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Old 05-10-2019, 01:45 PM   #1
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Lyonesse Baseball Federation

Lyonesse [LEE-uh-NESS] is a small island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 390 km (240 miles) southeast of Cape Hatteras, its closest land neighbor. Its total land area is about 650 km2 (250 square miles); it is relatively low-lying, with some hills and cliffs in the westernmost portions, and enjoys a mild, subtropical climate (though most structures are reinforced against hurricane damage to some degree, by necessity). Roughly 325,000 people live in Lyonesse; about a third are in the capital and main city of Quichotte [key-SHOT], on the island's eastern shore. There are three provinces: Atlantia, Columbia, and Dalinetopia, plus the outlying and sparsely populated island of Sabledor, which is a distinct "District".

English is the most commonly spoken language. French, Dutch, and Caribbean Spanish are also spoken in some communities, and a pidgin has developed combining many of these languages in a unique style. Lyonesse's eclectic history provides natives with a distinct accent, regardless of their primary language -- as an example, English-speaking natives describe themselves as "Lyonessians", pronounced [lih-NEH-sh'nz]. The population's racial makeup is similar to some eastern U.S. states, with a slightly higher degree of multiracial residents. The country's currency, the Lyonessian ducat, is divided into ten piasters; it trades at roughly four ducats to the U.S. dollar.

The island has been a place of second chances since its very late discovery just before the 18th Century, after a prior century of being erroneously listed on maps anywhere from Africa to the icy north of "Hyperborea". It is thought that the first permanent settlers were French mutineers who settled at what is now Quichotte in 1707, naming the site after their ship. Over the next several decades, Dutch settlers bound for St. Maarten but lost in a squall instead found themselves here, as did royalist Englishmen seeking to escape the aftermath of the Cromwell Protectorate, and African slaves who commandeered a vessel to freedom. Contemporary tales place a "pirates' cove" on the south of the island in the 1700s as well. Even a small group of Protestant Germans bound for Pennsylvania settled instead in what is now Dalinetopia in that period. Fortunately, the island provided ample opportunities for growing seasons and enough room for communities to grow without serious conflict. England, France, the Netherlands, and the United States all claimed the island at various times during the 18th and 19th Centuries, but by 1935, Lyonesse had become an independent and diverse nation.

Baseball was well-established in the 20th Century on Lyonesse, with a number of small amateur and semi-pro leagues active; the Washington Senators once considered locating a minor league franchise in Quichotte in the early 20th Century. However, the chance to be drawn into the American baseball sphere ended in the 1940s. Nominally on the side of the Allies in World War I, Lyonesse chose neutrality in 1941 and was invaded and occupied by the Americans, causing serious national resentment towards all things American for decades. Post-war, Lyonesse drew from its mixed heritage and shrewd governance and navigated between the Cold War superpowers with delicacy. The result was an independent political course, but slowed growth, and some cultural isolation - including in sports.

Things began to look up with a shocking defeat of the United States in soccer in 1981, leading to a final game with Honduras for the last place in the 1982 World Cup - which Lyonesse lost in penalties. But the late 90s and the end of the Cold War brought an economic boom to the island, led mainly by technology development. Prudent investment and managed growth, both in economy and population, put Lyonesse on a successful course heading into the 21st Century.

In 2017, Lyonesse President Stephen Crowley and Sports Minister Richard Deventer announced long-delayed plans for a U.S.-style independent baseball league for the country. The National Baseball Stadium in Quichotte would be renovated and serve as the home of the two Quichotte-based teams, while four new minor-league style parks would house the other planned franchises. A junior league, competing in the same spaces, will provide development and competition for the reserve squads. While interested investor/owners from all over the world declared interest, subsidies from the Republic's government would allow the new league to compete for foreign talent. At the same time, citizenship rules would be in place to insure that Lyonessians would be prioritized.

Welcome to Lyonesse in 2019, and the start of the Lyonesse Baseball Federation!
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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A few notes as I start this:

This is my second start-up of this league. The concept for the country is something I've been playing with for years; it's essentially what would happen if my county were transported into the middle of the ocean somewhere. I did my best to come up with a reasonable history, though obviously the league would have started much earlier if I was being more realistic. I wanted to use today's players, though.

