Gerald's Rumor Mill

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Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by recte44 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:10 pm

Las Vegas Hustlers pitcher Gerald "Rumor Mill" Abbott is writing a book about his experiences in the Brewster Baseball Association. This thread is for the ongoing daily accounts that will become the book. In the style of "Ball Four" and "The Bronx Zoo", "Gerald's Rumor Mill" will give readers a behind the scenes look at life in the Brewster Baseball Association.


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December 1, 2045
My name is Gerald Abbott. For the past four years I've been a member of the Las Vegas Hustlers organization. I'm not a star, I'm not a scrub. I was given the gift of being a left-handed pitcher, which ultimately gives me far more chances than any righty ever gets.

My nickname? Yeah, that's a story in itself. Going back to my high school days I was always talking about this and that. I needed to be the guy with a story to tell. My teammates started to call me "Rumor Mill" and the nickname has never gone away.

Since I came back to Vegas I've been bouncing up and down from the big leagues to the minors, and I'm thankful to say that that time is likely over. The Hustlers used up my last option year in 2046, so I'll most likely be in the bigs for the long term now.

I don't hold back with the truth, especially when it comes to my own performance. I pitched like horseshit for the Hustlers this year. Absolute horseshit. There are many excuses I could give...I wasn't pitching regularly, I didn't know if I was starting or relieving, or if I'm in Vegas or Milwaukee tomorrow, etc. That's just horseshit if you ask me. Pitching is pitching no matter when you do it. Just give me the ball. I just want to pitch. I let the coaches make those decisions, it's above my pay grade.

Speaking of coaches, we got a new pitching coach this year in Troy Coffman. Troy is a completely different guy than Chris (former pitching coach Christopher Stoller) was. Troy is what we in baseball call a "red ass". Chris was a friendly, helpful, player focused coach. He would explain things to you, try to help you where you thought you needed help. Troy is nothing like that. He's a fiery guy. Always yelling, tells you what to do, and it's his way or no way. I just let the yelling go right over me. I don't need that from this red mustache prick. Fuck you, Troy.

Upper management told me to prepare to pitch primarily in relief next year. I say screw it, I'm doing the same offseason routine that I always have and let the chips fall where they may.
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:24 pm

Awesome!

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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by RichY » Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:52 pm

love the idea. Also just noticed your A ball team is in Pahrump. As someone who lived in Vegas for a bit I imagine Gerald has some stories about playing there. On the other hand maybe better left out of the book.
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by recte44 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:06 pm

What happens in Pahrump is his own business. :)
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by CTBrewCrew » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:55 pm

Dish the dirt son!!!!
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by recte44 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:43 pm

More coming soon
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by recte44 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:31 pm

February 19th
Reported to camp today. Looking forward to getting to work with Calvin Johnson in Spring Training this year. We got him from Louisville mid season last year. Awesome catcher, funny guy. Today in stretching he kept making fart noises and we all laughed. Juvenile, I know. That's just what we do.

February 20th
Troy Coffman, our pitching coach, isn't the easiest guy to work with. Earlier today he told me to get my sidewhip ready. I have no idea what he was talking about.

February 21st
More of the veterans are coming in early this year than I can ever remember. Of course, some guys never change. I swear Tom Rudge was waiting for the first team reps to unlock the training facility a day before pitchers and catchers were supposed to report. That guy is something else.

February 22nd
Got out and played some golf this afternoon with Christopher Stoller. He retired a couple years ago as the Hustlers' pitching coach but we still talk often. Though we couldn't be more different in pitching styles, he has had a huge impact on my career and I consider him a mentor. He's hilarious, too. First thing he says to me: "Is Coffman pissing you off yet?"

February 23rd
Got in a lot of work today with the young catchers, Charles Hutchesson and Conor Nunan. Conor works harder than most everyone. First one in, last one out kind of thing. He's been sitting with every pitcher in camp asking how he can help, what their pitches are, etc. Great kid, and I expect he'll be up here sooner than later. Charles is the intellectual type. He's a good kid who knows who he is as a player, and despite his limitations he could go far. Won't be the last you'll hear about either of these guys.

February 24th
Day before games start. Skip, that's what we call Charles Allen (Hustlers manager) told all the veterans to take the day off and relax. I'm doing exactly that, sitting by a pool and sipping a drink or two.

