The Time Shifter Chapter 71

When what passed for my high school’s spring training began, it was pretty crazy. MLB writers and scouts came just to watch my workouts. The Seattle Mariners, due to another season of one of the worst offenses in recent major league annals, had finished with the worst record in all of baseball and held the first pick. So I was asked a lot about my willingness to play for that organization, to which I replied it would be an honor even if their ballpark eats up righthand hitters. Because of amateur rules, I hadn’t been allowed to hire an agent yet, but I nonetheless vowed that a deal would get done and, hopefully, quickly at that and structured in such a way as to not be too burdensome to the club if I washed out. The team’s vociferous fan base, fed up with suspect ownership and an inability to develop power hitting prospects in its farm system, liked those statements a lot and many said that if they took anyone else they would never follow the ballclub again.

Because of the attention I received last season, our games, including our supposed away contests, were booked at the same ballpark we played our final game at the previous year. We opened against the worst team in the league with probably 2,000 people in attendance, most of them with their cellphone cameras out. When I came to bat in the first inning, the first pitch their hurler threw me was a low 80’s fastball that was as straight as a string on the inner half and  up (he had obviously overthrown it). I clobbered it on to the freeway well over 500 feet away. I didn’t stand there and admire it because I hate that bush league shit. I lit out like a bat out of hell for first until the umpire signaled home run and then went into my trot. It was named ESPN’s “play of the day” and was also featured on Baseball Tonight.

The gargantuan size of that shot put the pitcher on his heels and he continued to overthrow. We had hit him up for a four spot by the time I came to bat again, this time with the bags juiced. They called in a new pitcher, who threw me a hanging curve ball, and I torched it off the chain link fence that bordered the freeway. Then when I came up in the second with a man on and my side up 11-0, they threw at me. That pitch had nothing on it, though, and I easily backed away from it. As I expected, he attempted to throw a slider away and I belted it off the top of the rightfield wall for a triple and came home on a wild pitch. I asked out of the game so our bench players could get some at bats. When I didn’t come out to play center in the top of the third, the crowd groaned and left.

The next game was a complete joke. Because of the tv coverage, an estimated more than 5,000 fans turned out. The beginning of the game had to be delayed so that the police could mobilize to handle the crowd size. Traffic immediately in front of the park, which was on the major thoroughfare in town, was at a standstill since parking ran out very quickly and people were cruising around the surrounding neighborhoods seeking a spot. There was some talk it would be canceled, but the cops opted against that due to fears of a riot. In the first inning, those fans booed when the pitcher wouldn’t throw me a strike and I took a four pitch walk. The pitcher, a junior, got to feel what it was like to be heckled by a big throng. I stole second and third and came home on a slow roller to short.

The next time I came up was in the third with one out and two on. Again , the first two pitches were balls. Then he left his fastball a couple inches on the plate but about knee high near the outside corner and I pounded it well beyond the rightfield wall. I was intentionally walked the next two times up, but we won 7-2 anyway.

Now what were we going to do for our next faceoff? It was a home game for us, but we couldn’t afford to move it to Angels Stadium. So we ended up playing it at Cal State Fullerton in front of an overflow turnout. The opponent was the team that won our league’s title last year and they scored three runs off of us in the first to take the lead. Their hillsman threw me nothing but sliders, the first two in the dirt, the third one he hung middle out and I seared it on a line off the scoreboard in centerfield. They scored two more in the second to widen their advantage to 5-1. I came up in the bottom of the inning with the bases loaded and they intentionally walked me to force in a run, resulting in the pitcher being on the receiving end of all kinds of verbal abuse. The “pussy, pussy” chant reared its head loudly and this rattled the pitcher, who walked the next two men, too, to make it a one run ballgame. He hung another slider and our cleanup hitter took it downtown and we were up 8-5. We lit up the reliever for two more runs, but they came back for two runs of their own.

The next time I came to the plate, the catcher signaled for four wide ones and the crowd went bonkers, especially since there was nobody on. Trash was tossed on to the field and the pitcher was having his manhood challenged by hecklers. Now the chant was, “faggot, faggot” as he delivered the intentional walk. When I got to first, he started holding the ball and stepping off or throwing over to first a lot, which infuriated the crowd even more. When he finally threw the ball, he left it right down the pipe to our number two hitter, who lined it into the gap, and I motored around to score. Then between innings, a police officer had words with the other team’s coach. I have no idea what it was about. But when I came up in the the seventh, they pitched to me with two men on. It was another heater that got too much of the plate and I almost hit it on to Yorba Linda Blvd. The final score was 14-10, definitely not pretty.

While all that shit was going on, Red Sentinel was in the process of booking its first North America summer club tour. Our cd was around the 50,000 mark in copies sold by that time. There was also a lot of interest in Japan and Europe and we would address those a couple months later once we had the U.S. and Canada dates finalized. In fact, we would be out on the road when the MLB draft would be held in late June. I had taken delivery of our tour bus and rented one for our now 12 man road, security and video crew. We also had a team of four bus drivers. In addition, I bought a truck to haul our equipment in and hired drivers for that, too. I was going to lose a shitload of money on the tour, but it was a trivial amount against my overall fortune.

