The Agent (cont - 7)

After he got off the phone with Jeremy he got his call from Lindsey Graham. Lindsey was just the opposite of Jeremy. He spoke with the smoothness of melted butter, his words rattling off like a Gatling gun. He could probably charm the clothes off a nun. He tried to start the conversation off with small chitchat, giving his condolences for the poor season the Orioles were having. “I’m sure you will have them heading in the right direction soon,” he said with his mouth rolling out marbles of false enthusiasm.

“I’m assuming you are calling about the status of Jason Woo and his ability to pitch in September?” Larvell was in no mood to wax sorrowful tales about the Orioles with Lindsey. They were losing, end of discussion. Everyone had an opinion about whether they were improving.

“That would be an affirmative.”

The more he listened to Lindsey the less he liked talking to him. “Everything is going well so far with his progress. I don’t see a stumbling block yet. His arm is still healthy. He looks good to go for September.”

“You still have him in Frederick. Shouldn’t he be at a higher level if he is going to be pitching in the major leagues in a couple months?”

“He will be promoted to Bowie soon. Once a player is in AA and does well it is an easy jump to the major leagues. Challenging, but a lot of players from AA get promoted to the major leagues after they have shown some success there. A kid does not have to be in AAA before he gets to the majors.” While Larvell told him this he knew he would like to see Jason pitch at least a month in AAA. It would expose him to more experienced hitters. “We still have plenty of time left for him to accomplish his goals.”

“Sounds like all systems are go?”

“All systems are go. Have you talked to the Commissioner’s office about the waiver of the service time?”

“That has been done and they are okay with waiving the service time.”

The way he said it was hesitant. Not as smooth as his other sentences. A little speed bump in the flow of the words. “Am I going to get something in writing telling me that? Something I can hang my hat on? I’d even take a verbal promise if it came directly from the Commissioner.” Now Larvell sounded more like Jeremy talking about the bobbleheads. Jeremy sounded so untrusting toward Larvell when he asked him to order more bobbleheads. Larvell wondered if he gave that same impression to Lindsey.

“I’ll follow up on that.”

“Appreciate it. That will certainly make things easier on us. Have you established a firm date when you want us to have Jason pitch?” He needed to get that on the calendar so they could prepare for the distribution of his bobbleheads.

“We’re still working on that. I may not know the exact date until late July or early August. By then the Secret Service will need to know so they can make a security sweep of the area and plan for the amount of resources they need available at the stadium for that day. So you should get plenty of notice. If you have not heard from me by August then follow up with a phone call. Sometimes it gets hectic here and I may forget.”

Larvell felt insulted. As if it never got hectic as a general manager of a ball club. If Lindsay had to be reminded of an obligation he was not a partner to be trusted.

Once he hung up with Lindsey he began to realize the risks he had already taken with the promotion of Jason. By ordering 50,000 additional bobbleheads, creating a Jason Woo bobblehead day for a September date yet to be determined, and producing two jerseys with the “Woo” and “Warrior”names on the back of those jerseys he was obligating even himself to the promotion of Jason Woo for September regardless of whether the China premier attended a ball game or not. It didn’t seem to matter whether Jason Woo was ready for the promotion.


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