The Lair opens a pair of packages

The Mets have been rebuilding for a while. After the high tide of 2006, it’s been a dreadful seven years for a Mets fan I imagine. But we’ve been getting glimpses of the future, and it’s definitely looking bright.

 

Craig checked that his Braves bathrobe was tied into a snug fit. He crossed the threshold into his Lair. He settled on the high chair, refilled his bubble pipe while pressing the controls on his armrest that activated his 71″ LED display. The Braves 1995 Championship portrait recessed into the well to give way to advanced video screen technology.

Then Craig noticed on his side table a pair of packages. He excitedly started to unwrap them. These must be the new bobble-heads he ordered of the Upton brothers. His smile turned to a frown as he finished opening the new acquisitions. Instead of Justin and BJ he had a pair of Mets pitchers: Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Both had tags: I’M AN ACE! and the other: AND SO AM I!

Out of curiosity he checked his twitter feed and sure enough he found a tweet from D.J. mocking him. He quickly used the integrated keyboard on his chair to type an answer: “Savor the flavor mister, cause it won’t happen often!”

He then proceeded to spend the rest of the morning plotting his revenge…

The Lair asks a relevant Question

So how long has it been already since the Athletics petitioned to relocate? four years?

 

Craig sat, laid back on his high chair in the Lair. Braves bathrobe wound tightly, bubble pipe in hand as he puffed absentmindely. He rubbed his feet impatiently on his Phanatic rug. His large 71″ LED screen was divided into 16 slices shwoing feeds from different kinds of news outlets with all sorts of baseball tidbits. That was all interrumpted as the screen went dark and reset with just one image. Kay Adams looked a little harried doing the latest bidding for Craig.

“Finally!”, he exclaimed.

“Craig, I finally got Selig on the secure channel, was this really necessary?”.

Craig missed Tiffany sometimes, she just did everything he asked with little comment or complain. Kay seemed to question every other thing he requested. He really needed to break in his henchwoman.

“I have to get the news from the horse’s mouth so to speak. Want it to be ready for HBT Daily. Now patch me through!”

The screen switched to a visual of Bud Selig in his office. It was close up so he didn’t see much.

“Craig,” he said with an insincere smile. “I take it you’ve been asking about MLB’s official position on the Oakland Colisseum situation? It’s regrettable but we can’t do much about it. I’m a busy man so I can’t spare you much time”.

“Hold on Comissioner! MLB could do something and that’s resolved the pettition by the Athletics to move to San Jose. It’s been a while now and your committee hasn’t given any recomendations! In fact word is different people are looking at it now and I can’t even find out their names.”

“It’s a complicated situation Craig. Such moves must be handled delicately. But rest assured, it’s being handled by top men.”

“Who?”, Craig asked pointedly as he leaned forward toward his display.

Selig’s expression became stern as he repeated: “Top. Men”. Then he cut off the transmission.

Meanwhile in a non-descript storage facility elsewhere: Hands worked quickly as a wood storage box was filled with bubble-wrap and packing peanuts. A gloved hand dropped a stack of papers inside. The cover page read: “Atheletics Pettition for San Jose Relocation”. The lid was closed and nailed shut. A tarp was laid on the box as a man pushed a cart through the facility. He passed by another box labeled: “Roberto Clemente’s 3000 hit baseball bat”. But it was one of the few labeled boxes. The man kept pushing the cart to the box’s final resting place somewhere deep in the storage facility as he passed by hundreds of other boxes with equally mysterious contents…

Tales from the Lair: Greg Holland goes to Confession

Greg Holland was preparing to leave the KC clubhouse but had one more stop to make. He walked past the manager’s office to the end of the hall. He stopped in front of a wooden door with the word “CLOSERS” etched into it. He turned the worn out knob to open the door and walked through. He was in a small chapel. Almost immediately the air in the room changed and he could barely hear a faint men’s choir in the background. Unable to locate the sound (it just seemed to come from everywhere!) he stepped inside a tiny confessional and sat down.

