheperton is the beat reporter for the Gotham Rats, and when not begging for a quote can be found crying in the women’s bathroom because the whole entire organization hates him.