What's going to happen is that there will be more foreigners coming into the league. Lyonesse will end up being a destination for players on the cusp of the majors, much the same way that Japan and Korea are today, and there will be some players who leave the island for the big leagues in America (Aubrey Jansen, a five-tool Lyonessian CF for Eastgate is almost definitely headed that way after signing only a one-year contract out of the draft.) I've set the rosters for 25 players, 10 of which must be Lyonessian. I think that will give the best mix.

I entered Lyonesse into the world_default.xml file, and after a few tweaks, everything went more or less perfectly. (I can post the xml for that later if wanted.) One unusual aspect was that even for a nation with a bbqual of 4, it created way too many ballplayers and coaches. The draft pool for the initial Lyonesse-only draft was 460 players. I looked at the Explore World function and found a nearby place to model after -- namely, Puerto Rico. Ended up doing a Thanos finger-snap and randomly eliminating half of the pool. There are now 228 players and 42 coaches from Lyonesse. (Another interesting point: Lyonesse is listed as Baseball Quality of "Excellent" in Explore World though it has a bbqual in the xml file of 4, not 5. I think it has to do with having a domestic league and perhaps a large number of ballplayers for a relatively small population.)

I'm going to try to make logos, jerseys, and caps for the league, but I'm not very good at doing so. I will post to the mods forum later if anyone else would like to try.

There is an obscure theme to the names I have used; I'll leave it as an exercise to guess what it is.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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The Teams of the Lyonesse Baseball Federation

Eastgate Pirates
Junior Team: Valentine Junior Pirates
Colors: Maroon and White
Cap Emblem: white "E" on maroon
Park: National Baseball Stadium -- Quichotte, Atlantia -- Capacity 22,560
Owner: Hoshiko Saga (JPN)

Melrose Browns
Junior Team: West Daline Junior Browns
Colors: Brown and Orange
Cap Emblem: orange and brown fleur-de-lis
Park: Palace of the Fans -- Melrose, Dalinetopia -- Capacity 5,000
Owner: Eddy Current (LYO)

Miramar Neptunes
Junior Team: Hamilton Sharks
Colors: Teal, Blue, and White
Cap Emblem: teal trident with superimposed baseball
Park: National Baseball Stadium -- Quichotte, Atlantia -- Capacity 22,560
Owner: Edgar Franke (GER)

Phaedra Aeros
Junior Team: Calvados Gladiators
Colors: Green
Cap Emblem: to be determined
Park: Martin Road Park -- Phaedra, Columbia -- Capacity 3,500
Owner: Hector Quinones (PUR)
Note: pronunciation is [FAY-dra]

Rubycon Petrels
Junior Team: Atem Smashers
Colors: Black, Grey, and White
Cap Emblem: petrel head
Park: Petrel Park -- Rubycon, Columbia -- Capacity 7,110
Owner: Gabriel Rosenberg (USA)
Note: pronunciation is [ROO-bee-kahn]. A petrel is a bird similar to a seagull which is common in Lyonesse.

Tangines Tigers
Junior Team: Tangram Street Tabbies
Colors: Yellow and Black
Cap Emblem: either "TT" or growling tiger
Park: Mendrick Field -- Tangines, Dalinetopia -- Capacity 5,800
Owner: Connor Reed (LYO)
Note: pronunciation is [tan-ZHEEN]. Tangram Street is the main street in Tangines and is also the location of Mendrick Field.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:02 PM   #4
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Incidentally...here is Lyonesse in the Explore World window...


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Old 05-10-2019, 09:13 PM   #5
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But before going any further with the dynasty, we present you with the strange case of Denim Sampy.

The young Mr. Sampy was a steal for the Neptunes outfield in the 10th round of the domestic draft, until we discovered that the fastest man in our league trots out to first and ties his shoes to the bag.

Although if a bunt is involved, it looks like Sampy might not even make it to the bag at all. Fine with moving the runners over, but if he's trying to beat it out...what, he just pulls up short?

I am guessing this is some sort of glitch, but I have no idea exactly what to do about this.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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But before going any further with the dynasty, we present you with the strange case of Denim Sampy.

The young Mr. Sampy was a steal for the Neptunes outfield in the 10th round of the domestic draft, until we discovered that the fastest man in our league trots out to first and ties his shoes to the bag.