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been a week since my last confession. I completely blew a save and ruined Shield’s masterpiece. I couldn’t locate my fastball and my slider wasn’t fooling anyone.”

A little wooden panel opened at eye level and through it Holland could see Mariano Rivera.

“The Savior!” he blurted out.

Mo (as he was affectionately known) had a facial expression that radiated kindness and sincerity. “You’re right, fastball location was a big issue. Without, your slider lost its usual bite”.

Mariano paused briefly to consider his next words. “You must understand, as Closers it is our duty to shut the door on the other team. If we work hard and perform we will succeed – most of the time. This does not mean we won’t fail. However, if we fail, let’s make sure it’s because the other team bested us rather than because we failed ourselves.”

“Of course.”

“For penance, throw ten fastballs and eight sliders – INSIDE the strike zone. Now go, and sin no more!”

“Thank you Savior!”

Greg Holland stood up and left the Chapel, vowing to do better!

 

The Lair creatively makes the trip to String Training

Hey Craig is off to ST! While I’m stuck in the middle of a snow storm in an office. Life is cruel.

Kay Adams reached the rooftop of the GE building and paused a moment before locating Craig off to one side. For once he wasn’t wearing his usual bathrobe garb and was instead wearing some kind of suit and harness. He looked like paratrooper.

“Craig this is ridiculous, I’m not even sure we’re allowed up here.”

“Don’t fret my dear. Did you get my gear?”

Kay handed off a gym bag with all the items Craig requested, including some very nice high zoom optics for observing Spring Training action. Craig made a cursory examination of the contents before nodding in satsifaction and pressing a button on a device on his harness. Kay stepped back and uttered a surprised cry as Criag’s suit popped a helium balloon with a line attached rising rapidly.

“Thanks for the help Kay, my ride is here and I must be off to Arizona and Spring Training.”

“Your ride? what ri-“, Kay asked before she was cut off by a the drone of the engines of a massive MC-130 that passed overhead, caught Craig’s balloon and snatched him from the roof before heading west.

Kay looked baffled as Craig’s figure disappeared into the aircraft. She thought flights were not allowed this close over New York buildings?

Baseball Had Arrived.

The Lair goes on a Crusade!

Is it just me or is Craig clocking in some overtime with all the A-Rod nastyness?

The lair was a hive of activity! Craig was sitting in his usual high chair while typing copiously using his laptop computer. His 71″ LED smart TV was turned on, the display divided into sections with all sorts of news outlets pumping information out. At his side table lay the bubble pipe, temporairly forgotten in the current frenzy. The Braves bathrobe though was immaculate and properly tied. He may be busy but it was important not be a slob.

The door to his lair opened and Kay Adams walked in carrying a set of newspapers caredled in her arms.

“Craig, I got a copy of all the print news outlets you requested.”

Craig waved at her with a hand making a gesture to add them to an already considerable stack of publications. What they all had in common were the headlines, which in one or another were announcing the end of Alex Rodriguez. Beside the stack sat a white cat, which looked at Kay rather menacingly as she approached the stack.

“Don’t mind him, he’s just huffy cause I put him on a diet.”

Kay quickly set her items on the top of the stack and backed away from the moody cat.

“Craig, are you sure it’s a good idea to spend so much time on these A-Rod articles? This morning I got my schedule from NBC and they want us to a segment on the upcomming WBC, spring training and speculate about where Michael Bourne will end up.”

Craig, paused briefly from his typing to look at her. “My dear, the baseball world has gone nuts with this A-Rod news cycle. They are going bananas. Someone has to step in and put some order. Really, this entire thing has been blown so completely out of proportion, I’ve put all my resources to ensure a proper perspective is gained. Way too much attention has been devoted to this by my so-called pairs. Someone has to set them straight!”

“So… in order to get these people to stop paying so much attention to the A-Rod story, we have to focus everything on the A-Rod story ourselves?”

Craig positively smiled at her and gestured with his palm face up. “Now you get it! I’m glad we’re on the same page Kay. Now go along and tackle the next set of items…”

Kay sighed and went through the door.

