Archive for March, 2013

The Sex Tape (cont - 6) - end

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Larvell walked to the café with a bounce in his step. He hadn’t felt this good since he took over the Orioles. Minority ownership in the Orioles. The return of Jason Woo. Ruben and his sex tape. Even a rare Oriole victory.

Lucy noticed his upbeat mood. “What are you so happy about? You look like you just won the lottery.”

“Can’t a man be in a good mood every once in awhile. It is a beautiful day today. The Orioles won. What more can you want in life.” He wanted to tell her more. That was the problem with living alone. You couldn’t share your secrets with anyone. Lucy was probably already aware of the sex tape, but did she know about the location of Jason Woo. It was hard not to let it spill from his mouth like a gushing stream. He restrained himself. It wasn’t the time for her to know. Lucy helped by changing the subject.

“What about that sleaze bag owner of the Orioles. No wonder we can never field a competitive team,” she said with disgust. “He is such an a**hole.”

“What an owner does with his private time should not have an impact on the won and loss record of a team.”

“How do you explain our twenty year losing streak since the son took over? At least the father could field a winning team on occasion. I hope major league baseball kicks his butt out into the streets. If he came here begging for a cup of coffee I’d shut the door on his face. They say he’s had to borrow money to meet pay roll and brought in some Chinamen as minority owners. How much lower can this franchise sink?”

Larvell always wondered who “they” were. Was she getting her information from the chat forums? Lucy didn’t look like the type who subscribed to the baseball magazines. She didn’t have the time to read those magazines. Her information had to be fed to her quickly by the forums and the chat blogs on the internet. Just like McDonalds. The accuracy of the information was not as important as the speed with which she could get it. Quick bites no more than three sentences in length. “Why not let the ownership group from China buy the team?”

Lucy let out a groan. “Oh please. Don’t let that happen. I’d have to become a Nationals fan. It’s bad enough that all our clothes and toys are made there. To have them own the Orioles – Yeech. That would be too painful. Stab me with a dagger. You want the usual?”

“How about slapping a little ham on the cheese? I feel a little like celebrating.”

“I’m glad somebody does.” He could hear her mumble as she went back to the kitchen area, clipping his food ticket for the chef on the wall, if anyone making a grilled ham and cheese sandwich can be called a chef, “Oh my God. The Orioles owned by China. Next thing you know they’ll have somebody running for President,” she could be heard whining from the kitchen.

Everything tastes better when you’re in a good mood. He was finishing up the first half of his grilled ham and cheese sandwich when he noticed a homeless man who looked seven months pregnant walk in the door. His shirt only covered half his belly. The other half was lurching out, his naval peeking out just below the shirt to show an outie. The shirt had not been washed since the last rain fall, which was a couple weeks ago. His stench drowned out the smell of the ham and cheese.

He stared at Larvell’s plate as if it had the scenic backdrops of the Grand Canyon on it. “You going to eat that other half?” He pointed to the second half of his sandwich. There was a blank empty look on his face.

“I paid for it. My plan was to eat it.”

“I’m hungry.” Larvell could see the swollen ankles, the chapped lips, the blood shot eyes. This was someone Larvell preferred not to deal with on a day like this. Larvell had nothing to gain from this confrontation with this bedraggled homeless man who had nothing to lose. The charitable decision would be to let him have the other half of the sandwich. He could easily afford another.

Larvell looked around the café. It was empty except for him. Lucy was nowhere to be seen. He didn’t really like the stink of this man or his burgeoning stomach. If he had been a little more polite about his request, perhaps by using the word “Please” Larvell could have relinquished the other half of his sandwich. Now his stubbornness was taking over.

Before he could respond that he was going to eat his other half, Lucy came storming out from the kitchen area like a lightning bolt screaming across the sky, “You get out of here before I call the police.”

The shrill cry of Lucy’s voice alone put a scare into him. He turned quickly for the door once he saw her maniacal stare. He struggled grasping the door knob, banged it against his stomach as he opened it and stumbled out the door and out into the streets, leaving the door to close on its own. If he was a dog his tail would be between his legs.

