It’s the President’s Office (cont - 5)

Jason Woo pitched his second game. Rain delays and real thunder had given him a couple extra days off between his first start. He went five innings without giving up a run, striking out nine, giving up two hits, but more importantly not walking a batter. His pitch count was increased to 60 and because he didn’t walk a batter it allowed him to get to the fifth inning to pick up the win. It was his first win as a professional and Shu saved the headlines from Beijing reporting the event. Jason did not spend too much time reading the news so he smiled when Shu showed him the headlines touting his victory. She and her mom began putting together a scrap book for him to keep, just as they were doing for Kevin.

The day of the game it was cloudy and there had been some rain with thunder and lightning to accompany the rain. When Jason left the game after the fifth inning and the thunder could be heard from a distance people questioned whether that was the real thunder or the thunder created after Jason finished a game. It was just one soft rumble and it never returned.

The press quickly became aware of where Jason was living just two weeks after his return from China. As Shu learned, the press could be a blessing with their colorful news stories that could be saved in scrap books and they could be a curse with their meddlesome nature. Mysterious cars would drive up and down the cul-de-sac where there house was located, some of them bold enough to park on the street opposite the house, men packed four or five to a car. The car would wait for Jason to step out the front door of the house. When he did the men would jump out of the car, cameras flashing, stomping all over the grass in the front yard, some of them trespassing and stepping on Shu’s flowers in the garden for the opportunity to take pictures of Jason’s departure from the house. A few innocent flowers from her garden died in the process. She declared war on the killers.

Shu went to battle the second week, calling the police to complain about the cars parked in front of the house. The couple in the house across the street also called the police to complain about these mysterious cars parked in front of their house. The police came. They stopped their cruiser behind the parked cars. For the most part it was enough to spook the cars away. Those that were not spooked were asked to get out of the car and interrogated by the police. Identification was requested. Shu won round two, saving some of her flowers with the victory.

The mysterious cars parked in front of the house trickled to a stop. The police established a pattern where they would cruise by the house every couple hours. If a car was parked waiting for Jason to appear it would leave when they saw the police arrive. It was a cat and mouse game but Shu loved playing the cat. After two weeks they learned not to do battle with Shu.

The mail came pouring in again for Jason, most of it delivered to Camden Yards. It was generally people asking for his autograph. There was usually a baseball card inside the envelope for Jason to sign, or a baseball sent in a package. Some of the letters were from kids asking Jason if he could come to their school to speak about being a professional ball player. A lot were from women proposing to him or wanting to meet him. There were lots of phone numbers with the letters. Photos too. Some of those photos would make Playboy blush.

Kevin and Jason debated how many of these pictures were from real women or were they bait from others who just wanted to take advantage of him. Jason had little time to respond or even read most of these letters. Like at the hotel, they piled up on the floor of his room drowning the carpet. When the carpet was covered he stuffed them in the dresser that was empty of clothes. Eventually Shu and her mom volunteered to help Jason sort through the letters and separate the sincere ones from the chaff. All the letters with photos of naked women were chaff and deposited in the waste basket.

Many of the letters were from charitable organizations asking Jason to be a spokesman for their cause, many of their names a mystery to Kevin or Jason. Everyone wanted Jason to help feed starving kids in Africa or provide assistance to stamp out cancer. Kevin was amazed with the number of charities dealing with some form of cancer. Shu made the decision to trash those letters as well.

Unknown political candidates requested his appearance at rallies to help them in their upcoming election, even though Jason was not yet a citizen. He also never voted while he lived in China. Most of the politicians requesting his assistance were Asian trying to take advantage of the Jason Woo brand.

There were even some people in China who wanted Jason to support them in their quest to join the Communist party or get selected for an important government position. Shu put those in the waste basket as well. Jason would have no idea how to help these people and had very little information to determine if they were even qualified for the position they were requesting.

There were requests from player agents who wanted to represent Jason in contract negotiations. They all offered him help in making a lot of money while handling his financial investments. Neither Kevin or Jason was clear who the legitimate agents were. Shu would give Kevin those letters to decide what to do with them. They eventually went in the trash as well.

The Beast was offering Gus Corona as an agent. Troy had referred him to Gus. Now that he was hitting homeruns he was attractive to an agent. The Beast was referring Gus to most of the Delmarva team. Kevin still did not trust Gus. Perhaps he was showing his prejudice with his slicked back dyed black hair, his jewelry hanging from his neck and the ostentatious rings he had adorn his fingers. He also did not like his Chelsire cat smile. Gus oozed a plastic tupperware type of sincerity.

Lots and lots of people wanted to help Jason with his financial investments, especially those who needed help with their $25 million dollars stuck in Nigeria or some other obscure African country with all the starving children living there. He could shave his salary in half and donate the remaining to all the needy charities, but still it would not be enough. Jason thought he had struck it rich when he saw the first of these Nigerian letters. Kevin had to explain to Jason there was no such thing as money lying unclaimed. It was all a ripoff to get him to send them money as an advance deposit to get the unclaimed money out or give them his bank account number so they can drip him dry. He would never see a dime of those promised unclaimed riches that were as real as a mirage in a desert.

Businesses wanted Jason to appear in commercials endorsing their product. Cars needed to be sold, even though Jason had yet to learn how to drive, and soup needed to be consumed. Lots of opportunities for money awaited Jason, but Jason had little interest in pursuing them. The $25 million stashed away in Nigeria got his interest the most because that seemed to take the least amount of effort to pursue, but none got his endorsement. At lunch Shu would brief Jason on any of the more interesting requests, but Jason had no interest so they all went into the trash as well. He focused on the autographs, getting his auto pen back and stamping and writing away. He could care less about the organizations and businesses. None of them really had a face.

Kevin’s mailbox was also getting filled with letters from curious Chinese citizens asking him how it felt to catch Jason Woo. They asked for his autograph on calendars, paintings or just plain notebook paper. They didn’t have baseballs or baseball cards to send him to sign from China. Those were the Chinese Americans who had more interest in Jason. Kevin did encounter his second poster with him in his catching gear and eye black painted underneath his eyes, barking out orders to one of his teammates. Kevin guessed it was probably Alexis he was yelling at because he was always doing something stupid and Kevin looked a little pissed looking in the area that would be right field. This poster was identical to the one he received in spring training titled “The American Warrior”. Shu thought he looked handsome and wanted to keep the poster to hang it up in their bedroom. Kevin didn’t think this was right, signed the poster and with all of Jason’s mail gave it to the Orioles to mail back to China.

Life was getting a little more exciting at the Beamer household now that Jason Woo was living in the house. It gave them all something to talk about, except Jasmine, who still could not talk.

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