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Old 08-21-2019, 01:12 PM   #1
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Better Call Billy

October 2054

The call

Billy DePodesta was dozing in a deckchair by the side of his pool when the call came through. At first he wasn’t going to answer it. The press had been pestering him all day, seeking his reaction to the Des Moines Magpies reaching a franchise record 109 wins this regular season, their first campaign since his departure as general manager in which they chased a third consecutive State Capitals League title. All year long he had steadfastly refused to comment on the fortunes of his team, sorry, his former team, and he wasn’t going to start now. He had largely ignored the incessant ringing of his cellphone this afternoon, but this time he noticed the Richmond, Virginia area code on the incoming call and wondered who it might be. It was to prove a fateful call.

“Billy. It’s Bryan. Do you have a moment?”

Bryan? Bryan who? “I’m sorry, who is this?”

“Billy! You haven’t been out of the game that long, you know, buddy! Bryan Huang here.”

The penny dropped. Bryan Huang was the owner and chief executive of the Richmond Eagles. The 73-89 Richmond Eagles who had just missed out on the SCL playoffs for the sixth straight year. The 73-89 Richmond Eagles who had just yet again finished bottom of the Eastern League’s Central Division. The 73-89 Richmond Eagles who had effectively turbo-charged the Magpies’ current period of dominance by inexplicably, in hindsight, letting Billy acquire their all-star outfielder Earl Becker less than three years ago.

Billy knew what was coming. “Bryan! Great to hear from you. Hope Jessica and the girls are doing well. Listen, I really don’t mean to sound presumptuous, but I’m enjoying my retirement immensely and I have no interest in returning to the professional game.”

“I totally hear what you’re saying, Billy, really I do. But please, hear me out. I have a proposition for you. One which I hope you’ll find interesting.”

“I’m really sorry, Bryan. My year off has recharged my batteries, but I’m happy doing my bit of broadcast work for BNN every now and again. Returning to full-time work is definitely off the agenda.”

“Tell you what. I’ll outline the offer. If you’re not interested, you’re not interested; I’ll not badger you again. But I have a sneaking suspicion you might be.”

Over the next five minutes, Huang summarised the offer: general manager of the Eagles. But not just any GM role. Full and complete control over all the club’s baseball matters. A 20% ownership stake. And the chance to buy out Huang’s remaining 80% stake at a huge discount in the offseason after he first won an SCL Cup Final Series for the club.

Huang was absolutely right. Billy did find it interesting.
My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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