“Sorry about that. That isn’t the first time he has come in here begging for food.”

“Not a problem. You rescued me from making a decision between my sandwich or my pride.”

“I think I would have given up the sandwich.”

“For Him? Naw. You make the best grilled cheese sandwiches in town. Besides, it had ham in it.”

He finished the second half of his sandwich quicker than the first, took a last swig of the coffee. He picked up the check, looked at the price and gave her a twenty. “You keep the rest for your rescue”.

End of Chapter 20

The Second Half for Cuba Begins

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Cuba begins its eight team round robin to get to the final four teams for a playoff.  The Sancti Spiritus Roosters start the season in the top spot.  They got off to a good start with a 6-0 win over Pinar del Rio, Ismel Jimenez improving his record to 10-0 in Cuban play when he threw seven innings of shutout ball.  Eriel Sanchez stroked a 3-run homer for the Roosters and Yunieski Gourriel drove in three runs with a double.  Sanchez took a loss in one of his two WBC starts.

Wilber Perez continued his domination tossing six innings of shutout ball in the Isla dela Juventud’s 6-0 win over the defending champion Ciego de Avila.  You can follow all the Cuban action here: http://www.baseballdecuba.com/newsite/index.html

The eight teams left to finish out the season are 1) Sancti Spiritus, 2) Cienfuegos, 3) Idustriales, 4) Matanzas, 5) Isla dela Juventud, 6) Villa Clara, 7) Ciego de Avila 8) Pinar del Rio.

Yankees Use the Unwanted to Blast Orioles

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Injuries to the Yankees starting lineup has forced them to pick up a few waiver claims for players released by other teams to complete their roster.  Lyle Overbay, Brennan Bosch and Ben Francisco were recently released by their teams and picked up by the Yankees to fill holes created by injuries.  Bosch slugged a 2-run homer in the seventh and Ben Francisco followed with a homer to make it back to back, both balls travelling in the same left centerfield area to lead the Yankees to an 11-8 win.  Lyle Overbay also had a couple hits in the win.

Alex Casilla did not have a very good day for the Orioles at short, a position he will need to play to fill a utility role.  He made two errors to open the gates for the Yankees first three runs in the second inning.  Jair Jurrjens was also removed from the game in the second after being drilled in the lower back by a Troy Neal line drive comebacker in the second.  Alex still tried to retire Neal at first, wildly throwing the ball into the dugout.  The Yankees scored three runs in the inning, two of them crossing the plate on a Bobby Wilson double to left center.

The Orioles tied the score in the fifth, finally getting to David Phelps.  Through the first four innings Phelps had only given up one hit and struck out six, facing just one batter over the minimum.  A one out walk to J.J. Hardy set up the 2-run homer from Nate McLouth that struck the palm trees far over the right field fence.  A walk and two singles, the last by Nick Markakis tied the game at 3-3.  Phelps still came on to strikeout the leadoff batter in the sixth to give him nine strikeouts for the night and a good memory about the game.

Mark Hendrickson did not help his bullpen chances for the Orioles in the sixth when he walked the first two hitters he faced in his second inning of work.  A double steal by Jason Nix and Thomas Neal put them in scoring position where Nix scored on a Bobby Wilson fly ball.  For Wilson he finished the game with three RBIs.

The Yankees blasted Chris Petrini for six runs on six hits, one walk a wild pitch and an error by Petrini in the top of the seventh.  The Orioles came roaring back off Josh Spence and Brandon Pinder with five runs in the bottom frame to make it 10-8.  Taylor Teagarden had the big hit with a 3-run homer to finish off the scoring.  After the 11 run seventh myworld abandoned ship for the 2 hour ride back to Orlando.

