Grumpy old men

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Grumpy old men

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

SCENE: Inside the New York Yankees steam room. JORGE POSADA sits along one wall, MARIANO RIVERA sits across from him along the other. DEREK JETER sits at the back wall, between his teammates. The silence mixes in heavily with the humidity.

RIVERA: The Yankees I think they want me to change my number.

JETER: Opens one eye What are you talking about, Mo?

RIVERA: I keep hearing they don't like 42. That there's no real future in 42. That 42 is maybe past its prime and its time for the Yankees to move on. See? They want me to change my number.

POSADA and JETER look at each other. They look away.

POSADA: Here we go.

JETER: Gently Mo, I think they're talking about you. Your age. You're turning 42 this year, aren't you?

RIVERA: So what? A 1-0 record and 1.80 ERA is not so bad. I am Mr. Clutch. A living legend! I am the Sandman; I put batters to bed. Get it? That's why they picked that one Metallica song for me...

POSADA: Yeah, Metallica. We get it. I'm guessing Cashman isn't thrilled about the three blown saves.

RIVERA: At least I'm not throwing temper tantrums like you. 'Oh, wah-wah, I got dropped in the order. Time to stomp off to my room and pout.' Maybe you miss your afternoon nap that day, ah, Jorge?

POSADA: Speak for yourself, grandpa.

JETER: Raises arms Guys! Guys! Same team! Same team! You need to be more supportive. You're both going through the same thing. It's tough for any athlete to get older and feel like his time in pro sports is running out. I mean, I can only imagine how hard it is for you. Leans back and shuts his eyes

POSADA and RIVERA stare at JETER.

POSADA: What kind of denial are you snorting right now?

RIVERA: Ya, man. You kidding?

JETER: What? I'm not getting old! What did you do the day I had four hits and two home runs against Texas, Jorge?

POSADA: Oh, I'm sorry. That was what, two weeks ago? Must've forgotten. Shields dressing you down with three strikeouts is a little fresher in my memory, el Capitan.

JETER: Yelling Who's been there for you? I have! Who stuck up for you when you freaked out about being dropped to 9th? I did!

RIVERA: Aside Big baby.

POSADA: Shoots RIVERA a look. Turns back to JETER You stuck up for me because you were scared, didn't you? You're scared that they're going to take you behind the barn, too.

All three men fall silent. JETER starts to cry.

JETER: Minka tells me after I strike out that a man is only as old as he feels.

POSADA: How long you think she's gonna want to feel your old man

JETER: Cuts POSADA off BITE YOUR TONGUE, RATFACE.

RIVERA: I feel like my joints hurt. And I have no control over my bowels.

The room is again silent.

POSADA: Gross.

JETER: Tilts his head back and stares at the ceiling So what do we do?

The three teammates are momentarily lost in thought.

RIVERA: Let's do something fun. I'll call Bernie.

POSADA: Williams?

RIVERA: Ya! I don' think he's busy today. We can all go out to dinner.

JETER: Checks his watch It's 5 o'clock.

RIVERA: Smiles, claps JETER on the back Yes, my friend! But I gotta get to bed soon.

JETER wipes his tears with the back of his hand and laughs.

POSADA: Rolls eyes Oh, come on now.

JETER and RIVERA laugh harder. They stand and walk toward the door.

POSADA: Looks confused Derek, did you seriously think that was funny? Derek?

The door shuts. POSADA sits alone. After a few minutes he stands and walks to the door, hand on his aching shoulder.

POSADA: To no one It wasn't funny.

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

BRIGHTON, Mass – Claude Julien met with the media after Tuesday’s morning skate and there was a bit of a long pause between questions at one point early in the session.

“I understand because everything that needs to be said has already been said, right?” cracked the longtime Bruins bench boss, who was in good spirits after morning skate despite the turmoil around him.

It’s clearly less about words and more about results right now for a struggling team that’s lost a season-worst four games in a row in gut-punching fashion and has fallen out of a playoff position despite teams above them, Ottawa and Toronto, holding five games in hand on them. 

The Bruins are in a freefall at the worst possible time and at this point, Julien wants to see positive action and winning results from his team rather than the empty talk with the media.

“We want to respect our game plan, execute it well and that normally helps you. We’ve been a little bit all over the place, especially in the last game,” said Julien. “That’s what we addressed yesterday, moving forward.

“I haven’t used the All-Star break as a motivation. We’re basically looking at these last two games, and what we have to do in these last two games. I think we’re well aware of what’s waiting for them after that. The players normally know when the breaks are. That’s not for us right now. I’d like to see our focus on what we need to do [against the Wings] to right the ship. We’ve talked about it a lot, and I think right now the less said, and the more shown is probably the best thing.”

With two games left until the All-Star break, one has to wonder what Julien’s fate will be if the Bruins drop both games to Detroit and Pittsburgh before the group breaks up for All-Star weekend. 

A good showing might be enough to keep Julien calling the shots for the Black and Gold down the stretch this season. But the sense is that more of the same fragile, losing efforts from the Bruins in these final two home dates, a familiar look from this group over the past three seasons, could spell doom for the winningest coach in Bruins franchise history.

One thing is for sure: Words aren’t going to do anything for Julien, and instead it’s about cold, hard results for the coach and the Bruins players who are nose-diving in the middle of the regular season.