February 25th
We played Brooklyn today and won, 6-3. Stan Cyr started and went four innings. Afterwards he told me his arm was stiff, a lot more than usual, but he wasn't going to say anything. I wouldn't either.

February 26th
Jacksonville beat us in 12 innings, 7-6. Extra inning games are brutal, but even more so in Spring Training. We were sloppy today. This Wamukota kid made two errors and wrecked the day for Martin Ross, who is probably going to be in the rotation this year. I didn't pitch, again. Rich Martinez took the loss. I can't say it didn't make me smile a little. Martinez is a dick. There...I said it. He's kind of all about himself noxious thinsand getting paid, and he doesn't have any pride in being a Hustler. He has a live, left-handed arm, though, and he's out of options so we're all pretty sure we'll have to put up with him. Gilberto Cruz also pitched today, and he seems a little different than last year when we picked him up. Pretty much everyone despised the guy last year, but he hasn't been as obnoxious this year. Probably because him and Martinez are always together in the bullpen, talking about God knows what. Two peas in a pod, or two dicks in a....well, I don't know.

February 27th
Of course I'd love to be in the rotation. I still think of myself as a starter. Even though I'm on the outside looking in, I can't help but root for Nathaniel Davis. Fellow lefty, smart, respectful...everyone loves the kid. He pitched well today against Charm City, allowing just one run in four innings. Too bad that was one more run than our offense could muster.

February 28th
I finally got in today! After our ace, Drees Geestman, pitched a scoreless four innings, they brought in a kid, Dong-su Yi. He pitched the next two innings, didn't give up any runs. A little wild (2 walks) but you can see why the big wigs like him with his live arm. Then they called on yours truly. I got through the seventh inning in 1-2-3 fashion, and they sent me back out for the eighth. I gave up a leadoff single, then got a flyout and that was it for me. Another kid to look at, this Sean Chesney. Hard working kid. He's a LOOGY candidate. Another one of these unknowns that the team loves.
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Re: Gerald's Rumor Mill

Post by recte44 » Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:30 pm

March 1
Brian King pitched great today but the bullpen completely collapsed. Ultimately Gilberto Cruz melted down again and blamed everyone but himself for the loss. What a jerk-off.

March 2
Kevin Morales was the big free agent acquisition for our rotation this year. He looked awesome today with four scoreless innings. Another kid, Eric Buckson, has been throwing great in bullpen sessions and was outstanding in the game today. Cruz picked up his second save despite allowing four hits in his one inning. So Cruz comes in, allows three runs (that got charged to Wayne Dorsey) and then brags about his save after the game. First class jackass. Wayne is one of my closest friends on the team, and he has had nothing but bad luck in the big leagues thus far.

March 3
Second start for Cyr, and it was as good as the first. The pen pitched good today with the exception of Eru Likiliki who was knocked around a bit and also made an error.

March 4
Got in for the second time this Spring, and I ended up taking the loss. I came in for Jorge Fuentes in the 6th after Illingworth reached on an error by Fuentes himself. Two fly outs and a swinging K later, I'm out of the inning without any damage. Skip sent me back out for the 7th. First batter up hits a grounder to Glenn Woods, a kid infielder, and he boots it. Then Gonzalez hits a single off me and suddenly there's guys on first and second with no outs. Here comes Skip. Damnit, I wanted to stay in! No, they wanted to see how this Yi kid would react in this situation. Not good was the answer. Both of my runners scored and two more. Yikes. And I get the loss. Baseball isn't fair. My spring loss is nothing compared to what happened to Bang Pi today. He got taken out of the game complaining of elbow soreness. Trainer says it's just bone chips. "Just" is a relative term.

March 5
Nate Davis was a little wild today but overall, he pitched alright and got the win. Three of our youngsters followed and all pitched well. The veterans and coaches alike are all real impressed with Chesney who pitched another 1.2 hitless innings. Impressive kid. Coffman has the red ass today because he can't teach Horst Duineveld to throw strikes. We also had a scare today when Tom Rudge was hit by a Antonio Gonzales pitch in the fourth inning. Not to worry, Tom's a gamer and says he's fine. Whew.

March 6
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Cruz implodes again. 11.25 ERA this spring now. Even Coffman is getting in his face, which at least shows the guy has some stones. Cruz isn't a guy to mess with, especially when he's pissed off, which is nearly always. He was a new level of pissed off today, as he got into it with not only Coffman but also a couple of fans who were letting him have it. Me and Wayne had to physically get him to leave the field, get to the clubhouse, and cool off. Fricking hot head.