Game Notes: Matt Wieters struck out in all three of his at bats.  Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy had back to back strikeouts, neither one of them taking the bat off their shoulder off David Phelps.  Brian Roberts struck out twice and Adam Jones struck out three times after hitting a single in the first inning.  It is nice the Orioles are showing patience, but there were too many called third strikes…David Phelps was only hitting the high 80s with his fastball on the radar gun.  He appears to have made the Yankees starting rotation with the news Phil Hughes will start the season on the disabled list.  He is just one of many Yankees starting the year on the disabled list, joining Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and possibly Derek Jeter.  These Yankees are not young…It was a double Nix day for myworld.  We saw Laynce play for the Phillies in Lakeland for the day game and Jason play for the Yankees in the night game.  Jason had the better day, scoring three runs with a walk and a hit…A Mason Williams sigting.  He had a soft single to left that was ruled a double after the ball bounced past the charging Nate McLouth…If the Yankees are not out of the pennant race by May it will be a brilliant managing job by Joe Girardi, weaving in a bunch of released players to fill a lineup ravaged by a number of regulars appearing on the disabled list to start the season.  It looks to be a long season for Yankee fans, but at this point in the year they are underdogs, with most experts picking them for fourth place in the division.  The underdog slot is a rare position for them to be in.

Phillies Shut Down Bungling Tigers

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

This was the first game of a doubleheader for myworld.  We were in Lakeland to watch the Phillies down the Tigers 4-1.  The Phillies made two errors in the opening frame after only one pitch was thrown.  Johnny Peralta let a ball slip right between his legs like a wicket, as he failed to bend down far enough to scoop it up, and Justin Verlander threw a wild pickoff throw to advance Ben Revere to second.  Ben eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Young to score the Phillies first run.

The Phillies also took advantage of the wildness of Bruce Rondon, who wasn’t close to the strike zone today in his second straight appearance.  He walked a couple, gave up a couple hits, allowed two runners to steal against him and balked in a run to give the Phillies two runs.

The Phillies played only four starters from yesterday’s 10-1 win over the Rays.  Ben Revere had a couple hits and two stolen bases and appears to have won the leadoff role.  He also scored two runs.  Kevin Fransden also started but probably regrets it.  Justin Verlander nailed him in the wrist in the third inning, painting a Rawlings tatoo there.  Fransden ran the bases but was taken out when the Phillies went out for defense.  Pete Orr and Freddy Galvis were the two other back to back starters, but each played a different position.  Freddy appears to have made the team as a utility player.

The Phillies started Cole Hamels and he silenced the Tiger bats for his three innings of work, facing only one batter over the minimum.  The lefthander did not hit 90 with any of his pitches but still whiffed three Tigers and got Prince Fielder to ground into a double play mixing the velocity of his pitches and the location.

Justin Verlander went five plus innings and only gave up one earned run, giving up two hits and a walk in the fourth.  He can rear back and throw the fastball at 95, but likes to sit at 90-91 and when he really needs to blow the smoke he airs it out.  In the third with runners on second and third with two outs he blew a 96 mile per hour fastball by Laynce Nix for the third out.  He also struck out Freddy Galvis swinging for the third out in the second on a 95 mile per hour fastball.  In the five complete innings he worked he struck out the last hitter in four of those innings.

The Tigers scored their only run in the sixth when Alex Avila led the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and eventually scored on a fly ball from Austin Jackson.  The Tigers were pretty much shutout by Hamels and the Phillies five relief pitchers, mustering only three hits, two of those in the sixth inning.  They were retired in order in seven of the nine innings.

Game Notes: Chris Nichols got a one pitch save.  Brandon Erbe had come in and retired the five hitters he faced, but must have reached his pitch count.  Brandon was hitting 95-97 with his fastball.  Chris came on and retired Corey Jones on his first pitch for the last out of the game…Darin Downs looked good in relief for the Tigers, striking out three of the four hitters he faced.  All the Tiger pitchers were hitting 90 plus with their pitches, but Bruce Rondon appeared to dial it down by only hitting 96-97.  It didn’t help him find the plate…Ender Inciarte is making it hard for the Phillies not to keep him.  He is not intimidated when he comes to the plate, getting two more hits today in four at bats.  Justin tried to get Ender out by throwing three 94 mile per hour fastballs by him, but Ender stroked the third fastball into rightfield for a hit.  Ender is a Rule V pick.

The Sex Tape (cont - 5)

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

When Larvell bid his goodbye to Mr. Hwa he left him still sitting on the bench, staring out at the bay. How easy it must be for a man worth millions to sit on a park bench staring at the sky.