Although if a bunt is involved, it looks like Sampy might not even make it to the bag at all. Fine with moving the runners over, but if he's trying to beat it out...what, he just pulls up short?

I am guessing this is some sort of glitch, but I have no idea exactly what to do about this.
Go into the commissioner mode and see if you can change his ratings.

Choose Team Page
Click on Lineups
Click on Player's name
Go to editor button
Go to offensive ratings
Change the ratings to what you think they should be.

I think this should work.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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I like to think of Mr. Sampy as a kind of Forrest Gump character. An unbelievably fast runner that can outpace anyone, but needs his manager/teammates/crowd to go 'RUN SAMPY RUN' or 'STOP SAMPY STOP' every time he's on base
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:35 PM   #8
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I like to think of Mr. Sampy as a kind of Forrest Gump character. An unbelievably fast runner that can outpace anyone, but needs his manager/teammates/crowd to go 'RUN SAMPY RUN' or 'STOP SAMPY STOP' every time he's on base
I'm really interested considering his age and otherwise decent skill set to see if he can advance his base running or stealing attributes. I am also a fan of the take that he is just a very athletic person with little baseball IQ.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:18 PM   #9
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I've been going back and forth about Denim Sampy; I think I'm just going to edit his ratings such that they are less extreme. I mean, short of the Forrest Gump scenario, I can't imagine how that would be possible. (And I hated that movie, anyway.)
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:28 PM   #10
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I've been going back and forth about Denim Sampy; I think I'm just going to edit his ratings such that they are less extreme. I mean, short of the Forrest Gump scenario, I can't imagine how that would be possible. (And I hated that movie, anyway.)
^Yes! It's not a good flick - and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:08 PM   #11
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Slight pause in the action of working on this dynasty. I tried to reset service time for all the created players and it reset it for *everybody* - which I didn't know was going to happen. Ah, well. Quick rebuild during the long weekend.


I'm keeping Denim Sampy, though.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:30 PM   #12
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LBF INAUGURAL DRAFT BRINGS EXCITEMENT, BASEBALL DREAMS TO LYONESSE

QUICHOTTE (The Gazette) -- To calm her nerves, Eastgate owner Hoshiko Saga brought along her violin, and gave an impromptu concert in the lobby prior to the start of festivities. Neptunes GM Steve "Scooter" Kramer showed up in a yellow Hawaiian shirt; Browns owner Eddy Current in his signature lab coat and fingerless gloves. And a group of around 300 hopefuls sported a variety of looks, from Jorge Camarillo's bolo tie to Da'Quan Jacobs's all-purple suit. The scene was Sea Spray Arena, here in downtown, and it was a baseball draft that only Lyonesse, and its new baseball federation, could put together.

Each of the six teams of the Federation looked to score the best local talent in a 30-round selection. (Only a few foreign players received an exemption to be in the initial draft pool, and only one -- Nicaraguan CF Serafin Alcantara -- was chosen; he will compete for a position on the Rubycon Petrels.) Given that the rules of the new league set aside at least ten roster places for native talent, many of the top draft picks stand an excellent chance at starting for their new squads.

The draft's overall first pick was 26-year-old right fielder Bobby Kelsch by the Phaedra Aeros, a consensus choice among the baseball talent evaluators assembled. The five-tool outfielder was a stand-out for the University of Lyonesse, where he hit over .400, and attracted the attention of scouts as far away as the United States and Japan. "Plain fact of the matter is, Bobby could start in the Major Leagues in the States right now," said Aeros team scouting director Joeri van Veldhoven, "and I think everyone knows it. He will hit for a high average, with power to all fields, he's super-fast on the basepaths, and he is as good a fielding outfielder as anyone available. The risk, of course, is that he'll leave for top money elsewhere, but there's no leaving talent like that untouched."

Cal Bonswick doesn't fit the mold of a power pitcher at only 177 cm, but that didn't stop the Melrose Browns from making him the draft's second choice. Pitching coach Steve Lauckner said it best: "You're looking at a 'plus' fastball, curve, slider, and change...I don't think there's any pitch he can't throw for strikes no matter what the situation." The 23-year-old Bonswick himself skipped the presser after the draft, simply saying, "I'm looking forward to getting the Browns to the Grand Championship," before departing for a private celebration with friends.

