Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Season Part 10

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

This Season update is a little different than the others, in that the "newspaper articles" aare a differet format from the rest of the novel. Hopefully, you'll still enjoy.

The month of May will start next Sunday.

As always, (c) Rebecca Glass, all international copyright laws apply.

Newspaper Articles by beat writer Dick Holt of Note:

All About Eve (April 1st)

As Eliot Zephyr and his best friend and lookalike separated-at-birth twin Kent Andrews flew to Hope City at the end of Spring Training, to spend a week at the Stadium before opening their season at Washington, Zephyr had a secret: he had secretly arranged for Andrews’ fiancé, the actress Eve Lockwood to meet him at the airport.

This wouldn’t have normally been of note, except that Lockwood had been in England filming her new movie, the costume-drama Tudor Rose, and wasn’t expected to be Stateside again until Easter.

So what was Andrews’ reaction when he saw the love of his life standing just past the airport security gate at one in the morning?

“Holy Sh--!” he is rumored to have said, jumping into Lockwood’s arms, even as she is about half of his size and certainly not as strong.

“Best laugh of my life,” Zephyr told reporters after the deed was done.
“Kent had no idea…it was a great way to end Spring Training.”

Through some careful plotting with Pete Towers, Charlie Haus and Lockwood herself, Zephyr was able to secure Lockwood for four days in the States—not a whole lot, but enough for Andrews and Lockwood to be able to sneak down to New York City for a few days. Though both have been to New York before, this time they were able to go for fun, and not work. They took in Central Park, the Empire State building, saw a show on Broadway, and also visited the Met—as Andrews says, Lockwood is something of a connoisseur.

Lockwood went back to England at the week’s end, to finish filming her role as the conspirator Margaret of Burgundy, but as she and Andrews say, the memories of this week will last a lifetime.

Adrian earns an A+ in First Aid (April 11th)

He’s performed heroics with his glove, and even more with his bat, but yesterday morning, Spartans’ third baseman Adrian Martinez performed heroics of another sort as he provided assistance for a woman going into labor in the buffet room of the Spartans’ hotel in Washington, DC.

Martinez was eating a breakfast of waffles when he heard a cry from across the room.

“I jumped, saw a woman had fainted and ran. It was all instinct,” Martinez said.

Some instinct. The woman, who has requested to remain anonymous, was carrying her first child when her water broke, the stress of which, apparently, caused her to lose consciousness. Paramedics were quick to arrive on scene—thanks due to Martinez, who had the quick foresight to dial 911 from his own cell phone.

The woman made it to the hospital where she was safely delivered of a boy, whom she says she is naming Tyler Adrian, after the boy’s paternal grandfather, and Martinez. When asked, she responded that while she and her husband had decided on the first name a while ago (a girl would have been named Susan, after the maternal grandmother), they had been stuck on a middle name.

“It’s an honor,” Martinez said, regarding the name. “I just found out from the press just now, it really does make me smile.”

Something else that should make Martinez smile: in yesterday’s game, he went 4-5, with a monster home run and two doubles. Martinez also made two spectacular plays at third base. In the fourth inning, he robbed Washington’s second baseman of an extra base hit, and in the ninth, he turned a spectacular double play to end the game.

There is considerable pressure for Martinez to repeat his all-star performance from last year, but it is, so far, Martinez’s off-field doings that have been most worthy of note.

State Drops Martin Abuse Case (April 20th)

State prosecutors have dropped their pursuit of a case against Spartans’ relief pitcher Jeff Martin, it was reported late yesterday night. Martin had been implicated in a domestic abuse case back in October of last year; he was never formally indicted, though he had been questioned by state officials on three different occasions.

The Hope City district attorney Charlotte Walters cited a lack of sufficient evidence as the reason for dropping the case, but was adamant that should new evidence come to light, the DA’s office would not hesitate to prosecute.

The case against Martin was based on the accusation by his wife, Marie’s, brother Jean, who maintained that Marie had called him in hysterics on a night shortly after the Spartans had been eliminated from the playoffs, saying that Martin had pushed her down the stairs of their Hope City apartment. However, upon visiting the apartment, the police found that the stairs in question were two steps separating the living area from the kitchen. Martin had alleged that though the two had argued, he merely was trying to walk past her—from the kitchen to the carpeted living area—when she lost her balance and fell, twisting her ankle.

Martin had no prior history of abuse, and no police record in either the US or in his native New Brunswick, Canada, or in his wife’s native Quebec. Though Martin and his wife live in Hope City during the baseball season, they spend the off season alternating between Quebec City and Martin’s parents’ farm in New Brunswick.

The two have no children.

Chinese New Year (April 28th)

Though the Chinese New Year is celebrated in late January or February, the Hope City Spartans might want to consider making an exception for this year and celebrate it now, in late April. Late last night, word came through that Spartans’ general manager Brendan Haus had convinced Chinese pitching phenom Li Ming to sign with the Spartans for a three year, $3 million contract.

The move is considered a major coup; though there are no Chinese-born baseball players currently in the starting line-up for any team in the league, it had been rumored that New York, New England, Seattle and California had all been interested in signing the pitcher. In fact, it had been rumored that New York was prepared to offer an $11 million deal over five years and California a $10 million deal over four, but Brendan Haus was the only GM to board a plane to Shanghai, and meet with Li in person.

It is, no doubt, a risky move; though Japanese players are commonplace, the Japanese baseball leagues are far more developed than their Chinese counter-parts. In fact, the only other team that has a Chinese-born player on its roster is Seattle; Xiang Zhou is a utility infielder, who also plays a decent shortstop and second base.

However, the Spartans have long been in need of a fifth starter; while Graeme Johnson is a proven veteran and William Tully is considered too good to give up in any trade, Micah Garcia has not come out of Spring Training looking well and Paul Green is a rookie with three career starts.

It is now well known that Monty Allison wants to return to the starting rotation; there will no doubt be speculation that this signing is a move to keep Monty in the bullpen, but such speculation should be taken with a grain of salt. The Spartans have long needed the pitching depth to compete with bitter rivals New York and New England (especially New York), but they have long lacked the money to sign the big names or had the players to make the big trade. By going to China before any of the other GMs (or even the commissioner) got wind of the plan, Haus was able to sign Li before the offered contracts spiraled out of the Spartans’ price range.

Last season, with his local team, Li was 14-2 over nineteen games, with an ERA of 3.04, and a 7-2 K/BB ratio. Assuming his arrival in the US goes on schedule, he is slated to make his first start against Denver or at Kansas City.


  1. More great stuff. The newspaper articles were very well written and came off believably. You have a real journalistic talent.

    And with Kent and Eve, you achieved your lifelong goal of connecting European history to baseball. Not easy and most impressive.

    Keep up the great work and I can't wait until next Sunday for more.

  2. I like this as a good change of pace in the story. It's like a bridge in a song.

    Also it's handy because it fills in some details from a third-person point of view of the events we read from the first person (or sometimes second person depending.)

  3. I agree with the commenters above. The newspaper story format makes a nice change of pace, and it was well done. Keep the installments coming!

  4. Old-school newspaper style. Kinda envisioning newsreels ;-)