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Use Your Delusion

Sources close to have learned that Rocket Bill Ladson has learned that sources close to the Washington Nationals tell him that the Nationals met with A.J. Burnett for dinner in Miami on Wednesday night. The sources say that Rocket Bill said that sources said that the parties ate at The Forge Restaurant.

Having never been to Miami, I have no earthly clue why the exact location of this historic meeting would be considered important or the least bit relevant---but, if I were to venture a guess, I would surmise that a reference to a restaurant that advertises "Appetizers: from $13, Entrees: from $27" is aimed at communicating that the Nats aren't cheapskates. Lord only knows how a team that doesn't have a budget fits a business dinner into its budget, but we need not speculate further, at any rate. Rocket Bill's sources did not include Tony Tavares as part of the Nats' delegation, and no one acquires the Nats' checkbook but through him. So the parties ate dutch-treat, then.


While we're on the subject of this momentous meal, let's make a memory. Sure, we only know what Rocket Bill's nebulous sources tell us, but that's not really true; we can dig a little deeper, and we can make inferences, and when all else fails we can just make up stuff.

First, let's set the scene. I present you The Forge Restaurant:

The Forge: Miracle on 41st Street!

Incidentally, I wonder what the back of the restuarant looks like. Hmmmm . . .

Anyway, I imagine Bodes and Siegle and Boone and Rijo and Andy Dunn got their table early; they were probably hoping to squeeze in the Early Bird Schedule. Some time later, Burnett and his agent, Darek Braunecker, dropped by:

Bodes is the guy on the right at that back table

The gentlemen no doubt exchanged initial pleasantries and sat down to order. The menu can be found here. What did Bodes order, you ask? Sources apparently did not reveal this to Rocket Bill. Given Bodes' New England roots, he might have possessed a natural inclination toward the Fresh Maine Lobster; however, I presume that this would not be nearly ostentatious enough for Bodes.

No, he's a "Glamorous" Forge Chicken type of fellow.

Eventually, the parties talked turkey, perhaps like this:

Bowden: So, A.J. . . . We think a lot of you as a pitcher.

Burnett: Thanks.

Bowden: Livan Hernandez thinks a lot of you. Maybe he could give you a call.

Burnett: Yeah, maybe. But I don't even think we pitched together. He was traded about the time I was called up in '99.

Bowden: That's nice . . . [Looks nervously to Boone, who shrugs.]

Braunecker: You guys gonna make an offer?

Bowden: Hey, is that our food?

Rijo: Hungry.

Siegle: I can't wait for my Crisp Roasted Duck with Black Currants.

Boone: Lobster Thermidor for me.

Siegle: Did you know that Napoleon is thought to have named that dish?

Bowden: Really? I love Napoleon!

Burnett: [to Braunecker] What are we doing here?

Dunn: You know what we should have ordered for A.J.? "The Super Steak." [Looks at Braunecker] Because we think A.J. is super.

Bowden: [to Dunn] Careful. You'll compromise our bargaining position.

Braunecker: A.J.'s looking for five years---not less than five years. Whaddya got?

Bowden: Say, A.J., I hear Karen is from Bowie.

Braunecker: What about this ownership thing? It would be beneficial to have ownership in place.

Bowden: Well . . .

Burnett: What are we doing here, Derek?

Bowden: Wait . . .

Braunecker: Tell us why we should.

Siegle: We've got a really neat alternate jersey . . .

Dunn: . . . and the minor league team in Vermont has a new name.

Braunecker: [Rising from table, placing napkin on half-eaten entree] It's been a pleasure, gentlemen. We'll call you. [Braunecker and Burnett walk off]

Bowden: So . . . what do you think?