At 73-46, and riding a seven-game win streak, reporters would expect the talk in the Constitution City to be about the Stits fifth division title in the seven year league history, or perhaps a playoff run that may bring the team in gray back to the World Series.
Instead, talk on the streets and in the locker room is downright ugly.
Constitution star Peter Mitchell has been a quiet ficture in the middle of the Montgomery lineup, but he will be a free agent at the end of this season - and he wants an extension right now. "Peter has paid his dues for Montgomery," the star catcher's agent Tommy Diaz said recently. "He just wants to be treated with the respect his play has earned."
Mitchell is the Constitutions' all time hit leader and runs leader. In his seven years with Montgomery, the slugger has batted .309, .316, .349, .372, .317, .354, and is currently batting .355 this season. The 30-year old star has compiled the top three single season batting average in the franchise's history and has reached 200 hits in three different seasons.
Speaking of the ongoing negotiations, Diaz has concluded that General Manager Beernoser is being unreasonable, and the Stits are therefore likely to lose their star hitter. "I conclude that General Manager Beernoser is being unreasonable, and the Stits are likely to lose their star hitter," Diaz said.
Diaz also pointed out that while Noser has always claimed poverty since Montgomery is a small market town, the team just signed Chip Turner to a $ 30 million contract, and Mitchell deserves at least as much. "But we're not even asking as much," the advocate pressed, adding, "Peter has come to work every day for seven seasons. He's never made trouble, never been injured, and has led the Stits to great success. Now he expects to be paid accordingly."
Batting coach Louis Robinson has worked with Mitchell and his sweet opposite field power stroke for four seasons. He said he doesn't want to take sides, but just wants his star hitter signed.
So where are we going from here?
The slugger met privately with GM Noser yesterday and while he has been characteristically silent during the negotiations, he did note after the meeting that "this was the g*d d***ed biggest pile of squirrel s**t that I've ever had to listen to. That piece of s**t, c**k-su****g, m****r-f*****g, pile of camel dung is going to make me leave this sorry-a***d m****r-f*****g franchise, that f*****g son of a w***e, g*d-d**n it to f*****g h**l. I've given seven f*****g years to this f****d-up team, and now I feel like my insides are being torn out by that monkey-faced, d****less mutant b*****d. It's like he's casting a fishing pole up my a*s and pulling my insides out with one of those m****r-f*****g three hook lure things, that sorry a***d goat faced s**t for brains."
First year bench coach Chili Hayes said he was "hopeful the two sides would come together shortly."