‘And the Truth Shall Set You Free’

By
Updated: January 28, 2014

Hector sits quietly at his desk after watching the clip sent to him by his younger brother William.  The dreamer of the family, William is the first born to the late Bill Shatner, founder of PEBA’s Kentucky Thoroughbreds franchise, and is the younger brother to Hector only by reason of adoption.  Bill found Hector during one of his many trips to Central America.  He was very taken by this child who was assisting tourists for tips at a small restaurant.  When Bill learned that Hector was an orphan, he jumped through the process to help the child by adopting him and to bring him back to the US.  Hector went from rags-to-riches in an instant, and was so thankful that he did everything he could to please Bill, and learn everything Bill was willing to explain.

Thinking to himself about what he just watched, Hector reaches for the Stadium Progress report.  Staring blankly at the first page which consists of a sketch of the new facility, a quick reference progress bar, and the budgeted price tag, Hector begins to weep quietly.  This whole thing is William’s baby.  If only Dad would have given him a role in the charity instead of my Thoroughbreds, this would all be mine without any interference.   Suddenly a chill comes over him; the lights begin flickering in the hallway of the executive offices.  It’s so quiet, he thinks aloud, and cold.  ‘Where is everybody?’, he shouts into the corridor while glancing at the clock on the wall which has now stopped working – the time shown is 5 minutes to 6:00.  A door down the hall can be heard opening and closing, must be the office entrance which is out of site from Hector’s desk.  Hector watches a shadowed figure cross the entrance to the executive corridor.  A few minutes later the wondrous smell of coffee brewing reaches Hector’s office, he glances up enjoying the aroma and notices that the lights are still flickering outside his office.

There is traffic outside Hectors office as the conference room fills for the daily morning meeting.  Hector looks up at the clock which is still showing 5 minutes to 6 and thinks that it must be almost 8 now.  He proceeds to join the others in the conference room just as the rattles and humming of machinery and jackhammers dominate the offices from outside, confirming that it is indeed 8:00AM.  Today’s topic is supposed to be uniforms, but how can we concentrate with all the racket from outside, Hector thinks, this whole thing is a waste of time and money, we need to continue as we have been these past couple of seasons, I need another 8mil to stash before the team moves.  Baton Rouge is a great city, and from there we can take on that buffoon in his own back yard – I want that team … he contemplates his next move.

Even though there are available seats, GM Rudis and William sit away from the table as if they were spectators at a game of 5-card Texas Holdem, Hector does not allow non-voting members at the board’s table.  Sweeney, guardian of memorabilia and treasures, enters the conference room and notices that Hector is not his usual arrogant self.  He has tiny beads of sweat on his brow, and is seemingly annoyed.  Duane mentions Baton Rouge in his conversation with William, loud enough for all to hear, and inquires about Hector’s trip.  Sweeney smiles and nods at the beleaguered GM for the moment of comic relief yet insinuating conversation.  Hector beams at Rudis, and then announces the start of the meeting.  William slides a brown inter-office envelope to Rudis then stands.

William begins the discussion by handing out packets with proofs of what he proposes for the new jerseys.  Hector is uninterested in what is being presented and is not partaking in the discussion, instead his mind is off wandering, pondering, contemplating his next move … must have an alibi for my trips to Baton Rouge, he thinks while taping his fingers on the table next to the unopened packet.  ‘This first proof is my personal favorite.  It uses our traditional colors of Red-Black-White. Notice that the hat is black with a red brim and uses white for our logo and initials.  The jersey is predominantly red utilizing a shadowed logo surrounded by the letters K, y, and T.  Gone are the pin stripes and overpowering white hat.’  Hector interrupts, “ Look everyone.  Uniforms are really low on my priority list.  I trust your judgment in making the right decision here, so I am excusing myself from the remainder of this discussion.”  Hector shoves the packet back towards William as he stands, and proceeds to exit the conference room.

While William continues the discussion of uniforms, Rudis opens the envelope from William and peers inside.  It is not the proofs of jerseys that are being discussed.  Instead, it appears to be a copy of the plans for the new ballpark.  Rudis thinks to himself ‘Why do I need these?  I have a copy – the same copy that everyone has.’ and continues thumbing through the pages. ‘Ahhh I see, William found something.  Rudis stares intently at Sweeney, as if trying to tell Sweeney not to eat the chorizo burrito from San Antone.  Avoiding eye contact with everyone else Sweeney glances at Rudis and then Rudis darts his eyes towards the envelope and grins back towards Sweeney.  In a gesture to acknowledge understanding, Sweeney nods slightly and looks back at the sketches.   Actually there were two things of interest in that envelope as Rudis will soon discover after the meeting adjourns.