Larvell’s thoughts were clouded as he took the walk back to the warehouse. That was pretty unexpected. It was only his third meeting with Mr. Hwa and already he had earned his trust to put up a substantial portion of money to allow Larvell to be a minority owner. Is this how people get rich? Was this whole sneaky relationship even legal? Nothing in life is free and this seemed like a whole lot of free to Larvell. What if he was being set up like Ruben? If they gave him the money to invest in the team he would be a puppet on a string. Larvell didn’t like being a puppet on a string. What did he even know about this Mr. Hwa to trust him? Having a minority ownership in the team was intriguing. It would be a step up over the general manager position. It certainly would not hurt his financial picture. He could climb the mountains of Kilimanjaro without worrying about where the funds would come from, invest in wine vineyards in France, do more of what he wanted to do outside the world of baseball so that if ever baseball came crashing down on him he would have options.

When he got back to his office he was informed by his secretary a Misty Xeng had called. At first he didn’t connect the name. He kept looking at the note Jackie had given him to remind himself who she might be. It was after he sat down in his chair, grabbed a couple nerf balls to throw at the wall that the familiarity of her name hit him. She was the woman who had orchestrated the protests at the State Department. Larvell didn’t know what kind of impact that had on influencing the government’s decision to allow Jason to keep his visa, but it was kind of moot with Jason still out of the picture.

He dialed her number. Since she worked for a Senator he didn’t really expect her to answer the phone and was prepared to leave a message.

“Senator Helm’s office, this is Misty.”

This caught him off guard. “Hi Misty. This is Larvell Blanks with the Orioles. I’m just returning your call.”

“Mr. Blanks. Thanks for calling me back.” She had a soothing voice, pleasant to listen to. She had no accent, erased by her education in the United States.

“What can I help you with?” Larvell asked.

“It’s not how you can help me Mr. Blanks. It is how I can help you. We have located Jason Woo. He is ready to come back to the United States. He is a little uncertain as to whether you would want him back.”

>>>>

Brown Leads Phillies in Slaughter of Rays

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The Rays did not have much of a team show up at Clearwater today and it showed in their 10-1 loss.  Dominic Brown had two doubles and a single and Kevin Fransden and Freddy Galvis each drove in three runs to lead the offense.  The Phillies started Raul Valdes to start the first three innings and then used six different relievers to tame an anorexic Ray offense.  The only starter who showed up for the game for the Rays was Sean Rodriguez and he was playing out of position in centerfield.

Roberto Hernandez, ex- Fausto Carmona got the start for the Rays.  He looked good for the first four innings facing the minimum 12 hitters.  In the fifth and sixth the Phillies figured him out assaulting him for nine runs on nine hits.  The Rays did a horrible job with the cutoff throw on back to back singles into center with Sean Rodriguez making the throws home from center and Shelly Duncan not cutting the ball off allowing both runners to advance to second.  Dominic Brown got two doubles in the two innings, Ryan Howard got two opposite field singles and Freddy Galvis bashed a 2-run homer and RBI single.

Tampa Bay scored their only run in the second on a Sean Rodriguez double that scored Jason Bourgeois from first.  It did appear the throw beat the runner home and the tag made on top of the head was made before the runner reached home.  The run gave the Rays a brief 1-0 lead, but that didn’t last.

Game Notes: Interesting to see guys with signs proclaiming ”I need tickets” with a bunch of tickets spread out like a 12 card poker hand in their free hand.  These are not the guys I want to sell my extra tickets to.  I’ll eat my tickets before selling to them…A Philly fan was wearing a jersey with the name “Yankees Suck” and a uniform number of “24/7″.  Myworld has to give him points for creativity…Myworld was called a Romeo today.  It was later clarified to mean “Retired old man eating oatmeal.”…The Rays seem to draw well in exhibition games.  The attendance was over 10,000.  Every game myworld has been to in which the Rays was a visiting team was virtually a sellout with lots of Rays fans…Dominic Brown may not drive in a lot of runs with Ryan Howard hitting ahead of him in the lineup.  Howard at this point in his career is a station to station runner.  He was only able to get a single on a ball he bounced along the left field line and couldn’t score on two Brown doubles into the gap.  Most normal players would have scored on those two hits…Shelly Duncan played a poor defense at first base.  He should have attempted to throw Howard out at home on a ground ball.  Instead he went to tag the runner sliding into first and barely tagged him, when stepping on the bag would have been the safer out.  He also messed up a 3-1 play, rushing his throw and tossing it in the dugout.  His cutoff work was a bit shaky, but that could have been the fault of catcher Jose Lobaton for not yelling at him to cut it.

