The Worst Possible Future: A Cautionary Tale

Anthopolous leaned back in his office chair, put his hands behind his head and exhaled a long, tired breath.

He looked at the gigantic piles of papers on his desk.

All he could see were the words, the countless, endless words and phrases like "Previous Word Experience" "Skills" and "Awards and Recognition".

It had been only a few days since John had packed his bags and left for the city of the Bean and Alex hadn't been getting much sleep.

He'd had to work quickly to put the job posting up on all relevant places; school bulletin boards, lamp posts, craigslist and

It was thankless work, and quite frankly he didn't think he'd get that many responses. But there it lay in front of him, proof that this was a job people desperately wanted. Probably because of the economy. Or the free authentic Majestic jersey that came with the job. He couldn't be sure.

But after days of pouring over countless resumes, from out of work managers, his own assistant managers and coaches, and some responses from people doing missionary work over in Ethiopia, he finally had the perfect candidate.

The man who would steer his hard-headed, poorly disciplined club in the right direction.

It was time to call the press conference.


Shea nervously paced around outside the press conference.

He wiped the sweat from his brow, read the first cue card again, and peeked out into the room full of reporters.

He chewed his gum a little louder.

Finally, Anthopolous was finished introducing him. It took a while because, after all, he was Shae Hillenbrand and he was freaking awesome.

He walked out to a smattering of applause. Some boos, but they weren't overly loud. Probably just jealous people.

He approached the podium, licked the tip of his pinkie fingers and smoothed out his eyebrows, like his hero Mark McGrath. He was just about to begin his speech when Alex ran back up to the microphone.

"Sorry, sorry, I forgot one last thing. Congratulations on adopting your second daughter!"

Shea smiled. He didn't want to have to point it out. He would have, but he didn't want to have to. It was a lot of trouble and he'd have to rework his speech. Talk about an inconvenience.

"Thanks man," said Shea, smacking his gum loudly into the microphone.

"Look, I know the last time I was here, things weren't going right. We had crap managing, we had a crap GM and I had crap team mates. Luckily, this is now, and not then, and I've got some great ideas that are going to turn this ship around. Consider me the captain, and my coaches my first mates. Yes there will be a lot of swabbin' the deck from these young kids. But they're going to learn a lot from me. I had a great career, I was in the know, and believe me, we'll be ship shape in no time."

He paused. This speech was going fantastic.

"Now, before you ask what skills I have that could possibly make me a good manager, I just want to get something off my chest. Last time I was here, you guys roasted me. Really good. Chased me out of town in fact. I know John was real friendly with you guys, but don't expect me to be the same way. I'll bail out on an interview if I don't like the way it's going. I'll rip you in the papers if I think you're being unfair to me. Go ahead, rip on my players, but let me tell you, I won't stand for anyone criticizing me."

Shea paused. He could feel the tension in the room and it reminded him of all those long awkward meetings that idiot Gibbons would hold. I mean, they never started off awkward, but after Shea spoke up they always seemed to get a little tense.

Must've been the catering.

"Anywho, I'm excited to get this opportunity. I don't subscribe to any of those new-fangled sabremetric thingies, I think they're ridiculous and I know better then a bunch of nerds and their pocket protectors anyways. Yup, there will be a lot of lefty vs. lefty matchups, a lot of overuse of pitchers, and weird benchings at weird times. And if thnigs start to go south, well, don't expect me to stick around. I can't manage a team with crappy players."

"Anyways, that's it. Tanks for having me. No questions, I got some work to do."

Shea walked off the stage, a big grin on his face. He had done it. He had come all the way back, and this time, no ball and chain team mates were going to pull him down.

As he walked down the tunnel he saw an old dried blood stain on the wall and he paused. It wasn't a large blood stain, maybe only a few drops, but Shea knew and he smiled a knowing smile.

That was Gibbons' blood. All these years and it was still there.

Shea was excited. He walked out of the tunnel and looked at the field. A serenity washed over him.

Yup. This was going to be the best year ever.

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