With the news that 50-year old Howard Johnson was coming out of retirement to play for the Rockland Boulders of the Independent Can-Am League, the Yuma Scorpions of the North American Baseball League, led by player-manager Jose Canseco, are expected to make a move.
Offbase received an official transcript from inside the Scorpions war room where Canseco, his brother Ozzie, a photograph of Robert Redford and an imaginary canary named Bernie were meeting to discuss a counter move to the Boulders' signing of Johnson.
[6:51 p.m. MST]
Jose - OK. Listen, Rockland got Johnson. What do we do?
Ozzie - Is....
Jose (interrupting) - Wait, shut up! Is Tom Brunansky available?
Ozzie, speaking as the photograph of Robert Redford - Last I heard he was playing for the Covington Sparrows.
Jose - What league do they play in?
Ozzie/Redford photo - I made them up.
Jose - OK, photo of Robert Redford, could you please step outside the room for five minutes?
[Ozzie places photo on the floor outside the door. Closes door.]
Ozzie - Wait a minute, I think I've got it: Alou.
Jose - Moises?! That's great. He could play left field and...
Ozzie (interrupting) - No, Felipe Alou.
Jose - Felipe. (thinking). Let's send a scout to wherever he's playing tomorrow night.
Ozzie - Well, he retired in 1974, but I think if we tell him about all Yuma has to offer, he'd be up for taking a pay cut to be the fourth outfielder.
Jose - What does Yuma have to offer?
Ozzie - That Chinese restaurant that gives you extra orange slices.
Jose - OK, good. Who else?
Ozzie - F.P. Santangelo?
Jose - Seriously, though: any other suggestions?
Bernie the canary (whispering in Jose's ear) - What about Howard Johnson?
Jose - I like it, I like it a lot. Is he signed with anyone?
Ozzie - Rumor is he signed with the Rockland Boulders.
Jose - What if we try to lure Johnson away from Rockland?
Ozzie - Well, he signed with the team mainly so he could play with his son.
Jose - OK, so we tell Johnson that his son actually plays for Yuma. Then we get the son AND we get Howard Johnson!
Ozzie/Redford photo - Maybe the team is fine the way it is.
Jose - That's it, photograph of Robert Redford, you're on the bench tonight!
Editor's note: Bernie the canary flew out of an open window, Jose canceled batting practice and then tried to hail a taxi to the sun.