Frédéric Aveline, who some considered a better (but older) pitcher than Bonswick, went number three to the Tigers. After pitching throughout Europe, Aveline was simply happy to be pitching for a domestic league. "It will be great to be back home again," said the Hamiltonian right-hander.

The evening was not without excitement and controversy. Recently dismissed Aeros skipper Johnson Oloyede appeared unexpectedly to demand his job back, causing a heated argument with team owner and former pitcher Hector Quinones. Several harsh words were directed at Calvados manager Jayden Scotney, who has been rumored for the top job, though Scotney himself kept his mouth shut.

On a more positive note, the arena erupted in the 27th round when the Melrose Browns selected 21-year-old Megan Charbonneau from Phaedra, the only woman available in the draft. It's unlikely that the young Miss Charbonneau will see any action for the Browns this year, but bench coach Eddie Hunter was quick to point out that the choice was based on merit. "I see her as a second baseman. I think the skills are there," said Hunter.

Another somewhat surprising announcement was the confirmation of a rumoured effort to stage games against foreign league opponents. In 2019, each of the six LBF teams will play two series of two games each against opponents from the Dutch Honkbal Hoofdklasse (HH), the premier baseball league in the Netherlands, and a similar set of series against teams from the Atlantic League, an independent baseball league in the United States. The Commissioner of the Federation, Cosimir Jaymes, said of the arrangement, "We took this step to provide more excitement for the fans, and to ensure that Lyonesse fully integrated into the international world of baseball." Jaymes also confirmed that these foreign games would count in the LBF standings. It is believed that the first of these series will take place in May.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #13
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INTERLUDE 1

I don't know why I liked to come out and just stare at the sea. It didn't really provide any mystery. The wave comes in...it drifts out again. The next wave comes in...and does the same. What do you think the next one will do?

Then again, I suppose it displayed a certainty that I lacked. Perhaps that was why I was here.

A four-year career in the majors is nothing to sneeze at, and I suppose they remembered my name in Baltimore, or perhaps Montréal. I got to play for my home team for even just a moment -- how great is that?

And then came the time that the skipper came to me and said they really didn't have anyplace for me, which I knew would happen, given how I was hitting...so, one smashed-in locker later, I ended up in Rochester, then Fort Wayne for a little while. By the time I was in Jackson, Tennessee, listening to a few hundred locals singing country songs in the stands rather than pay a lot of attention to the game, I figured that my spikes were just waiting for a peg to hang them on. So that was that.

The divorce that followed was inevitable on reflection; I think I knew it all along, actually, which is why I was so good about birth control. (She certainly wasn't. Thank God for small miracles.) The failed business probably was as well. Didn't really know what I was doing. I did my best to stay active afterwards, and at that I succeeded all too well -- which is how you end up on a dock in south Miami at midnight handing a wad of "norteamericano doll-ors" to a guy named Humberto to get you out of town ahead of the boys with the badges. From what my friends tell me, they arrived an hour later. And no, I still don't wanna talk about it.

Somehow I avoided seasickness long enough to land in Hamilton. I'd chosen well. If there was one thing that Lyonessian authorities liked, it was embarrassing American authorities, so despite all the raging and threats, there was nothing that my former home could do. I still miss it.

My Lyonessian citizenship went fairly easily: I was fluently bilingual thanks to my time with the Expos, and the money I'd saved from my playing days helped, though that was pretty much the end of it.

Considering I was now basically out of money, the next year went better than it had a right to. I opened a coffee shop on Meyerston Street right here in the Miramar neighborhood, with a few of my old baseball cards in frames on the wall, selling lattes to tourists. The third customer I ever served was a cute little blonde from Axiat named Penelope who got her degree at the University of Delaware and came back home looking for a business to manage. She found me instead, and wasn't impressed by the "ex-ballplayer" label, nor was she distressed by the "fugitive" label. I was attracted immediately. We talked until two hours after the shop closed, then did the same the next night, and the night after that. After about the fourteenth night of this, we fell madly in bed together. Then we put our clothes back on and I decided that this would be an actual relationship, because I'd be damned if I repeated the stupidity of my first marriage.

She brought the subject up before I had the chance. She told me a bunch of things I didn't know. Some of them were about me. She made me laugh. I found a manager, a partner, and the love of my life. It was three years ago, and I was a lucky, lucky man.