March 7
Should I be worried that I'm not getting into games? I suppose it doesn't hurt my cause that Cruz blew up again, allowing 4 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning and blew his second save. His ERA is now 17.36. Today was different though. He sat silently in the dugout after he was taken out, with his head down. When you see a guy like that, no matter how much you don't like him, you feel bad for the guy. Let's be honest- our team is better is Cruz is on top of his game. I'll try to talk to him later on tonight.

March 8
Got some more game action today, finally! Allowed two hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings, striking out one. My ERA is 2.25 now. Seems like I'm getting lined up into more of a long relief role. I still want to start, though. Today I wanted to pound the strike zone and hone in my control. Pretty happy with the outing. Talked to Cruz today, and it went better than I thought. We made plans to go golfing tomorrow on the day off. Stoller and Calvin Johnson are coming along. Cruz might think it's just golf, but it might end up being more of an intervention.

After the game I found out that Henry Curtis, a utility guy who the club had recently designated for assignment, was claimed by Charm City. Nice kid. Wish him the best with the Jimmies.

March 9
Eighteen beautiful holes on the links today. Everyone was in great spirits. Cruz was like a different guy outside of our normal environment. "I just put so much pressure on myself, G," he said to me. Cruz had never worked with Stoller before, and I thought it would be good to get them connected. A lot of Stoller's training is on the mental side of the game, and the two of them hit it off. They made plans to talk regularly. Cruz seemed genuinely happy. Maybe I misjudged him. Meanwhile Johnson was just soaking in the knowledge of Stoller and the Jekyll/Hyde routine of Cruz. He couldn't wipe that shit eating grin off his face. It was a good day.

March 10
Stan Cyr sure is looking like an ace. His third straight outstanding outing today. Again, he thought differently. He said he didn't feel like his velocity and explosiveness was at its best. The results don't lie, though. Cruz came in today and asked to sit with Skip. My guess is he told him he played golf with Stoller yesterday, because suddenly they looked like old friends. Meanwhile, Coffman was trying to peer into Skip's office the whole time, trying to glean any information about the convo. Cruz came in to get the last out and save his third game. Good vibes all around.

March 11
Ross started again today, and got shelled again. I know the team really wants him to start this year, but at some point he's gotta pitch well. I didn't get in again. I need to start lobbying for more innings.

March 12
Nate Davis is becoming Mr. Consistency for us, and he still might not win a rotation job. Just based on results, he's the clear choice over Ross. If only results were always the deciding factor, especially for a guy like me. I never had the best arm, the fastest radar gun, the most hype. I could outpitch top guys and still get passed over. Luckily for Nate, he actually IS one of those top prospects and he'll find his way.

March 13
Dress Geestman got rocked for the second start in a row. Coffman was not too pleased. Geestman wasn't having any of the attitude from his pitching coach, either. "This is when we work on stuff," said Geestman. "Who gives a shit about stats? If you don't know how well I can pitch by now, you shouldn't be here."

March 14
We lost 2-0 to Jacksonville today. King started and again was awesome. Was good to see my old buddy Miguel Abline pitch well. He was a big part of the pen in 2044 but completely shut out of the big league plans last year. I think he might be re-opening some eyes, as his ERA is now 1.42. As for yours truly, I pitched the last two 1 1/3 innings, no hits, no runs, a walk. I'm at a 1.69 ERA, not too shabby.

March 15
Our offense is absolutely stalled the last couple of days. Today there were quite a few kids playing and we only managed one run on four hits. Morales had his share of issues in his four innings today. This Buckson kid just keeps getting outs. He's down to a 1.17 ERA now.

March 16
Our offense "exploded" for three runs on nine hits, but we lost again. Cyr started and allowed three runs on four hits in 4 innings. He's got a 3.94 ERA and seems solid, but he keeps saying he doesn't feel right. Coffman won't listen. He tells Stan to just keep throwing. Coffman was happy today that Duineveld pitched two hitless, scoreless innings and only walked one guy. Cruz pitched another scoreless inning with two K's. His ERA is down to 13.50. He was even joking around with me in the bullpen today.

March 17
Ross pitched really well today and looks poised to be the fifth starter. The pen pitched five scoreless innings and held the lead for Ross. Martinez, Alex Corona, Mike Jayne and Cruz all got their first holds of the spring, and Fuentes got the last out (a strikeout) for his first save.