William takes this opportunity of Hector stepping out to address an item from his own agenda. “Our next topic of discussion is the Barrow SS-A team.”  William continues, “Most of you were not around for the creation of that team, and I know the name and logo are really a bit out there.  To give a little history, it was supposed to be named for the frozen bull mammoth that was discovered not far from Barrow, and when we submitted the team name and logo the league decided to accept the name but forced us to distinguish it from the Mighty Moose.  There wasn’t time to reapply for a new name so we just went with their decision.  Now I present to you the options for correcting that foul-up.  Barrow Arctic Blast or Arctic Circles or Frozen Tundra or N. Polers.  Which do you prefer?”

With the meeting over, everyone scurries in different directions out of the conference room.  Rudis is hurriedly heading to his field office and calls his friend in San Antone, Isabel, the Assistant to team Manager Sugano. “Isabel, How are you?  How is mom? … guess what … We found something!  Yah, we will be able to bury him after all.  I don’t know exactly yet.  I have to go, call you soon.”  Upon entering his office(the former janitorial supply closet), Rudis closes and locks the door behind him.  Standing over his desk he removes the papers from the envelope and begins thumbing through them.  There at the back of the stack is the signature page for the new stadium plans, and a copy of a fax from the commissioner of PEBA.  Rudis sits and proceeds to read the fax …

*****

… A fax to the commissioner of PEBA, dated sometime in January 2017

(can you hear the twang in his request?)

Mr. Commissioner

I, hereby, officially, request a hearing to decide the fate of my disarrayed franchise.  Kentucky is, by no means, a respectable place for a baseball organization.  Neither the state nor local municipality supports my team in any way shape or form.  And because of this atrocity, there is in no fathomable way that I can realistically continue to operate under these conditions.

The hearing is of utmost priority due to the pending discussions of a new stadium project which my brother by adoption, has pushed forward amongst the executive board of the Thoroughbreds organization.  If we are to have a new stadium, I do declare that it must be constructed in a location that lives and breathes baseball … such as, Baton Rouge.  With Rudis out of the picture, I have recently met with the mayor of Baton Rouge as well as the Louisiana state officials.  They are willing to negotiate for us, a much larger media contract, as well as contribute to the stadium … design along with the amenities are of my choosing.  And I was pondering the idea of being the first to offer you a bronze statue in your likeness, to grace the entry way to our new and fabulous stadium.  What say you to that, Mr. Commissioner?

Hector

====================================================================================================

From the desk of the Commissioner of PEBA, John Rodriguez

Hector,

I regret to inform you that your request for a hearing to move Kentucky to Baton Rouge is declined.

John

*****

‘Wow’ Rudis whispers to himself as he leans back in his chair, ‘This is a golden opportunity presented to us’.  WTF would anyone in their right mind want to move a baseball franchise to Baton Rouge?’ Rudis takes a photo of the fax on his phone and sends it to 3 recipients – Sweeney, Isabel, and to a back-up email address.  There is a quiet gentle knock at his office door.  Rudis covers the papers and rises to open the door.  It’s William, what a relief.  William says while entering, “Hector will be busy for the rest of the day, let’s fix the plans.”  Hector’s design had the stands about 5 feet from the foul lines beginning where the infield dirt meets the outfield grass out to the foul poles.  Of course, maximizing spectator seats and not helping the team on the field.  Rudis and William dive in to correct the blunders of Hector.  Foul ground made wider, fences adjusted, and the new GM office added for Rudis – he won’t have to work from the converted janitorial and supply closet any longer.  Also included is the new petting zoo which is located between the barns of the original farm and where the new stadium is located.  This farm now features a stable of horses, adoption center, full veterinary service, and hundreds of purple martin hotels to keep the stadium grounds free from those blood sucking mosquitos.  The thirty five acres is a perfect setting for a young team on the rise.

William takes the adjusted plans which he and Rudis modified (or rather corrected) and makes the trek to the developer’s office at the site of the new stadium.  The office is located in the main barn alongside the veterinary’s office.  William thinks to himself as he walks over, ‘with the signature page being just a top cover sheet, all adjustments will go un-noticed until the stadium opens for the 2020 season.  And even then Hector may not notice since he will be wallowing in his own arrogance … Stupid brother.’

*****