And then four months ago, the hurricane hit, and it all floated out the door.

Penny was doing the books in the other room after we'd gotten the insurance settlement, and she got that little frown on her face. She's not one for overstatement. I knew we were in trouble.

It was an hour or two later when she said, "Hon? Did you...see this?"

She'd caught the Gazette headline while looking for something else online. It was announcing the beginning of the Lyonesse Baseball Federation.

"Wow," I said. "Um...what should I do?"

She stared at me. "I'm in love with a moron," she said finally.

"What? I don't really have experience with the front office side of --"

"Darling." She had switched to her sweet voice. "You're going to look so silly in the hospital when you explain that a woman who's barely 50 kilograms put you there. You have more than enough experience in baseball. You were a Major Leaguer. Go to these people and get yourself the job that you'll love."
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:06 PM   #14
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Just a quick note here. I can't help telling stories about these things, even when they are all made up names, so I'll be throwing in those "interludes" from time to time.

The draft is completed, as are the stadia. Still working on the logos and unis, and I'll need to change around the schedule. It's a labor of love - as I'm sure you all know.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:34 PM   #15
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Just a quick note here. I can't help telling stories about these things, even when they are all made up names, so I'll be throwing in those "interludes" from time to time.

The draft is completed, as are the stadia. Still working on the logos and unis, and I'll need to change around the schedule. It's a labor of love - as I'm sure you all know.
Please, keep doing them! All it does is help to build the world beyond what OOTP already allows you to do. You write fantastically!
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:24 PM   #16
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Just a quick note here. I can't help telling stories about these things, even when they are all made up names, so I'll be throwing in those "interludes" from time to time.

The draft is completed, as are the stadia. Still working on the logos and unis, and I'll need to change around the schedule. It's a labor of love - as I'm sure you all know.
It's things like this that will make your dynasty special.

You are an exceptional writer.

If you get good logos, jerseys and caps... you got me forever.

I'm addicted to good stories, good writing and good graphics.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:54 AM   #17
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INTERLUDE 2

And so, off I went to interview. My nerves were going off like firecrackers. Sure, I stepped out onto a Major League field for the first time once upon a time, and I heard that crowd. And sure, I drove through Miami Beach with practically everything I owned in a backpack, stealing glances into the rear-view every second, one after the other, looking for lights of red and blue -- you could say those were situations that would make a man anxious. But I had more at stake this time. Penny was in my life. I'd changed citizenship, seemingly for good. This wasn't a situation that I could just pack up and move on from. I needed to make this work, right where I was.

Three of the six teams -- Melrose, Miramar, and Tangines -- responded over the next week. The Browns were first. Their owner was something of a story in Lyonesse: an engineer and inventor named Eddy Current who developed improvements to electric vehicles just ahead of the law mandating their use on the island. It made him one of the richest guys in the entire country. He was a natural to head up one of the franchises, and he of course had a great many ideas for the "fan-friendly experience" and the "good of the community", which he went on at length about during our discussion, pacing around the room frenetically as he did so. I think I got a dozen words in while watching him fast-pace his way throughout his office. The experience from my angle was "fan-friendly" only in that I felt like I was watching a match at Wimbledon.

Connor Reed, the owner of the Tigers, was more sedate, which wasn't difficult or surprising after that, but the situation didn't seem any more settled. Not very long ago, he was a big-wig for LyonAir and took an early retirement to get his money stack -- only to have a big chunk of it walk out the door when his marriage dissolved immediately after. Now there were rumors of the "other woman" in the picture, and questions of what part his son would be playing in the front office...it hung unspoken over the meeting and became rather distracting for me. Everything ended amicably, but not with a great degree of confidence in what would happen next.

That left the Neptunes and Edgar Franke. I'd been a fan of his for many years, though I never saw him perform in the States; fortunately, he fell in love with Miramar once his career took off, taking frequent vacations there and often appearing at Sea Spray downtown, so I was finally able to see him in the flesh a few years ago. Sure, he was older now, but still a fantastic and underrated musician. I ended up sort of gushing at him about his albums to start things off -- real smooth, that. Franke was perhaps the most patient of the three, and the interview took the longest as he went into depth about my baseball experience. Then, there was the warm smile, the heavily accented thanks, and...there I went. I'd met one of my musical idols, who had shaped my childhood as I recuperated after practice...but what would it turn into now? I didn't have any idea that I might be hired as a scout, or anything else.