KBO Predictions

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

If you want to read an analysis about the KBO teams you can go here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aylmhlweJ5eFVfvpXcxf70yPheKsbHvz68PdhFshTvE/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

It is a better analysis than myworld could ever do and is brought to you by mykbo.net.

Taiwan CPBL Drawing Record Crowds

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The opening weekend of the CPBL has seen record crowds, with 41,559 showing up for three games.  This surpassed the previous high of 39,044 which was accomplished in 1992.  An average crowd of only 2,433 fans showed up for games last year, compared to an average attendance of 6,878 in 1992 until gambling scandals soured fans on the league.

You can read about it here: http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aSPT&ID=201303240023

Singleton Leads Astros Over Nats

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Jonathan Singleton has been the invisible man this spring.  The Astros are looking for someone to play first base and Singleton is not in the equation.  At least not for the first 50 games.  Singleton was suspended by major league baseball for fifty games for a drug of abuse and will start the season in AAA to get his spring training at bats.

Jonathan came up in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out, entering the game as a late inning substitution for Carlos Pena.  The previous inning the Astros had loaded the bases with one out and a Jason Castro strikeout and Carlos Corporan pop up ended that threat.  The Astros were down 4-1.  Singleton popped a line drive over the head of Denard Span, who appeared to have played the ball poorly in the gusting winds and the ball rolled to the fence for a triple, tying the game.  Trevor Crowe drove in Singleton with a single and Matt Dominguez lined a double past the plodding Micah Owings in left field to put the Astros up for good 6-4.

The Nationals started Chris Young.  It was their last opportunity to see him before making a decision about keeping him or releasing him as a free agent.  He limited the Astros to one run in four innings of work, not impressive enough for the Nationals to put him on their 25-man roster.  The only run he gave up was in the fourth when a fly ball hit off the heel of the glove of a charging Bryce Harper for a two base error, scoring Fernando Martinez from first.  Davey Johnson could be seen talking to Chris after the fourth telling him day was done and so appeared to be his career as a National.

The Astros started Alex White.  He was fine the first time through the order, limiting the Nationals to one hit in seven at bats with one walk.  The second time through the order he gave up seven hits in 13 at bats, not counting the single by Chris Young.  Pitcher Young started a rally off him in the third by bouncing a single past the first base bag.  Many Astro fans thought the ball was foul, but their opinion did not count.  Singles by Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper scored Young for the first run.

The Nationals stroked three hits off White again in the fourth to score a run, Wilson Ramos getting the RBI single.  They scored two more in the fifth, a ground ball double play plating one and an Adam LaRoche solo shot scoring the other to make it 4-1.

Xavier Cedeno came on to get the last three outs for the Astros, giving up one hit to end the game and picking up the save.

