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Old 08-21-2019, 01:14 PM   #2
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October 2054

Where Eagles dare
There was a certain inevitability about the Des Moines Magpies triumphing over the Albany Firefoxes in the game seven decider in the Cup Final Series. The team that Billy built, doing what Billy built them to do: win it all. For the third consecutive year.

The team that Billy built was the SCL’s best, for sure. But now Bryan Huang wanted him to build an even better one. That would be quite a challenge. Billy liked challenges.

The Richmond Eagles had had a varied history up to this point. They had won the SCL championship just once, in 2033, and had lost the fall showcase on two further occasions, in 2031 and 2039. It was an underachievement for a team with such enthusiastic and committed fans. And the last half dozen seasons had been a particularly barren spell for the club, as they repeatedly failed to quality for the postseason.

Billy had formally mulled over Huang’s offer for several weeks, but deep down he realised he had actually made his decision pretty swiftly. He had enjoyed his year out of the game, but the more he thought about it, the more he realised he wanted back in. Huang’s offer of complete control over all baseball operations was probably the part that clinched it for him. The Eagles team needed some serious rebuilding, and Billy could do it entirely his way.

The morning after the Magpies completed their three-peat, he called up the Eagles front office and asked to speak to Huang. “Hello there, Mr DePodesta”, said Huang’s secretary. “I’m putting you through to Mr Huang now. I know he’s been very much hoping to get a call from you.”

The line went quiet momentarily as the call was transferred, and then Huang came on the line. “Billy! Did you see the game last night? That’s some team the Magpies have. They are gonna take some beating. I’m just glad they’re over in the Western League. So - are you ready to try knocking them off that perch you put them on?”

“I’m in.”

Billy got on a flight to Virginia the very next day. What was the point in hanging around? There was work to be done.

Huang personally came to pick him up from the tarmac like he was some visiting dignitary. “Welcome, welcome , welcome”, he said excitedly, shaking hands and giving Billy a huge bear hug. For an executive, his size and strength were impressive. But what else would be expected from a former outside linebacker? “How about we go straight to the front office complex so you can meet the team.”

The front office was a newly refurbished suite of offices underneath the main stand at Richmond’s iconic ballpark, the Eagles’ Nest. Billy made a point of shaking the hand of every single person he met in every department. He wanted everyone to know that, no matter what their role, they had an equally vital part to play in bringing success back to the franchise. It would take him a little while to learn and remember all their names, but learn and remember them he would.

Introductions done, Huang took Billy to the general manager’s office. Billy sat behind his desk. “You look like a natural fit there, Billy”, said Huang, grinning broadly. “I’m so delighted you decided to come here. I know I speak for our entire fan base when I wish you all the luck in the world.”

“Thanks Bryan, I’m glad to be here”, Billy replied. The two men shook hands, and Huang left.

Huang had arranged for a pile of briefing papers to be placed on Billy’s desk. Huang knew Billy would want to review them all. They presented a wide range of information about the club, the players, the staff, commercial activity, sponsorship and a plethora of financial details. Billy knew what he wanted to look at first of all - player contracts and payroll budgets. Arbitration hearings were fast approaching and some players would be becoming free agents shortly after. He had some important and rapid decisions to make for building the Eagles’ roster for next year. He had work to do.
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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