A player who witnessed the ambush said to them, ‘So you are the guys they were waiting for. You normally don’t see all these cameras at the minor league camp.”
“Actually it’s him and not me they were waiting for.”
The player smiled. “I figured that. The Asian face gave it away.”
Jason was still in a bit of a shock as he looked at the horde of people standing outside the door all excited, jabbering to one another in Mandarin, comparing the pictures they each took of Jason. “You would think they thought I was a movie star,” he said in Mandarin.
The second person to greet them in the building was Troy Harper. He had been waiting for them by the bulletin board area with his surfer grin extending high along his cheekbones and his blonde locks growing by one week. At some point he was going to have to get a haircut or his golden tresses would be flowing down to his shoulders like Alexis. That was a violation of team policy.
“What are you doing here?” Kevin was surprised to see him at the minor league facility. “I thought you were invited to the major league camp?”
“I am.” Troy gave both Kevin and Jason a bear hug. “I couldn’t get here though without stopping by and saying hi. Besides, I bought Thor something.” He reached down to bring up a blue box that was leaning against the wall and handed it to Jason. “Sorry I didn’t get you anything, but I didn’t know what to get you.”
“Just your pearly white smile is good enough for me.”
Jason looked at Troy with some uncertainty. “Go ahead. Open it.”
Jason flipped open the top portion of the box and pulled out a brand new, shiny blue UCLA Bruin sweatshirt. A huge smile spread across his face as he held it up to his chest.
“Now you can throw away the other one. It was getting a bit ratty.” Troy was looking at the crowd of Asian press waiting outside the door. Some had put their faces near the glass to peer inside. “I don’t suppose they would have a lot of interest in me?” He flashed his surfer grin. “It was good seeing you guys, but I’m already a bit late. Take care and give me a call if you want to go out for dinner. And Thor, Gus is still waiting for that phone call.”
Kevin wondered if that was the reason Troy waited for them, to remind Jason about Gus. He didn’t give Jason too much attention when they practiced in instructional camp. It seemed odd and surprising he would be waiting for them here with a gift. At least he was right about one thing. As he darted out the front door the Asian press and all the photographers ignored him. The fact he had gotten paid a huge bonus as the number one draft pick last year was of no interest to them.