Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A Visit From the Goon Squad

By HoraceClarke66

Dr. Odu and Dr. Ogu beamed down from the flight deck of the Oumuamu together, as was their wont. They materialized simultaneously next to the seemingly abandoned warehouse near the Bronx River, where there was only a homeless wino who had been there since the 2004 Debacle to scare witless.

The two of them proceeded in lockstep to the inner sanctum of the “warehouse,” where of course Juju Enterprises, Inc., was now in full operation, all “working from home” exemptions having long ago been canceled with a sneer and a threat.


The chief Juju imp rose tremulously from his control console to greet the visitors, while the rest of his staff hung back amidst the piles of accumulated fast-food wrappers and empty Cel-ray soda bottles, dreading what was to come next.


No one liked a visit from the doctors, with their strangely nondescript faces, their matching gray suits and ties, and slim briefcases. It usually meant that heads were going to roll. Literally.


“We have returned from headquarters after a full briefing on your activities,” said Dr. Odu.


“And after much consultation, we have reached a conclusion,” said Dr. Ogu.


“Yesssss?” asked the chief imp, though he feared that his soul might be ripped from his body if he so dared to open his mouth.


Dr. Odu smiled. So did Dr. Ogu. It was a bizarre sight, one that caused much of the console glass to shatter, and milk to curdle throughout the greater Tri-state area.


“Congratulations!” said Dr. Odu.




“Congratulations! Headquarters was unanimous. Never have we seen a fan base so brilliantly played as you did with the New York Yankees’ slavish followers this season!”


“Congratulations!” added Dr. Ogu.


“The Big Guy was almost in tears, it was so beautiful,” Dr. Odu said, removing his glasses for the first time in that last four millennia to wipe away a tear of his own.


“First, you have a team predicted to excel, even make the World Series, by the many foolish mortals on this planet,” Dr. Ogu recapitulated.


“Then, they stink for the first half of the season, losing one heartbreaking game after another. What a set-up!” added Dr. Odu.


“Then, they start to win. Cashman, our evil thrall for all eternity, seems to make some savvy deals at the trade deadline!”


“The fans, they-they start to believe! Even the hardened cynics who have endured so many years of Cashman!  They think it’s really possible that this team can win something!”


“They start to compare it to 1996, the poor saps!”


“They win 13 in a row. Thirteen!  The devil’s number!”


“Which should have told them something. But it didn’t,” chuckled Dr. Ogu. “Believe me, though, the Big Guy appreciated the tribute!”


“But it’s how you have crushed their hopes that contains the real stroke of genius!” gushed Dr. Odu. “Not through some simple, Black Swan intervention, satisfying as that always is.”


“No! Rather than have players get injured, you have them get well!”


“Just in time to have the Yankees play their last month like it’s spring training! Brilliant!” 


The doctors actually high-fived, which made a sound like a cat being gutted with a rusty spoon.


“So I guess that’s that, then, huh?” asked Dr. Ogu. “You’re not going to let them make the playoffs, are you? Or do you have something in mind for the big finale?”


“Well, we-we do have something up our sleeves—” stuttered the chief imp.


“Wait, wait, don’t spoil it!” cried Dr. Odu. “We’re going to be circling this neck of the galaxy for a couple months still aboard the Oumuamua, and I can’t wait to see how you pull this off live!”


“And from the Big Guy himself, all of us at headquarters can only say: ‘You complete us.’ ”


The doctors dematerialized. Down in the warehouse, nobody moved or breathed for the next ten seconds. Then the chief imp slumped back in his chair and swallowed half a bottle of Maalox in one long gulp.


“Where is it?” he asked threateningly, getting up again and sweeping away the accumulated Kit-Kat wrappers and day-old burritos that covered the relevant part of the console. “Holy hell, where is it?!”


“You gotta believe us, chief, we just got distracted working on that Mets program!”


“You’ll see, it’s a doozy we got goin’, chief!”