Game Notes: Jonathan Singleton showed some speed motoring around the bases for his triple…Brandon Barnes appears to have made the 25-man roster as an extra outfielder, but he didn’t help his cause in the seventh after a strikeout with the go ahead run on third.  The ball scooted past the catcher and there was some confusion as to whether he should run or not.  He broke for first and then stopped, but eventually he was thrown out after Wilson Ramos tried to give the home plate umpire the ball and he wouldn’t accept it…Bryce Harper went 3 for 3, though his first hit should have been ruled an error.  It skipped under the glove of Carlos Pena, a ball he should have had…Danny Espinosa had another two strike single, lining an 0-2 curveball up the middle.  He also had a wasted at bat when he popped up with runners on first and second with no out.  Davey would have been better off bunting him…Jose Veras looked good for the Astros.  He retired the side in order in the seventh, the first time myworld has seen that from him…The onfield microphone was not working so the national anthem had to be sung without it.  They finally brought the microphone out in the seventh, but it was still spotty…Marwin Gonzalez had a bunt single to start the game and had a seeing eye hit between first and second in the seventh inning rally…The Nationals played sloppy tonight.  They had a popup drop between Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond.  Fortunately there was a runner on first and they were able to force him out.  Chad Tracy also misjudged a popup and Desmond was there to bail him out as the ball curved into fair territory.  The winds were blowing.  Bryce Harper also had a ball bounce off the heel of his glove as he was charging in for it from left field, scored as a two base error.  Finally, Wilson Ramos tried to return a ball to the umpire after a swing and a miss on a third strike with a runner on third and no out.  Fundamentals will be important if the Nationals want to appear in the World Series…Micah Owing does not play the outfield well.  He is a slower version of Mike Morse.  If he makes the team it will be strictly to pinch hit.

The Sex Tape (cont -4)

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

“Mr. Blanks. Good to see you,” Mr. Hwa greeted Larvell, getting up from the bench to grasp his right hand. He seemed to have a sincere smile on his face even if he was not glad to see him. “How are you?”

“I’m fine, but I would be doing much better if I heard some good news on Jason.”

“Unfortunately, I have no real news to report on Jason, though there is an occasional report on his whereabouts in Beijing. The press in China have not forgotten about him as your reporters in the United States have.” Mr. Hwa sat back on the bench. Larvell sat next to him. Mr. Hwa lifted his face to the sun. “It is so much warmer here in Baltimore than in Beijing, even if the temperature is the same. Why is that Mr. Blanks?”

Larvell didn’t know where Mr. Hwa was trying to go with that question and chose not to travel that road. “I wouldn’t know since I have never been to Beijing.”

“You should go sometime. It’s a large city. One can get lost easily in Beijing. That is probably one reason it is so difficult to identify the whereabouts of Jason Woo. You’re probably wondering why I asked for this meeting. I’m sure you have seen the sex tape?”

“It has crossed my desk.”

“What do you think?”

“It is certainly brief.”

Mr. Hwa burst out with a quick laugh and in almost the same amount of time grew somber. “Brief and disgusting. To be so careless in the position he is in. He seems to have found himself caught in the web of Ms. Li like so many others before him.”

“How do you know it was Ms. Li?”

“I don’t really. Circumstantial evidence gives me reason to pause. She has created many casualties in Beijing. I am only assuming she has expanded those casualties to the United States. Especially since they seemed so close during the Yankee game. I knew it spelled trouble when I saw her at the game with Ruben. She is a very cunning woman.”

A female jogger passed. Larvell’s eyes followed the female jogger as she traveled her way along the bay. “Not the best news for a franchise that has gotten used to bad news.”

“She probably convinced him to come to her hotel after the game, had the cameras all set up waiting for him and he became a fly stuck in her web.”

“At least he had a smile on his face. I hope it was worth it. That’s all water under the bridge now. One thing I have learned in life is you can’t change the realities of the past. If those realities are not pleasant you find what you have to do to make the future a little more palatable.”

“Wise philosophy, Mr. Blanks. I share those thoughts. I also applaud you for taping her interview. That certainly became an embarrassment to the government of China. It called into question their objective reporting of the facts. I haven’t heard from Kathy since her last newscast. That is very unusual.”

A frisbee skidded along the sidewalk, stopping just in front of Larvell’s feet. Larvell got up from the bench, picked up the frisbee, spotted the owner and rifled a perfect strike to his hands. “She is probably spending all this time putting a new sex tape together. All that editing has to take a lot of work.”

Mr. Hwa admired Larvell’s perfect toss. “Excellent toss Mr. Blanks. You’ve got another calling after you retire from baseball.”

“I lived in San Diego for a couple years. You have to learn to throw a Frisbee growing up in San Diego. Unfortunately, there is no money in it.” Larvell sat back down on the bench.

