I don't really know how to feel, but I'm leaning toward happy, because I like this Tex fella we've accumulated, and now Salty won't be wasted at first base; I really think he missed catching. Still, he was ouuurrrrrs. Oh, well.
How sad did he look on Sunday afternoon when we were giving the Diamondbacks a 14-0 pounding and he was unable to participate? I think even Bobby Dews hit a slam off of Livan Hernandez at one point. I was waiting for someone to somberly shout "TRADED MAN WALKING!" when Salty got up for water.
They had yesterday off, but I'm SURE they all got together to give him a proper send off.
Last night, at Frenchy's house, amidst balloons and streamers, and beneath a giant "BON VOYAGE, S'LAMACCHIA!" banner, many of the Braves are gathered, drinking from plastic party cups and waiting for the guest of honor to arrive . . .
Heap: So this is your new house, eh?
Frenchy: Yeah, what do you think?
Heap: Total downgrade.
Heap: Just kidding -- uh, is that a painting of your Sports Illustrated cover over the fireplace there?
Frenchy: Yeah! I was gonna have a print blown up to wall size, but I thought this would be classier.
Salty walks in looking dejected, and everyone turns to greet him.
Frenchy: Hey, there you are! Are you excited about going to Texas?
Salty: /glares at him
Salty: Um. NO.
Frenchy: Why not?! You'll be a starting catcher there! You're gonna be a big star!
Salty: But . . . but . . .
Salty: /lip quivers
Salty: Don't the Rangers, like . . .
Salty: /bursts into tears
Scooter: Well, this year they do, but with you on board, hey! You can turn the whole franchise around!
Salty: I guess.
Scooter: I was born in Texas, and it's a great place to live. Don't be sad! We'll miss you--
Heap: /stifles laughter
Scooter: /hits him
Scooter: But you'll make new friends!
Salty: /wipes tears
Salty: Yeah, like who? I forgot the Rangers even existed until this trade talk started. They got anybody good?
Heap: Um, they've got Kevin Millwood. He played for the Braves when I was in middle school.
Salty: So he's OLD?
Heap: No, he's not old! Not that old, anyway. They've also got Jamey Wright. He used to be good . . . I think?
Scooter: No, you're thinking of someone else.
Salty: OH MY GOD. They all suck, don't they?
Frenchy: No! They've got C.J. Wilson and Eric Gagne! They're great!
Salty: Yeah . . . well . . . whose job am I gonna be stealing?
Heap: The catchers on their roster right now are Laird and Melhuse.
Salty: Who and what? I thought I was replacing Pudge?
Heap: No, Salty. He hasn't played for the Rangers since 2002.
Frenchy: But don't worry about the other two, they're hitting about .052 combined.
Scooter: Yeah, so people are gonna love you!
Salty: Well, DUH, Kelly. That's not the issue here.
Suddenly, Good Davies bursts through the door, out of breath.
Good Davies: Have you heard anything new??
Good Davies: /panting
Good Davies: It's not really . . . the Royals . . . is it?!
Awkward silence ensues.
Frenchy: See, Salty, it could be worse!
Good Daves: /weeps
Evil Davies: Oh, give it a rest, you weakling.
Good Davies: What are YOU doing here?!
Evil Davies: Like I was going to waste my time sabotaging AAA games.
Evil Davies: I've actually been spending quite a bit of time with your fiancee while you've been in Virginia. We've kind of hit it off, really.
Good Davies: I'LL KILL YOU
Evil Davies: /hisses
Good Davies: Frenchy, how could you invite him?! Did you think he was me?
Frenchy: Um, no. He's actually kind of cool. Did you know he dated Alyssa Milano?
Good Davies: Ugh, who HASN'T?! And anyway, look, he's totally drawing a mustache on your painting of that Sports Illustrated cover!
Frenchy: /whirls around
Frenchy: GET DOWN FROM THERE YOU BASTARD!!!!
Evil Davies: /laughs
Evil Davies: /flees into the night
As the party winds down, Salty sits out on the front porch to mope and say goodbye to his former teammates as they head home. Heap is the last to leave.
Salty: Hey, old timer, come over here for a second.
Heap: Wha--oh. I didn't realize you were still here. Um, I guess this is goodbye.
Salty: Listen, man. I want you to know you've taught me a lot.
Heap: I have? Every time I tried to give you tips about the pitchers you talked over me with your own "tips" about how to "keep them in line."
Salty: Oh, I don't mean about catching. Ha! As if I could learn anything about that from you-- No, I'm talking about life lessons.
Heap: You've got like five seconds before I punch you in the face and walk away.
Salty: Like that time you told me, "THAT'S NOT CANDY!" when I tried to eat that blue stuff in Frenchy's locker, or when you told me I should probably quit double-parking my truck across Smoltz and Andruw's spaces, and how you said my wife would probably not see the humor in pinching Our Katy Temple's butt on the pre-game show --
Heap: Right, I get it. Look, I gotta go. Good luck in--
Salty: WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY, HEAP, IS--
Salty: /hugs him
Salty: You've been like a grandfather to me.
Go kick some American League ass, Saltalamacch. But not too much ass, cause that would make us look stupid.