The chief imp ignored them, staring down at the controls—set as they had not been for 25 years on “Miracle Win.” With a grin that would make a saint vomit, he clicked the switch off.


“I’ll deal with you two moaxes later. Let’s just say we got lucky. Now—how do we bring this baby home?”


13bit said...

“Many a true word hath been spoken in jest.”

― William Shakespeare, King Lear

Anonymous said...

“No! Rather than have players get injured, you have them get well!”

That is truly one of the best lines I have ever read, anywhere. Seriously. Fucking great.

Doug K.

ZacharyA said...

Looking at tonight’s lineup…

Voit is hitting .286/.357/.571 this month and he’s on the bench for the 5th time in 8 days …. for the guy hitting .190/.264/.270 this month (who is still batting 2nd???)

Urshela, who has botched multiple plays defensively since coming back with his hobbled knee, is playing…. shortstop.

Rougned Odor, in a 1-24 slump, is playing third base…. while Tyler Wade, who was showing some promise for the first time in his career, sits on the bench again.

Stanton is DHing for a third straight game…. instead of playing the field.

It’s a good thing I’m not sober.

Anonymous said...

Zach - That's just atrocious. Not to mention Voit was Last weeks American League Player of the Week.

Don't know if you read Hoss' story but it ends with, "Now—how do we bring this baby home?”

One look at tonight's line up and it looks like the juju gods found their plan.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Thanks, Doug! And yeah, you got it, Zach.

Coops missed his calling as a commissar. Always stick to the party line, comrade, no matter what the reality is. Time running out, the playoffs on the line...why differ from it? The grand plan is in place, as always.

It's going to backfire on Coops and HAL when they don't even make the play-in this time.

TheWinWarblist said...

Now is Coops time to shine.

JM said...

All you have to do is complain about someone and they come through. Rizzo home run.

Gallo DP. Let's complain about him.

ranger_lp said...

Gallo did damage all right...jeez....

JM said...

Sure, leave Taillon in, second and third, nobody out. He's a master at this.

JM said...

Yeah, great idea,Booney.

JM said...

He stole home. Jesus Christ.

Oasisdave said...

Ha, this team might just lose 13 in a row

ZacharyA said...

4 GIDP tonight

The New York Yankees are back

ZacharyA said...


That was Gardner’s first GIDP since September 27, 2019.


TheWinWarblist said...

This is what I have been trying to tell you.

Oasisdave said...

We've been listening, most of the ones that post here know this team is not a playoff caliber team, let alone a World Series team. But Cooperstown probably bought himself another year.

Leinstery said...

Coops didn't buy himself another year, he bought two. God help us.

JM said...

I'm chalking another one up for Boone. Why did he leave Taillon in? I dunno. Anybody know?

Oasisdave said...

Whole thing is a train wreck, terrible GM and Manager, players that can't stay healthy, depleted farm system, etc, etc,

Anonymous said...

Now lemme get this straight: Yankes win 13 straight thanks in no small measure to an unaccustomed jolt of energy, youth, and athleticism from the likes of Wade and Vazquez. So what do we learn from this if you're the Yankee GM and manager? Restore the slow, unathletic, older status quo ante ASAP, disappearing Wade and marginalizing Vazquez. That'll show what geniuses we really are?

And what's this nonsensical nonexistent rule about not depriving players of their slots because of injury? If you believe the story about Wally Pipp's headache (or double vision), it appears that Miller Huggins had never heard of this rule.

HoraceClarke67 said...

So four straight losses, and staring a sweep in the face—that turned around in a hurry.

But of course it will go on like this as long as they've decided to sort out who should play here in September.

Kevin said...

Hey GREAT STORY! How about a serial? LMAO!

"Now let me get this straight. You put the lime and the coconut...."

Anonymous said...

Kevin--really. Can't you find a wife or a dog to help you get a life of some kind?

Anonymous said...

I mean a life aside from lonely-loser Yankee nerd and Internet flame addict.