Anyway, my team won all of its games and I was named county, state and national High School Player of the Year after I didn’t make an out all season (14 games—small sample size, but oh well). We went to the state tournament at the beginning of June, which was held at Dodger Stadium, and there we faced another hot amateur prospect, pitcher Horacio Calderon, who was reputed to throw in the mid to high 90’s. The first pitch he threw me was clocked at 96mph according to the stadium scoreboard. No word on  how fast it left the yard, because I hit it on a line into the back section of the leftfield stands, eliciting oohs and aahs from the small crowd that was there. My second at bat, he threw me a poor excuse for a slider, but there was enough of a difference with his number one that I was slightly out on my front side when I made contact and sliced it into the first row of the rightfield stands near the foul pole. That tied the game 2-2. None of my teammates could do anything with Calderon, who struck me out on a high fastball out of the zone in my third plate appearance and our pitching was suspect to begin with, so we dropped the contest 6-3. I cracked another titanic homer against Calderon’s successor in the ninth.

That put us in the loser’s bracket in the double elimination tournament. Sunday,  in my first at bat, which was televised live on ESPN during their Sunday Night Baseball game, I got a low 90’s middle out thigh high fastball and beat the living daylights out of it, rocketing it over the roof in leftcenter and into the parking lot. No, I couldn’t believe it, either. It had to be close to 600 feet. An ESPN reporter tried to interview me during the game, but I waved him off, saying that I didn’t want to show up my teammates or the other team. That shot got me nominated for an ESPY, too, but I never showed up at the ceremony because I was on tour. I wouldn’t have gone anyway. That knocked the pitcher off of his emotional moorings and we put up a five spot in that inning, capped off by a bases clearing triple from our seven hole hitter. I then leadoff the second and rammed a slider down and away into the rightfield corner for a triple and scored on a squeeze. We couldn’t hold that lead, though, and our opponent stormed back to tie it in the fourth. The next time I came up, we had men on second and third, so with a base open, they walked me and then we couldn’t score. My fourth time up, there was no one on, so they pitched to me and I overswung a bit and hit the top half of the ball hard for a single to left. I stole second and third, but our next hitter popped up and that was the inning. In the ninth, I was up with a man on first and they had a two run lead, so they walked me and that was how I ended my schoolboy career.

When I  got to school Monday, because they had shown that drive I hit at Dodger Stadium on the local and national news and talked about how I was likely going to be the top MLB draft pick, now even people who had never met or seen me knew who I was and I got bugged for autographs and photos the whole day. Some girls I had never met before sent naked pictures of themselves to my band’s Facebook and homepage email addresses. My webmaster deleted the lot and I never responded to those overtures. I was called into the office to meet with local reporters who had shown up to try to talk to me. When I saw them, I just turned around and walked away, closing my classroom’s door on them and having my teacher lock it. They followed me to my second period class and I finally had to call the police to have them kicked out. I phoned my security people and had them accompany me to my other classes.

I didn’t go home after school. Instead, our security hustled both Valerie and me off to our warehouse complex, where we spent the night. I ordered my webmaster to just delete any email requests from the media for interviews through the weekend unless they were from heavy metal or guitar  magazines. Just as a precaution, I had my security with me the entire rest of the week.

The middle of June, school ended. That Friday, we hit the road, landing in San Diego that night  before heading north and then, after Seattle, heading east. We had press turning up wanting to interview me about baseball, but I had our security inform them that baseball was off the table so long as we were on tour. A lot of baseball bloggers came out to see us anyway and we read headlines like: “Clint Parker and Red Sentinel: Not Just Another Dumb Jock Vanity Project.”

The following Monday was the draft and the Mariners took me first. We were in Portland at the time and so the sports guys in the Pacific Northwest flocked to our show to interview me, but our security people told them that we wouldn’t be doing baseball interviews until after the end of the tour. Then some team officials showed up to our show in Seattle and I had them kicked out for being too much of a distraction. They didn’t like that too much, but tough shit. I technically wasn’t a member of the team yet. That really set baseball tongues clacking along the lines of, “does Parker really want to play baseball?” and “what the f*** is up with this guy?”

What was up with me was the girls who showed up to take care of my sexual needs and, by extension, those of our road crew and the rest of the group. To get to me, after my head of security checked their ID’s and had them sign statements acknowledging what they were about to do would be filmed  for our protection,, I made every girl blow one of our roadies, video crew, truck or bus drivers or security. Gotta take of your homies, you know what I’m sayin’? So we’d all be sitting  in the bus and there would be these lumps of long hair in the groins of my crew. The first girl got one of my bus drivers off, so I took her in the back and slammed my meat into her, spearing her petite little Italian-American self to several orgasms before serving her her reward, big dollops of my cum.

Of course, it would take me a few minutes to get it back up, so I would say to the other hopeful females, “you know what would really turn me on and speed things along? Rub your pussies together.” Some of them refused, calling me “a pig” for making that request, which would then get them tossed off the bus. That slowed the roll of the other girls, who then meekly complied with whatever I told them to do, including blowing and stroking band members only to then be told that we had to move on to our next destination, leaving them out in the dark with semen in their stomachs and only a couple with my fluid in their cunts.

Knowing that these bitches were there almost exclusively for me and my money, by providing a chance for my band and crew to use them, the groupies and whores got nothing out of it except inadvertently promoting the esprit d’corps of our little band of road warriors.