Brett Gardner sat in Manager Joe Girardi's office at the New York Yankees training facility in Tampa.
Gardner was bent at the waist with his head in his hands. It was difficult to tell, but he may have been sobbing.
"Skip, it was the worst thing I've ever experienced. It was just horrible."
"Gardy, come on son, get a hold of yourself. Let's just talk through it. You'll feel better talking about it."
"Man, it seemed so real. I know it was only a dream, but I've never been through anything like that," Gardner said looking up.
"I had been traded to the Red Sox and I was going to have to play in Fenway Park, where they've got that damned Wall and all those crazy angles."
"And they wouldn't even give me a jersey. I just had to wear my sleeves with that God awful red on 'em."
"And I couldn't find my locker. It was like they didn't really want me there and Tito wouldn't let me be in the clubhouse like everybody else. And oh God, you can't imagine how bad that locker room is. I mean after our locker room in Yankee Stadium, that place is unbelievable. Each locker is like a shoe box."
"And I was wandering around and this little creepy guy, who must be the clubhouse boy, came up to me and told me I had to wear these dog tags with my name and position and my career batting average on them."
"Only he said I had to 'weah' them. I didn't know what he was saying at first."
"So here I am wandering around in my T-shirt with the dog tags dangling and flopping around in my shower shoes. They wouldn't let me wear spikes."
"What do you think that was about Gardy?"
"Ah, skip, in my dream, they said something about, if I thought I was so fast, I could run the bases in my shower shoes. They were just laughing at me and tormenting me."
"And they made me run a race in the outfield against Elsbury. But he had on track shoes and I was in my shower shoes and I kept falling down and he was running and laughing at me back over his shoulder."
"And I just missed you so much and wanted to be back here."
"But there was a copy of the Boston Globe there that said Mr. Steinbrenner was tired of having so many outfielders and he traded me for two pitchers in the Boston system that had never been above the A Leagues."
"Come on Gardy. Time to man up. And you know that as long as I'm the manager here they ain't gonna get rid of you. If they trade you, I quit."
"Gee, thanks, Skip that makes me feel a lot better."
"Now, let's get outta here kid and get you down in the cage. You need more work on your power stroke from the right side if you plan on playing like Mantle."
"But we gotta think about that shower shoe thing. You know if you run in your shower shoes in practice and then wear your spikes in the game, it might make you faster."
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