Master prankster Eddie Guardado knew his time was overdue after the practical jokes he has pulled on his Texas Rangers teammates and the club's front-office personnel so far this season.
Payback came Thursday afternoon as the trade deadline was approaching.
The story -- as told by Guardado, manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels -- is pretty dang good.
Guardado's pregame routine starts with some time in the steam room to help the process of getting his 37-year-old body loose.
"I called down to Wash and said, 'We're going to take this chance to get back at Eddie,' " Daniels said. "Wash kept a straight face."
Guardado's steam is usually time that goes without interruption. That's why he just knew he had been traded when Washington came in and said Daniels needed to see him upstairs.
"As soon as I walked out, I said, 'Where am I going, bro?' " Guardado recalled. "Wash had his head down and goes, 'I think it's the Washington Nationals.' "
As in the last-place, worst-in-baseball Nationals. Washington directed him to go to the Rangers' fourth-floor offices to hear the news from Daniels.
Guardado continued: "I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me.' Are you kidding me?" So, I went and got dressed, and I turned around and said, 'Wash, are you serious? The Nationals?' "
"So, I'm thinking, 'I'm going to kill somebody.' I'm was hot. I was hot. I was hot. I can't lie to you, I was hot.' "
So I get up there, and [front-office members] Jay Robertson, Thad Levine, Scott Servais, John Hart, all of those guys were in there. So, JD comes and gets me, and as soon as I see him, I say, 'The Washington Nationals?'
"I guess he saw it in my eyes. He goes, 'Man, I can't hold it in. You're a Ranger.'
"There was a cake there with a knife in it. I told him, 'You're lucky, bro,' because I was about to stick him.' You thought [former Astros pitcher Shawn] Chacon did something bad to a GM."
After it was over, Guardado admitted it was a good prank.
"It's been awhile since I've been got," he said. "I deserved it."
-- Jeff Wilson