And that's why I came here: my usual spot on the short Miramar boardwalk, to watch the sea perform its regular, comforting ritual.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:27 PM   #18
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INTERLUDE 3

"Too cold for this out here, Scooter."

I turned to encounter Dan Zeoli, walking up with a suit jacket on. I met Dan at the coffee shop shortly after its opening, and he soon became its most regular customer; he was the one guy who walked in and knew not only my name, but what my lifetime average was in the Majors. Surprised the hell out of me -- he seemed too young for such knowledge, but there was no question of it. A baseball rat through-and-through, I discovered that he was briefly involved with the University's baseball team and with some freelance coaching on the island; I knew that he too would be trying out for some jobs in the new national league, and deserved to get one, but I hadn't caught up with him since Penny pointed out that ad to me a week or two ago.

"I'm probably never going to get used to what you guys consider 'cold' here," I replied in relative comfort. "How did you know where I was?"

"Penny told me," said Dan. "Have you eaten?"

"Sure, I..." I trailed off. "Wait, I don't think I did today. Maybe I forgot."

"Hm, yeah. She told me that was probably the case, too," said Dan with a grin. "Fortunately, I know a place. And we'll meet Penny and Ayla there," he said, including his wife in the four of us. Dan was beyond question on restaurants in Quichotte, particularly the Italian places.

"We're meeting them there?" I asked. "What's the occasion?"

"I'll fill you in on the way. C'mon. We need some chow."

I hadn't been exaggerating -- I literally hadn't eaten a thing that day from being so keyed up for meeting my musical idol and now potential (though probably not) employer, so I wasn't in a position to argue. We shuffled back to his car, a Kamakiri, and away we went -- though not as far as I was expecting. With some unease, I realized we were staying in Miramar to eat at a restaurant that, in common with many establishments in Miramar, I really couldn't afford.

"The Rigoletto?" I said, with an arched eyebrow. "Are you kid--I mean, uh, I'm not really dressed for a place like this."

"Il Rigoletto," he started, with an exaggerated accent, "has the best pollo saltimbocca you will ever taste, and is the perfect place for celebrating my new job. Besides, your jacket is in the back. Penny gave it to me. You really only have one suit jacket?"

"It's a damn good suit jacket," I returned, defensively. "So your new career is what -- bank robbery?"

He parked the Kama perhaps a bit emphatically in its space for effect and smiled. "A little respect, please, for the new scouting director of the Miramar Neptunes?"

I smiled back, shook his hand, and congratulated him. I was in fact genuinely happy for the guy, though that almost certainly meant that I wasn't selected for any job in Miramar. We talked more about the new position on the way up to the door, but by the time I'd gotten in and been shown to the table by the maître d', I was already in my own thoughts, trying to figure out how to reopen the coffee shop without the necessary funds. But the ladies were wonderfully dressed, a few of my friends (and his) had come as well -- I wasn't really sure why -- and we settled in for the start of a fine meal.

We clinked glasses. I'd mentally figured the cost of the wine alone was 200 ducats, and we hadn't gotten to the appetizer yet. "Mr. Franke made a great choice," I said. "They're going to have a stream of good players coming to this place."

He leaned in, somewhat conspiratorially. "You know Mr. Franke doesn't really know baseball, right? He needs somebody to show him the particulars. Someone who's been there."

"So he lucked out on the first choice."

"I wasn't really talking about that," said Dan. "I'm going to be the scout. He needs to have somebody in charge. Know anybody like that...boss?" He gave a look that I couldn't really interpret, as the conversations around me died down somewhat.

"On the island? There are a few folks, yes...did I say something I shouldn't've?" I said, swiveling my head to the sea of suddenly expectant faces around me.

Ayla gave her husband a look. "You didn't tell him?"

"Wanted it to be a surprise," Dan replied.

"Somebody tell me what is going on..."

"Mr. Franke paid for this dinner for both of us, Scooter," Dan explained with a grin, holding up his glass again. "His scouting director, and his general manager."

I dropped the glass.
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