Kidding aside, I do kind of wonder at what point this all just becomes beating a dead horse.

The Lair at the Winter Meetings

So Craig has spotted some awesome stuff at the trade shows. But more intriguing are the people he commiserates with at those places:

Craig was back in his suite after another day at the Winter Meetings. The Trade Shows were nice, he was thinking of spluring for one of the many fascinating items he saw. It was really slow news day when he thought more about trades shows and merchandise than baseball trades and deals. It’s just that there was nothing really big or juicy to report. Yet. Oh there have been signings, but after B.J. Upton’s five year deal was finalized ( Glad Craig took the time to find a personal guide and recruiter to coax B.J to Atlana – Take that Phanssss! Rassspberrrrrryyy! ), people are still waiting for the Next Big Deal or the Next Big Trade. Back in his bathrobe and filling out his bubble pipe, he paused as he saw a shadowy figure standing in the corner of the room. He frowned and then let out an exasperated sigh as the figure turned on the lamp and stepped forward.

“What are you doing here? Don’t you have another gun speech to pontificate about?”, asked Craig.

“I was bored, I just pick something and rant,” said the man. He was also wearing a bathrobe, much more elegant and shiny with all sorts of decorations. “I’m here because the League of Extraordinarily Bathrobed Gentlemen is concerned that you may be pushing too hard on the Hall of Fame PED issues.”

Craig shrugged. “Too hard? What makes the league think that?”

“Oh, just the 30 to 40 posts a day you seem to blog on the subject. We don’t want rock the boat too hard.”

Craig gave him a dismissive wave. “That’s exageration. In any case the topic deserves a spotlight. This is Clemens and Bonds we’re talking about. Arguably the most controversial cases the Hall of Fame has yet to consider.”

The man gave a light chuckle. “You see? You’re the adventurer, that’s why they call you Craig the Gray and they call me Costas the White.”

“I think they call you that because you’re older.” said Craig as Bob walked back to his corner.

Bob waved a nagging finger back. “Be careful, Craig. We gave you the Bathrobe, we can take it back. Tread lightly.” With that the lamp turned out and Costas disappeared. Craig wondered how he did that…

The Lair has new Hand!

And we have a NEW Host! Craig’s new right hand man, er, woman. The new Robin to his Batman. Tiffany, like Dick Grayson, decided it was time to find her own way and out of the shadows

Somewhere in the Caribbean:

The Beach was nice, the Sun was glorious and Tiffany was enjoying a nice tan and a drink. It was time to take a break and move on, even if she wasn’t quite where she wanted to move on next. But this environment certainly helped. Working with Craig was… interesting, but as the saying goes: All good things must come to an end.

A man with a tray walked along the beach and stood next to her. She thought it was a refill. Turns out it was a phone.

“A Call for you Ms. Simons,” said the man. “From a Ms. Adams.”

She rolled her eyes, not one day on the job and her successor was calling already.

“What’s up Kay?”

“Tiff? Is Craig for real? He has the oddest requests. I had to fill in an order for an oak chair with sculpted baseballs. Never mind the fact that I had to hunt down Mike Schmidt and Andre Dawson to sign those baseballs. Or rather sculpt their signatures into them. After that I had to inventory his collection of bobbleheads, which amounted to 273 of them with 19 different versions of Chipper Jones. He owns this huge Blimp and I needed to get air traffic clearance for it so he could get his own personal feed for the Yankees-Orioles game last night. Also, what’s up with the Bathrobe and the Bubble Pipe?”

“Kay, is the pay fantastic?”

Hesitation on the line. “The pay is awesome actually,” she said.

“Then just deal with it, don’t worry a lot of this stuff is basically harmless. Bye, bye.”

Tiffany chucked the phone into the sea. It was her time to go off into the sunset. Craig was Kay’s problem now.

Let’s just hope Kay doesn’t end up like Jason Todd. As for the reason I keep writing this stuff? Charlie Harper said it best: It amuses me.