by Ron on August 22 at 6:02PM
Skipper.jpgPat-thedic.jpgPat Gillick and Charlie Manuel were stuck in Lincoln Tunnel traffic. It was an off day Monday and Gillick and Manuel were beside themselves trying to figure out how to deal with all the injuries.

    First it was Freddy Garcia, then Flash Gordon and Bret Myers, and Jon Lieber, followed by Ryan Madson and Adam Eaton. And what was that all about with Kyle Lohse coming over from the Reds and getting plucked on the arm in the first inning?

    Then Yoel Hernandez, Francisco Rosario, and Mike Zagurski. Then the catcher Barajas, followed by Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn. And to add insult to injury, the star and cornerstone of the team, Chase Utley. And Ryan Howard missed more time than Mikhail Baryshnikov with a bleeding hemroid.

    Then Cole Hammels.

    Enough is enough. The Phillies locker room is lookin' like the 8th Illinois' medical tent just south of the Antietam Bridge. Only this time Pat and Charlie were taking matters into their own hands; driving up to the Great City to visit Madame Rue. She and the ball that sees can get the Phillies out of this mess.

    But Charlie wasn't so sure.

    "Got-damn Pat," Manuel said, half way up the Jersey turnpike, "I know we're snake bit, but I ain't got much faith in these kinds of people. Hell, back home anybody like this seeing lady would have been tar and feathered and dumped in the outhouse back of ole' Fatty Johns' place."

    "Listen Charlie," Gillick said, "trust me on this. Madame Rue predicted the Blue Jays would win the World Series when I went to see her half way through the season. She'll help us, you've got to have faith, man."

    Once the tunnel cleared, Gillick headed for the Village and parked near Vanick Street. They walked the short distance to Madame Rue's office. Pat rapped on the door. The small metal plate opened and shut faster than Curt Shilling's mouth, followed by the door.

 FortuneTeller.jpg   "Patty," Madame Rue said, "so good to see you again. But who's this with you?"

    "Madame Rue," Gillick said, "this is the manager of the Phillies, Charlie Manuel."

    "Evening Madame," Charlie said, tipping his Phillies cap.

    "Oh Patty," she said, "this one looks like he's on a permanent cruise on the USS Hope medical ship."

    With that, the three of them sat around the table with the ball that sees in the middle. Madame Rue asked Gillick the nature of the problem. Manuel was still reeling from the medical ship dig.

    Gillick explained the injuries and Madame Rue peered into the ball that sees. Suddenly, the room got smoky and Gillick and Manuel could feel the temperature go up.

610.jpg    "Patty, oh Patty," Madame Rue said, "it's a curse. You have a curse on the men with sticks and balls, a curse from the big mouth they call 610."

    Gillick looked at Manuel, then said, "But Madame Rue, who is 610? Is that the number of losses in the new millennium? What the..."

    "Patty, the man with the big mouth in the morning, he's 610, and he put a curse on your team through the paperless-brain. It's out there, Patty. It's nowhere, but it's everywhere.

    "The paperless brain," she continued, "is more powerful than the ball that sees. When people read the curse on the paperless-brain, it makes your men with sticks and men who throw...very sick. Your best stick man and throw man are sick now, aren't they?"

    Gillick turned to Manuel, "She's talking about Utley and Hammels."

    "Madame Rue," Gillick said, "how do we end this curse?"

    "First," she answered, "you need the place on the paperless-brain to find this 610 curse. Go to it, and see it for yourself. You will find it here; When you get there, go downward and downward until you see 'A Letter to the Philadelphia Phillies.'

    "This is the curse that you will read," she said.

    "But Madame Rue," Gillick said, "how can we end this 610 curse?"

    Madame Rue pointed to Manuel. "Only he can end the curse by answering it on the paperless-brain. When he does, the men with sticks and the men who throw will get better, and you will play with balls in the Celtic month of ghosts and goblins."

    "Well I'll be a drunkin' duck on a frozen pond," Manuel said, "you mean little lady that if I write an answer to this 610 curse on the paperless-brain, we'll be in the playoffs?"

NEXT: Charlie answers the curse.

Hysterical...sign me up I just became a fan!

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