In the aftermath of the Winter Meetings, there seems to be a lot of debate about whether our beloved Diamondbacks got any better through their various trades and signings. However, one thing we can all seemingly agree on is that the bullpen, much maligned last year, should be much better with the additions of Putz, Hernandez and Mickolio. While other writers on this site can provide "insight" and "analysis" with their uppity "numbers," I thought I'd go in a different direction. I thought I'd look at Kevin Towers strengthening of the bullpen the only way I know how: by writing a cheap parody of a summer blockbuster.

So without further ado, I present "'Penception" after the kick jump (Warning: Spoilers).

::The movie opens on the night of June 28, 2010. Scene 1: Diamondbacks 5, Braves 4. Chad Qualls has just loaded the bases. AJ Hinch comes out for a meeting on the mound::


Chad Qualls: "I've got it under control."

::Allows double to right. Diamondbacks lose::

Hinch: "I'd hate to see out of control."

::Scene 2: Three months later. Camera pans, showing Kevin Towers washed up on a beach, he is injured and seems delirious, possibly because he just realized he is applying to work for a team with a bullpen ERA of 5.74. He arrives in a meeting with Ken Kendrick::

Kevin Towers: "I specialize in a very specific type of security. Late-inning lead security."

Ken Kendrick: "You're talking about bullpens?"

Towers: "What is the most resilient parasite? An idea. The idea that a team can play eight innings of sound, fundamental baseball and still lose just because your last idiot GM couldn't be bothered to replace ESMERLING F**KING VASQUEZ!!!

"You see, last year teams playing the Diamondbacks would wait until the starters were out of the game. At this point, the bullpen would have to enter, and the game would be wide open."

Jim Tracy: "And then we break in and steal it."

Towers: "It's a process called 'extraction.' The only way we can stop it, Mr. Kendrick, is to build a strong enough bullpen to counteract it. It's called 'Penception.

Kendrick: "But that's impossible!"

Towers: "It is possible. We just need to build a bullpen with three levels: long-relief, set-up men, and closer.

Jerry DiPoto: "It won't work. No bullpen can go three levels deep. It's too unstable!"

::Scene 3: Paris::

Ken Kendrick: "Mr. Towers has a job offer for you."

J.J. Putz: "You mean like a work placement?"

Kevin Towers: "Not exactly. J.J. I need you to help solidify the back end of our bullpen. The rest of the team gets the lead, and then you hold onto it for us. It's dangerous and not, strictly speaking, legal. Can I count on you?"

Putz: "Whatever. I haven't been relevant since Seattle anyways."

Kendrick: "Now what?"

Towers: "Now we just need some set-up men. And it just so happens that I know some of the best. They're in a tight spot though."

Kendrick: "Africa?"

Towers: "Worse. The AL East."

::Towers trades Mark Reynolds for bullpen help. AZCentral rejoices::

Towers: "Now, we're ready for the season to start." ::To Himself:: "I think I've found a way home. If I can pull off this last job, I can make enough money to retire and move back to Oregon."

(At this point, it is strongly recommended that you click this link for maximum enjoyment.)

::Scene 6: Chase Field. 2011. It is three quarters empty.::

Kevin Towers: "Oh no! Fans aren't coming to the games because Reynolds is gone and they dig the long ball. If this keeps up we could drop into limbo!"

Kirk Gibson: "What's limbo?"

Towers: It's where the team is so bad that fan interest dissipates to the point where Kendrick has to sell the team and we all get moved to Fresno. It's a terrible place to be. The Pirates have been there since '98."


Towers (To Justin Upton): You're waiting for a trade. A trade that will take you far away. You know you hope this trade will take you to New York or Boston. But it doesn't matter, because the fans that comment on the local newspaper there won't call you a lazy bum!"

Gibson: "The team is collapsing! We'll never win the NL West now. We may as well give up!"

Towers: Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?"

Gibson: "Actually, I've got a job lined up in LA after Torre retir-"

Towers: "SHUT UP!"

::Scene 7. The Diamondbacks beat the Giants in a one-game playoff at the end of the season, clinching the 2011 NL West Division Title. Amid the celebration, Towers looks over at his totem: a Felipe Lopez flipped bat from 2009 that MAY OR MAY NOT STOP SPINNING::

The End.