It’s the President’s Office (cont - 3)

“Well, I appreciate you giving me the heads up…” Larvell began but before he could finish Jackie was standing in his front door with a worried look on her face. She knew he would not answer another call if she tried to forward it to him because Larvell preferred to stay focused on the current call. Her brow was furrowed, her mouth gaped open as if she had seen a ghost. She was waving to get his attention, as if standing in the middle of his open door was not enough, jumping up and down as if she had lobsters in her dress pinching at her ass. “…just a second.”

He looked at Jackie, putting the phone on mute. “Someone who claims to be from the Office of the President of the United States would like to talk to you. He is on line two.”

Oh crap, Larvell said silently. “My apologies Misty. I have just been told that someone from the President’s office is on line two. Your prediction has proved painfully accurate.”

“Good luck.”

Larvell pushed the button on his phone to end the call on line one and pressed the button for line two. Jackie looked like she was going to bounce off the walls trying to figure which direction to move next. She finally did a u-turn and went back to her desk.

The person on the other end had that polished tone to his voice reminiscent of a preacher trying to sell God to his congregation. “Hi, my name is Lindsey Graham and I work for President Ryan O’Shea.” His introduction was smooth, making it appear like Larvell spoke with someone from the President’s office almost every day. They created some small talk, nothing either of them really wanted to chat about, mindless conversation about the weather, the Orioles and their struggles before this silver tongued demagogue broke into the same spiel about Premier Li Jiabao visiting in September. Larvell could not even remember the segue that led to this conversation. He was steered so adroitly into the Li Jiabao lane. Before long Lindsey Graham spit out, “What are the chances of you promoting Jason Woo to the major leagues by September to be available to pitch during the Premier’s visit?”

Even though Larvell was expecting the question he was still struck silent by it, shocked by how quickly he was steered in this direction. When the words flew out of Lindsey’s mouth it was like a rear end collision. He thought he had gotten away from promoting Jason Woo early with all the problems Ruben was encountering. Now it was the President, or at least someone claiming to be his assistant asking he be promoted. Larvell took a deep breath before saying, “I hadn’t really thought of that yet. It is still too early in the season. Jason got a late start to the season, so he is a little behind in his development. He also has not pitched a lot in a competitive atmosphere, so rushing him to the major leagues could be a detriment to his overall career development.”

“It would only be for one game. After that game you could send him back to the minors.”

The response showed his ignorance about baseball. “The minor league season is over in September,” Larvell pointed out.

“Well then, you could end his season after that game. I don’t think I have to remind you of the significance of this visit. Our relations with China the last couple months have been very tenuous. We had our first situation where they actually fired missiles at one of our carriers. So the United States is prepared to go to great lengths to accommodate his visit. This is of serious importance to our national security.”

“I understand sir. I just wasn’t prepared to make a decision on this so soon. Could you give me some time to talk to my staff to see what we need to do to make him available for September? We may have to rush his development through the minor leagues a bit and hope he doesn’t have any setbacks along the way such as an arm injury…”

“I understand. I’ll give you a call in a couple weeks to get an update on the status.”

“Could you also contact the Commissioner’s office as well? There is an issue of service time when you promote a player to the major leagues. By forcing us to call Jason up in September for just one game we are forced to put him on the 40 man roster. That starts his service time. If we could get an exemption from that it would make my decision easier.”

“Understood. I’m a baseball fan myself Mr. Blanks and understand the need to protect your players. We will contact the Commissioner’s Office and recommend he seriously consider giving your team an exemption to the service time for the Jason Woo promotion in the interests of national security.”

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