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Merry Christmas! Phillies owner John Middleton recently met with team president Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld to plan the team’s holiday party. Thanks to my top-secret source within the organization, I was able to obtain a transcript of their conversation. And as my New Year’s gift to the readers, I will share it with you.

MiddletonDave, Sam, thanks for helping me out with this. Last year’s party was a huge hit and I want to make sure this year goes even further.

DombrowskiI’m going to make sure that happens. The first thing we need is a new Christmas tree. Sam, what do your people say?

FuldThey say that we should buy a 20-foot tree.

MiddletonWait, we already have a tree.

DombrowskiWe do, but we don’t have a 20 foot tree. The big ones are 18 feet, so this is a chance to surpass them.

Middleton: They do?

Fuld: They do. So do the Dodgers. I heard the Yankees were considering a 20-footer, too.

MiddletonWell then, I guess we need one.

When it comes to trees, the bigger the better
Photo by Tom Briglia/Getty Images

DombrowskiWe’re glad to agree. Now let’s talk about decorative animatronics. We have good choices: Rudolph, lots of Santas, the Grinch…

MiddletonWhere are we going to put these? It seems like they would all fit best in one space, but how many can we really fit?

DombrowskiWe’ll find out at some point. Sam, what do your reports say about the inflatable?

FuldIt looks like the wavy Santa will probably age the best of all our options.

DombrowskiThat’s Santa. Do you think we need another one?

Fuld– It wouldn’t hurt. You can never have enough depth.

MiddletonWhoops, wait a second! I want a well-decorated party as much as the next guy, but there’s a limit to how much we can spend on it. And we haven’t even thought about taxes.

Dombrowski: Tax? Teams like the Pirates and Royals worry about the tax. Do you want to team up with such teams?

Middleton: Of course not, just…

DombrowskiWell, I’m glad we’re in the same place because we haven’t even gotten to the fun. Sam, can you tell John what Mes is doing for their party?

FuldI heard they were going to have Pentatonix perform in a Cirque du Soleil show.

Christmas at Rockefeller Center - Season 24

Pentatonix always puts on a great show
Photo by Ralph Bavaro/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

MiddletonPentatonix? I heard they were in San Francisco.

FuldIt seems that they were going to go there but decided at the last minute that they would rather go to New York. And the Metsers gave them a lot of money.

Dombrowski: See? It’s a commitment to having the best party possible. Now, I’m not saying we should hire Mariah Carey, but if we don’t make some effort to keep up the pace, last year’s efforts will be quickly forgotten.

MiddletonWhat about the Braves? What do they have?

FuldThey signed Kelly Clarkson to a multi-year deal to perform at their party for below market value.

MiddletonKelly Clarkson? How: And didn’t they sign Michael Buble last year for a low price?

FuldYeah, we can’t quite figure out why these stars are getting below-market deals with the Braves.

MiddletonWho can we get?

DombrowskiMy scouts say Gwen Stefani will fit our mood perfectly and be a big hit at our club.

MiddletonI like Gwen Stefani. How much is he worth?

DombrowskiHe’s in talks with the Padres, but we’ve received indications that he’ll actually sing for us for less money.

Middleton: Great!

Dombrowski: It still won’t come cheap, though. Sam, what did his people say about the 12 year deal we proposed?

FuldHe is interested and it will keep the annual costs down.

DombrowskiLook, John, we’d save money.

MiddletonBut 12 years? Won’t he be quite old then? Will anyone still want to hear his song a decade from now?

DombrowskiWith inflation being what it is, the cost won’t seem so bad in a few years. And we think by then he may be transitioning into more of a back-up role as newer, younger stars take the spotlight.

The Voice - Season 22

Will people still enjoy Gwen Stefani in 12 years?
Photo by Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images

MiddletonBut what if newer stars don’t emerge?

DombrowskiThat would be a problem, but hey, we could all be dead by then. I’ll probably be in Nashville and it’ll probably be Sam’s thing.

Fuld: I’m on it.

MiddletonSigh…well, we have to keep up with the Big and Brave. Let’s close the deal with Gwen.

Dombrowski: Great! This will make you very famous, John.

Middleton: I hope.

Dombrowski: I know so. By the way, I mentioned that I signed a $10 million deal with Craig Kimbrel last night.

Middleton: Sure, whatever. Just throw him on the pile.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Good Fight.

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