At this time, due to the futility of his pitching staff, the front office decided to do something unorthodox. An external consultant was brought in to motivate our pitchers. What I am about to present to you is real. You are about to get into the heart and soul of the Tigers locker room for an up-close-and-personal look at the running of a baseball team.
A man simply known as Blake is found by the players in the same spot Leyland used to deliver speeches to the troops. The motivation begins:
Blake: Let me have your attention for a moment! So you're talking about what? You're talking about [puts out his cigarette] bitching about that low slider that got crushed, some son of a bitch that doesn't want to chase, some umpire who won't take the pitch you're trying to sell, some broad you're trying to screw and so forth. Let's talk about something important. Are they all here?
Jones: All but Hardy.
Blake: Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important! (to Nathan) Put that coffee down!! Coffee's for closers only. (Nathan scoffs) Do you think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from the front office. I'm here from Illich and Dave. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Nathan?
Blake: You call yourself a pitcher, you son of a bitch?
Coke: I don't have to listen to this shit.
Blake: You certainly don't pal. 'Cause the good news is -- you're released. The bad news is you've got, all you got, just 30 games to regain your jobs, starting tonight. Starting with tonight's game. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this months pitching rewards. As you all know, first prize is a Tesla Roadster. Anyone want to see the second prize? Second prize is a set of knives. Third prize's a pizza coupon. Fifth prize is you're released. You get the picture? You're laughing now? You got scouting on the opposition. Illich spends good money on it. Get their names and beat them! You can't close the leads you're given, you can't close shit, you ARE shit, hit the bricks pal and beat it 'cause you are going out!!!
Nathan: The scouting reports are weak.
Blake: The reports are weak. Fucking reports are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business fifteen years.
Coke: What's your name?
Blake: FUCK YOU, that's my name!! You know why, Mister? 'Cause you let Mauer drive a gapper on you to get here tonight, I stuck Mauer out. That's my name!! (to Nathan) And your name is "you're wanting." And you can't play in a young man's game. You can't close for them. (at a near whisper) And you go home and blame it on the defense. (to everyone again) Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them back on the bench, where they belong! You hear me, you fucking Mudhens?
(Blake flips over a blackboard which has two sets of letters on it: ABC, and AIDA .)
Blake: A-B-C. Always, Be, Closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action. Attention -- do I have your attention? Interest -- are you interested? I know you are because it's fuck or walk. You close or you hit the waivers! Decision -- have you made your decision for Christ?!! And action. A-I-D-A; get out there!! You got the hitters comin' into the box; you think they came in to get out of the rain? Guy doesn't walk into the box unless he wants to hit. Sitting out there waiting to chase your pitch! Are you gonna make it? Are you man enough to make it? (to Coke) What's the problem pal? You. Coke.
Blake addressing the troops. via pandodaily.files.wordpress.com
Coke: You're such a hero, you're so rich. Why you coming down here and waste your time on a bunch of bums?
(Blake sits and takes off his gold watch)
Blake: You see this watch? You see this watch?
Blake: That watch cost more than your home. I made $19,700,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that's who I am. And you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good father? Fuck you -- go home and play with your kids!! (to everyone) You wanna pitch here? Close!! (to Reed) You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you commandless flamethrower? You can't take this -- how can you take the abuse you get on the mound?! You don't like it -- leave. I can go out there tonight with the materials you got, make myself a hero! Tonight! In two pitches! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A!! Get mad! You sons of bitches! Get mad!! You know what it takes to pitch?
(He pulls something out of his briefcase)
Blake: It takes a paintbrush to pitch. Pitching is an art.
(He's holding the paintbrush in front of an imaginary canvas)
Blake demonstrates pitching as an artform. via i.imgur.com
Blake: Go and do likewise, gents. The results are out there, you pick it up, it's yours. You don't--I have no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on the mound tonight and close, close, it's yours. If not, you're going to be shining my shoes. Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar. (in a mocking weak voice) "Oh yeah, I used to be a pitcher, it's a tough racket." (he takes out large stack of red index cards tied together with string from his briefcase) These are the new scouting reports. These are the Lucadello reports. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. (he hands the stack to Chamberlain) They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. (to Coke as he puts on his watch again) And to answer your question, pal: why am I here? I came here because Illich and Dave asked me to, they asked me for a favor. I said, the real favor, follow my advice and release your fucking asses because a loser is a loser.
(He stares at Coke for a sec, and then picking up his briefcase, goes into inner office with Jones)