Gatheringby Bill James
December 09, 2004
All right, men, you all know why we’re here, don’t you? Did you all bring your torches? Pitchforks? Short length of metal pipe?
Good, good. About twenty years ago, this Bonds character moved into our neighborhood, seemed like an OK guy at first, but he didn’t fool me any. I knew right from the get-go that there was something about him that just wasn’t right.
In recent years, there’s been some weird stuff going on out at his farm, unbelievable things. He’s been doin’ a lot of things that have never been done before, and, in the last few months, we’ve been getting more and more reports that he’s been doing things that just ain’t natural.
I know you’re all good, sturdy men and workin’ for good newspapers, and I know you all want to see the right thing done. As for me, I ain’t waitin’ around for it. This land of ourn is too precious for due process. We ain’t waitin’ any longer to see this thing taken care of.
Worst thing is, this is spreading now. Giambi, Sheffield, Sosa...I hear they all been up to it. Can you imagine a Yankee doin’ something like that? Doesn’t the purity of the pinstripes mean anything any more? Why, if Mickey Mantle was alive today, he’d roll over on liquor cabinet.
What’s up, Atticus? Evidence? Fair hearings? Why, what do we need that for? We got rope, ain’t we? As long as we got a limber rope and a good sturdy oak, what do we need hearings for? What do we need the lawyers for? Are they smarter than we are? Do they know something we don’t know?
Just look at the shape of the man’s head. You going to tell me that’s natural? Look how strong he is. You really think he’s just been pumping iron?
Well, be that way then. We all know what he’s been up to, ‘ceptin’ that panty waist, Atticus. We got to set an example for our chillens, show them what’s right.
OK, here’s what we’ll do. Vernon, Luke, Lamar. ..you’ll be in charge of lighting the back fire, try to drive him out of his cover. Dusty, Bubba, Virgil. . .you guys sic your dogs on him soon as he shows his face. Jody and Leon and Wally and Whit will be roundin’ up the other suspects. . .don’t forget about that ‘Rubial Durazo; he looks suspicious to me.
Be careful, now; he’s god awful strong, and he’s wily. Eric, Jake, Claude, Mort. ..you guys cover the escape routes. Be sure to take some whiskey wit’ you; it could be a long night.
Me ‘n Dode ‘n Sammy and Ike, Calvin and Chester, Ernest and Russell, Hugh and Haywood, we’ll be waitin’ here with the rope and the shoe box. They’s only ten of us, but we’ve got a couple of friends hung to our belts if there’s any trouble. Mebbe the union won’t like it, but by God, Ty Cobb would be right proud of us.
Bill James is the author of many great baseball books, including the Historical Baseball Abstract. He is currently employed by the Boston Red Sox.
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