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Dickie August - Baseball Player -Chapter 4 – Not Bluffing

As Dickie entered the Interview room, he spotted team General Manager A.J. Setters, sitting at the head table, seated next to team Media Spokesperson Heidi Summers and an empty chair.

Dickie moved to the front of the room and settled in the empty chair. The camera lights and lights from the background made it difficult for Dickie to focus on any one person in the room.

Heidi passed a bottled water to Dickie. She covered her microphone with her hand before she spoke to Dickie. “If you’re unsure of anything, just look at me and I’ll try and help you. Are you ready to begin?”

Dickie weakly smiled. “Sure.”

Heidi spoke first. “Welcome members of the media and thank you for coming. Dickie August and G.M. A.J. Setters are going to take some questions regarding Dickie’s injury from the other night.”

Heidi pointed at one of the reporters. “You can go first.”

“Dickie, what happened to you the other night?”

Dickie leaned in towards the microphone. “Um, well, I think A.J. hit it on the head the other day. My shoulder seemed to pop out of the socket just briefly and then we were able to snap it back in.”

Dickie sipped his water.

“Next question.” Commented Heidi.

“Were you able to pitch in the last game of the series?” A woman in the back row blurted out.

“Yes, I think I could have – by then I was fine. I know it seems crazy, but this had never happened to me before.”

Dickie then heard the one voice he was treading – “Lucy Grover with channel 10 Sports. You say this has never happened to you before?”

Dickie sipped some more water before speaking. “Yes, that’s right.”

“And when could it have happened in the past? I mean, since you never played professional baseball before, correct? Oh – wait a second. You never played college ball or even high school baseball. So, I’m confused, how could it even have happened before?”

Immediately Dickie turned to look at Heidi.

“Don’t look at her. I’m asking you the question.” Admonished Lucy.

“You and this Cass Willis kid come out of nowhere and are both stars? Did you think no one would notice?”

A.J. Setters intervened. “Is there a question in there anywhere Lucy? Because it sounds pretty accusatory to me. If you want to know how to be a professional pitcher than you can ask Dickie for some tips later on. But, for now, do you have a question related to the injury it appeared he sustained the other night?”

“A.J. don’t sidestep this issue. You have two nobody’s on your team that came off some lobster boat in New England. They both just happen to have all star talent and you don’t want to talk about it. These two were never drafted and as far as I can tell, your boy Dickie never had any baseball talent. I spoke to their high school baseball coach, well Cass’ high school coach, since Dickie did not make the team.

Dickie’s right hand trembled as he fiddled with the bottle cap.

“He told me that Cass was a decent high school player and would never go any further.” Lucy raised her voice and started to speak faster. “And Dickie…oh Dickie… that he was just terrible. He tried out and was cut from the high school team. There was one time when…”

A.J. stood up behind the table and Lucy briefly went quiet.

“So what are you saying Lucy? These two are on steroids or something?"

“They both passed any and all tests. What do you want from them?”

Lucy started in again. “A.J. you’ve been in this game for years. Have you ever, and I mean ever, seen two guys like this come out of nowhere and play at this level?

A.J. continued to stand. “Well yeah, of course. I’ve seen guys over the…”

“Name them! Who were they?” Shouted Lucy.

A.J. pointed right at Lucy. “You don’t need to raise your voice, Lucy. I’m answering your questions, but don’t be rude. As far as naming them – I can’t off the top of my head. But, I’m sure you know that young guys like Dickie can and do improve.”

“Improve? Improve from where? He never played organized baseball at any serious level. He was working in an antique shop.” Lucy slowly moved to the door. “I’m leaving this dog and pony show. You go on and try and fake out the other reporters, A.J. And Dickie, I’ll be talking to more people about you and digging deeper. After all, I owe the truth to the fans.”

After the press conference Dickie retreated to the clubhouse in search of the privacy his locker provided. He did not take more than three steps in that direction when he saw Lucy standing at his locker.

As Dickie turned to locate Heidi, that voice again shrieked in his direction. “Where you running off to? Are you afraid of me, Dickie? Or are you afraid of me finding out the truth?”

Dickie headed straight at Lucy. “Who do you think you are? I’ve done nothing wrong and you are doing some kind of witch hunt against us.”

Lucy again got in Dickie’s face.

“You’re hiding something and unless you want me following you around 24×7 and tearing apart your past, you better tell me.”

“It’s time for you to go.” Dickie pointed to the door.

“Very well. You want a war, you got a war.” Lucy moved to the exit before spinning around. “If you don’t know my reputation kid, ask someone who has been here in Kansas City longer than the 5 minutes you’ve been.”

It was time for the team to take the field and Dickie headed to the dugout to settle in. He had convinced team manager Barry Keeton to let him move in to the starting rotation. He explained that by not warming up 3 or 4 times a week, which he did in relief, it would help his shoulder stay loose. Barry went for it.

Perfect resolution.

This would allow Dickie and Cass to continue to share the Alet without any problems. They could switch right in the dugout whenever Cass was going to hit and then Dickie would get the Alet back when it was his time to pitch.

Dickie was also pleased to give the closer’s job back to Joaquin Alvarez. He just hoped that JA could hold on to the job and not lose it again.

Cass went 3 for 4 against Boston and Kansas City won 5 to 3. Joaquin Alvarez pitched the ninth inning for a save and everything was good again.

As the boys got home and ready for bed they decided to watch some TV to unwind.

Dickie was still in shock over the failed press conference. “Were you in the room for that disaster?”

“I caught most of it.” Admitted Cass. “Man, that chick is a monster. Do you think she knows anything about anything?

“You mean about us?” Questioned Dickie.

Cass let out a big yawn before answering. ‘Yes – about us.”

“No way.” Dickie retorted. “How could she? She must be bluffing.”

Cass stood up. “I’m beat – I’m going to bed.”

“Wait a second, Cass.” Dickie blurted out.

Cass stopped.

“Don’t you think she’s bluffing?”

“Oh man – I hope…” Cass again yawned. “I hope she’s bluffing.”

Cass ambled off to his bedroom.

Dickie slowly got up and shut off the TV. He stumbled to his master bathroom to brush his teeth. Before he could pick up his tooth brush, the phone rang.

Dickie eye balled the clock. “Who the hell is calling at 1:15am” Dickie reached for the phone near his bed. “Hello?”

There was complete silence.

“Hello? Is anyone there?”

That voice again crackled, in the phone this time. “Understand this, Dickie. I’m not bluffing.”

CLICK.


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