About an hour after I posted last night’s game recap, I got an email with an .mp3 attached. I didn’t recognize the sender, but their message cut to the chase and held my interest:
HACK AUDIO FROM NEST CAM IN CLUBHOUSE. HEAR THE MEETINGS. KNOW THE LIES.
I felt like I had just been roped into an Enemy of the State sequel and that opening the .mp3 file could have dire consequences. But I felt pretty good about myself after the co-creator of The Americans spotlighted that Giants-The Americans article I wrote last week and thought, “You know what? This was sent to me because I’m now a voice on Giants baseball. It’s my job to listen to it.”
What I heard simply blew my mind. Here now is the transcript of yesterday’s hitters’ meeting for the start of their series against the Diamondbacks. If watching the Giants try to hit Zack Godley last night upset you, this is gonna burn you up real good. I don’t know if this signals what we can expect for the rest of the season or even if there’s some degree of dysfunction between the Giants hitters and hitting coach Alonzo Powell, but it was a glimpse behind the curtain I never could have imagined.
(Sound of door opening.)
(Footsteps and cheers and indistinguishable voices heard.)
(Chairs moving around. Snap of a soda can opening.)
(A fart. Some chuckles.)
ALONZO POWELL: Everybody get rest like I said?
ALONZO POWELL: Sleep’s important. Y’know, back in Houston, when we were winning a World Series, we preached sleep like we preached launch angles. The more you sleep, y’know... the more you sleep, the more you’ll dream and the more you dream... the more you think about launch angles. That’s how you win a World Series.
BRANDON CRAWFORD: You realize we won several championships here already.
ALONZO POWELL: Sure, sure. I’m just saying how we did things there because we’re all trying to get better. I’m trying to help you. Swing Bot over there in the corner is trying to help you. Isn’t that right, Swing Bot?
(A series of bleeps and bloops.)
SWING BOT: YOUR INTRODUCTORY PERIOD HAS EXPIRED. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE SWINGANAL SERVICE TO REACTIVE YOUR DEVICE.
EVAN LONGORIA: Guys, this is terrific stuff. I’m happy to be a part of this.
ALONZO POWELL: Okay, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Let’s see, let’s see.
(Incessant pen clicking while it sounds like Powell makes an absent-minded “pew-pew-pew-pewwwwww” sound.)
ALONZO POWELL: Lotta talent here. Lotta talent. Zack Godley is first up tonight. Got a dangerous curve. Dangerous. Wanna look out for that. Looks like a fastball out of his hand.
EVAN LONGORIA: (laughing) That’s awesome.
PABLO SANDOVAL: I love the fastball. He throws it on the ground, I’ll hit it.
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN: What if he throws it down the middle, Pablo?
PABLO SANDOVAL: They never throw it down the middle.
ALONZO POWELL: King Kong Pokémon’s right.
BRANDON CRAWFORD: (deep sigh) O.M.G. He’s the Kung Fu Panda.
ALONZO POWELL: I don’t think that’s right. Anyway, it says here… you know, you’ve gotta be hunting fastball. Maybe swing early, but be careful, because that fastball… just might be a curveball.
BRANDON BELT: Well, I’m not swinging. You cannot lose if you do not swing.
(Sighs and guffaws from around the room.)
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN: That didn’t work out for you too good yesterday, man.
BRANDON BELT: So, I should swing?
AUSTIN JACKSON: Yeah, if it looks good, why not?
BRANDON BELT: How do I know… if something looks good?
ALONZO POWELL: In Houston, we used to say –
SWING BOT: YOUR DEVICE HAS BEEN INACTIVE FOR TOO LONG. NOW ENTERING REST MODE.
ALONZO POWELL: -- we used to say, y’know, what looks good is when you hit it. So, that’s, y’know, that’s how you know.
EVAN LONGORIA: Hey guys, this is all right. Loving this.
BRANDON BELT: I just think… I just think if a pitcher’s entire game is about deception… that he’s trying to trick you into swinging. But if you don’t swing, then he doesn’t win. And that’s how you win.
GREGOR BLANCO: May I say something?
ALONZO POWELL: Yeah, go for it, Gregory.
BRANDON CRAWFORD: (long, mic distorting sigh)
GREGOR BLANCO: I just want to say I love you all, you’re all wonderful, wonderful, and good. And this has been, this has been so great, to come back here. When I was on Arizona last year, this pitcher, he was so good. So wonderful. His curveball just amazing. We are blessed to have him throw it to us. We are so lucky to not have any chance of hitting it.
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN: We really don’t have a shot?
EVAN LONGORIA: This honesty is so refreshing. I love it. Give me more! Please.
HUNTER PENCE: When I was in Houston, most of our meetings were about the hopelessness of the situation.
NICK HUNDLEY: Hopelessness? I was drafted by the Padres.
GORKYS HERNANDEZ: (burps)
JOE PANIK: I think the plan should be to hit a home run off this Godley guy.
KELBY TOMLINSON: Good idea, Joe!
BRANDON BELT: Fellas… I’m saying: just. Don’t. Swing.
(A loud throat clearing is heard.)
BUSTER POSEY: People say they don’t want to swing. “Man wasn’t meant to throw a curve.” I say it’s unnatural to lose. Bats are for swinging, not standing. A walk is a protest to serve our need for a strike. I want wood on leather. I demand a good pitch.
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN: We can’t hit that curve, though, Buster. It spins like crazy.
BUSTER POSEY: If it spins, we can hit it.
(A long silence. Then a knock [on the table, maybe?])
EVAN LONGORIA: You guys are characters!