“I’m working on something interesting.” –Freddie Wilpon
NEW YORK, NY – Those were the Mets’ owner’s words as he plopped ice in his white wine and offered some to the guest in his office. The Mets were on the field down below, and Noah Syndergaard finished his warm-ups. Bud Selig eyed the cube and gave a sour look, which gave Wilpon pause… his old friend always had a sour look. He plunked the ice in the white wine and relaxed as Selig eagerly accepted and clinked glasses before draining it in one long swallow and waved it in the air for more. “I know you are,” Selig burped, “Manfredi says you’ve been expensing flights to the Cayman Islands more often than Uptown Funk is getting played at Proms this time of year. He’s getting a little nervous that it might not all be Official Finance Committee business.”
Wilpon anticipated this, and knew the best way to Selig’s favor is by kissing his ass and appealing to his legacy. “Bud, thank you again for getting me this job… I know there’s been some blowback but I’m gonna prove that I’m not just some Madoff dupe, I’m gonna save us a lot of money. The loopholes in this country are getting smaller than the basket looked to the Clippers over their last five quarters, but I’ve got a number of banks down there working on offers. It may protect our beloved game’s financial strength for generations into the future, no matter how many kids are turning to skateboarding.”
Selig looked pleased. Or sour. They were basically the same face. “Just be careful. Christ, look what’s happening to Goodell right now. Let’s not give the press a reason to turn their sites off of him and onto us. It’s bad enough with what Alex Rodriguez is doing, that dirty, lying, cheater…he’s making us all look like chumps. Oh, here’s Ryan! Go Ryan!” Down below, Ryan Braun stepped to the plate, dug in, and laced the rookie pitcher’s first offering into the gap for a clear double…but chasing it down from his shortstop position was Korak, fresh off the DL. Pounding his hands and feet in an impossibly fast lope, the big gorilla smothered the ball short of the track and whipped it between his legs…a BB that smacked in second baseman Dan Murphy’s glove well before the jogging Braun was even ten feet from the bag. Unexpectedly caught in a rundown, he hit the breaks and spun his wheels back to first, but Lucas Duda received the throw and gave a couple of fakes to try and freeze the runner. The still-2011 MVP didn’t hesitate but reversed field again and charged towards second, hoping to force a mistake. What he saw in front of him turned his blood cold.
Korak had somehow made it back in and was now next in line, taking the throw as he stomped and leaped in the air, rising up so that his shadow enveloped Braun. The Brewer froze as the ape landed right in front of him and roared, blasting his helmet from his head and creating little waves of loose skin around his face so he looked even more bug-eyed than usual. As Bruan stood there shivering, Korak simply reached out and gently touched his chest with the ball. The ump raised his fist for the out, and new manager Craig Counsell had to come and walk the shaken slugger back to the dugout. Korak tossed the ball around the horn.
“Criminy,” Selig said. “I hope you know what you’re doing with that monster.” Seeing how the rest of the game would play out for his beloved Brew Crew, Selig left. As soon as he was gone, Wilpon picked up the phone. “Jeff. Yeah. I think he bought it, but we may have to stop writing off our flights. Yes, that may mean you have to fly coach next time. Oh stop crying…just a few more details and we can put our plan in action. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha.” Through the receiver, if one happened to be listening, say from his perch up on the cabinets where a certain cat enjoyed afternoon naps, one may have heard the younger Wilpon laughing in the exact same way.