“I don’t think Ms. Li has the knowledge or capability to film and edit these videos. She has to be getting assistance from someone. She can report the news, but she doesn’t know how to film it. One of these days that person will come forward and talk. Unfortunately, the video of Ruben has created a problem that could have an impact on our minority investment. My sources tell me major league baseball is in the process of forcing the Orioles to sell the team. If it is not a direct sale, then it could be an auction type of sale.”

“Your sources are very perceptive Mr. Hwa. I have heard those rumors as well, but that is all they are at this point, rumors.”

“Rumors have a way of blossoming into facts. I want to hedge my bets. We still have an interest in keeping our minority ownership with the Orioles, even though we would prefer a majority ownership stake. We suspect that in these times the public would not tolerate a group from China being awarded a major league baseball team. For now, I will be satisfied with a minority ownership. My fear is that the sale of the Orioles will jeopardize any minority ownership we have in place with the team now and we will have to sell our piece at the time Ruben and his father have to sell their piece. We don’t want that to happen.”

“Even without Jason Woo you still have an interest in keeping your minority interest in the team?”

“When we first expressed our interest in becoming a minority investor with the Orioles, we didn’t know anything about Jason Woo or the sport of baseball. We just learned through our research that the investment in sports teams in the United States is very profitable over the long term. It is hard to turn a $371 million dollar investment in seven years into a $700 million profit as many in this industry do. When Ruben first approached our financial advisor about the opportunity to purchase a minority share in the Orioles we reached out to Mr. Pendergrass to see what we had to do.” Larvell assumed the reference to Mr. Pendergrass was Ruben Jr. since the older Mr. Pendergrass was buried in dementia. “If the Orioles are put up for sale, or auction we would have an interest in purchasing the team. So we would like to look for an investment group of American buyers to purchase the team as long as we can still maintain our minority ownership. We like the way you run the franchise and we are willing to put up the capital to allow you to become one of the minority investors in the Orioles. We would hope to eventually find a majority investor, but with your reputation as a good baseball man it would resolve any concerns the Commissioner’s office might have with the sale. I suspect you currently don’t have the funds in your financial portfolio to even think about purchasing a minority stake in the team?”

Larvell felt this was all propaganda started by the moral police who wished to mold the behavior of all into a boring religious majority. A colorful world painted only in black and white for the enjoyment of the few. His absence made the discussion of those comments moot. It is not hard to attack someone who has disappeared. They lack the ability to fight back.

“Does my plan for giving you an opportunity to become a minority owner of the Orioles seem like a reasonable proposition to you?”

Larvell was a bit floored by the offer. “Mr. Hwa, the amount of money needed to front me to allow me to be a minority owner would be quite substantial. There is no way in my lifetime I could pay that back.”

“That is not a concern for us. Eventually, you would sell your share in the team. We would be there to buy it. You would get to keep any profit from the sale of the franchise less ten percent. We would only want the cost of our loan plus ten percent back to cover any expenses or lost interest on our loan.”

“And if my sale is less than what I initially purchased it for?”

“We would eat the loss. You would only be responsible for providing a percentage of the amount of profit you got from the sale.”

“When do you need a commitment?”

“There is no major rush at the moment.”

“I’m hesitant to give a commitment until it becomes official the team will be sold. The baseball community is very small. Rumors get passed very quickly in this industry. I’m sure every major league clubhouse has a copy of that sex tape. I don’t want rumors out until I feel comfortable there will be a sale.

“Which is why I did not want to discuss this over the phone through international connections. No telling who is listening. There is no need for you to make a commitment now Mr. Blanks. I’m only bringing up the possibility. When you make your decision, you let us know. Once the team is put up for sale, we would need an immediate answer from you. No phone calls or email transmittals to discuss the issue. You just let me know you want to talk and I will arrange a flight to come to Baltimore where we can meet at a place of your choosing.”

“If major league baseball makes a decision to put the Orioles up for sale I will give you an answer on that day.”

“I appreciate your candidness Mr. Blanks. In a perfect world it would be better if a forced sale does not happen. I fear that will not be the case. We do not live in a perfect world and must always be prepared for all the contingencies of life.”