Tales from an Alternate Past

JP Ricciardi smiled as he sat at his desk.

The draft was going exactly as he foresaw it. Justin Upton went first.

"Ha," he smirked, "High schoolers never pan out. What a dumb pick."

Then, exactly as he thought, Alex Gordon, Jeff Clement, Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Braun fell off the board.

JP cracked his knuckles triumphantly. He reached into his desk and pulled out that Cuban cigar he'd saved for exactly this occasion. He put it in his mouth, got up from his desk, and strolled to the gigantic window in his office overlooking the vast Rocky mountains.

The speakerphone crackled to life.

"The Colorado Rockies now have five minutes to make their selection."

JP smiled knowingly. He knew the consensus pick was the dynamic shortstop from Long Beach State University. He knew if he chose otherwise it would be his most scrutinized decision in his brilliant general managing career.

But JP was on a mission to prove his brilliance once and for all. To stand in front of the long-held belief that pitchers couldn't succeed in Coors Park, and to spit defiantly in its face.

"Well chief," said Wilfred, Ricciardi's head of scouting, "I think we're all in agreement that Troy Tulo-"

"Never," said Ricciardi, without looking back, "make a decision without me making it for you."

He spun around, the tails of his suit jacket whipping around like the sound of a bat's wings lifting off into the night's sky.

"No fellas, that's not how this is going to go. You see, the Toronto Blue Jays are already resigning themselves to the fact that we're going to take Tulowitzki with the sixth pick in the draft, but you see, that's exactly NOT what we're going to do."

Several scouts dropped their pens to the floor with an audible crash. Wilfred spit his coffee all over his notes. James, the intern, began crying in the corner.

"But JP," said Wilfred, "...why?"

"Why? Because I am going to prove to everyone why I am the smartest, coolest and handsomest guy in baseball. I am going to prove once and for all that a pitcher with a medium-high ceiling will be the best pick in the entire draft. That drafting low-risk, low-reward college kids is always the best option. Justin Upton? Ryan Braun? They will be but stepping stones for our ultimate weapon. Ricky Romero will mow them down, one by one by one, on his way to everything, and the Colorado Rockies will be World Series Champions in five years! It's all part of the plan."

James, the intern, began sobbing.

"I...I can't let you do this..." Wilfred said, his brain trying to comprehend the stupidity of this selection.

"Try to stop me!"

JP smiled a toothy grin, put on his sunglasses and walked over to his desk.

He paused, pushed his hand through his greasy, over-gelled hair and lit his cigar.

With his index finger, he pushed down on the "talk" button.

"Mr. Selig. With the sixth overall pick, the Colorado Rockies select, from Cal State Fullerton, Left Handed Pitcher Ricky Romero."

James ran out of the room screaming.

Wilfred sat, bewildered. His lips could barely muster the words.

"What have we done?"

JP hung the phone and walked back towards his gigantic window. In the distance, a low, but audible scream of frustration was echoing across the Rockies. It was his fan base, exclaiming his greatness.

Not even thirty seconds had passed when the announcement came over the speakerphone.

"The Toronto Blue Jays have selected Troy Tulowitzki."

JP smiled knowingly. He turned around, and saw that all but one of his scouts had abandoned the room. The last remaining scout sat in his chair, his mouth foaming due to the cyanide he had just ingested.

"Those fools," JP said to no one in particular as he strode across the room to his closet. "They'll see how brilliant I am."

He opened the door to the closet, revealing a mirror hanging within.

He straightened his jacket, pulled his tie a little tighter, and smiled.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, whos' the greatest GM of them all?" JP asked.

"You are" said the mirror.

And JP smirked because he knew it was true.

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