March 18
Alonso Hernandez is another kid in camp this spring. He's quiet and respectful, and can also just pitch. Today was his best outing of the spring. 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Good to see the kid pitching well. Davis got his third win of the spring.

March 19
Open up the floodgates, the Hustlers win over Boise, 10-1. Geestman said in the pre-game meeting that "this one is for Coffman". We all laughed, and Drees just pitched a beauty. "Still worried?," he asked the pitching coach, who sneered in response. I came in after Geestman, and got two innings. I gave up one hit and struck out two. ERA now 1.23. Is that good?

Today was the first cutdown day. Sucks for a lot of guys. Coffman has to be the Grim Reaper, which I suppose is fitting. There were some surprises. I didn't think Armando Castro or Angelo Torres would be sent back to Milwaukee so soon. Alonso Hernandez and Ricardo Suarez were also sent out, but they'll be back. The two young catchers, Nunan and Hutchesson were sent out as well.

March 20
Brian King is damn good. Now that Drees is getting his due respect I'd say B-King is the most underrated starter in the league. He's a smart kid who gets along with everyone, too. These are the guys you play hard for. Cruz pitched the last 1.1 innings and got his fourth save. Everything Skip is doing suggests Cruz will be the closer but I think Mike Jayne will have something to say about that. He knows he did a great job for us last year, and he also knows that the club has to figure out what they have in Cruz.

March 21
Our offense went cold again. No runs. Morales was a little wild today but he says he feels great and is ready to go. I always laugh when guys say stuff like that. What the hell do they expect you to say?

March 22
Had the day off today. Since I haven't pitched as much as I'd like, I came in and pitched a simulated game. I knew Coffman wasn't going to be there so I snuck Stoller in and he worked with me a little. I took him out to dinner as a thank you. Got a call from Johnson later in the day and he asked if I had heard the news. What news? He told me that we got Mark White back. Really good hitter, good defender. Struggles with staying healthy but he played well for us last year when he was on the field. Suppose his signing is not the best sign for Po-sin Shi.

March 23
Suddenly the team is listening to Cyr's complaints about his arm not feeling right. It's amazing how giving up eight hits and seven runs in 1.1 innings will get their attention. I came in to relief Anibal Ramirez in the eighth inning with one out and a guy on second. First guy up smoked a single, moving the runner to third, then this Lebowski kid hit a sac fly and the inherited run scored. That is the worst thing you can do as a reliever, let another guy's run score. Makes me feel like crap. I couldn't locate well today. Came back out for the ninth and gave up two singles, then got a double play, but then Quicker hit another single and a run scored. Skip brought in Buckson to get the last out, and he did, striking out Guincho. My ERA went up to 2.08.

March 24
Well, Marty Ross got right today. Four shutout innings and he's won a rotation spot. Abline lost the game though. Tough break.

March 25
Nate Davis got rocked by San Antonio today. Corona looked pretty good in his 2.1 innings, and Likiliki had his best outing of the Spring by far (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) and lowered his ERA to 3.48. Rich Martinez has quietly put together a string of good outings and his once bloated ERA is down to 4.50. He's got the team made now. Hope I'm still good.

March 26
Geestman made us all crack up when he stated before the game that he's going to "pitch even better today so I can shut up this Coffman guy." If it wasn't for one hit, he would have been perfect in four innings.

March 27
King wasn't at his best today. He's still assured a place in the rotation. I came in after him and pitched 2.1 hitless innings. Spring ERA now 1.64. I'm ready to roll. The dreaded elbow ailment has struck again. This time it's Likiliki. "Just a strain", says our trainer. Once again, "just" is relative.

March 28
Morales had four shutout innings for the win. Abline followed with 1.2 scoreless, Duineveld gave up one run in 1.2, then Corona with 2/3 scoreless. Cruz pitched a hitless ninth with two strikeouts for his fifth save. He lowered his Spring ERA to 6.75.

March 31
Final cut day. Coffman walking around and just crushing guys dreams today. Likiliki landed on the injured list to start the year. Duineveld, Chesney, Ramirez, Buckson and Corona were sent out. Originally he told Nate Davis he was going to the minors. Nate was so shocked by this news he went right to Rectenwald's office to clarify that this was real. Recte said there must have been a mistake, and next thing you know Davis was on the team.
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