Coming next year-----Myth's 3rd season. Stay tuned...
Coming next year-----Myth's 3rd season. Stay tuned...
The baseball world gets a tremor: a completely unexpected 3-team trade sends away 'Tweets' Falcon(Cub's starting right fielder in 2011) and 3rd base fixture Rami, while bringing on board Preston Shaw; centerfielder from the whereever A's.
Shaw(Press, as he likes to be called) brings to the cubbies no little benefits: he's a switch hitter of somewhat uneven splits but he has a decent OPS and everyone in the know expects Wrigley field will do much to increase it. He's also no slouch on the field: blessed with much centerfield craft.
Press is a character as well. A showman of boast and brag and he's head over heels at the prospect of both playing under manager Jack "cap" Gavin(Who's managed Shaw in the minors) and coming to a team with back to back world champion rings. He even cuts the cubs some contractual slack....just 7.5 million and it's only a one year deal.
There is one catch, of course....
He has a clause included: He's to be the starting centerfielder.
Last edited by Iowanic; 12-25-2011 at 08:32 AM.
Jan 9th, 2012
Ezekiel Myth signs his contract for 2012: A kool million (Before taxes, of course). His girlfriend, Alicia (Who doesn't follow baseball at all) jokes it's time for a new car.
Jan 17th, 2012
Zeke is in Washington D.C with the rest of the cubbies for the customary visit by the world series winner's to the president. The president's white-sox leanings have made for witty banter since the cub's 1st championship.
The president singles out Zeke to promise to bring a dynasty to Chicago this year. Zeke only promises they'll try like all heck.
Tex and Smoke also approuch Zeke with the idea of a off-season get-together: Tex has wrangled some favors to get a hunting trip to Kansas for elk. Zeke is agreeable and the times set.
Myth buys a pair of new cars; one for himself and one for Alicia. A couple of matching Ford Focus. Alicia isn't completely pleased, however. "You can't buy my affections with a car." she insists. Zeke frowns and asks "What about 2 cars?" There isn't anything throwable within her reach, fortunately....
Zeke purchases a rifle for the coming hunting trip: a Remington 7600 in .308 Winchester.
Tex has hinted the list of fellow hunters may grow.
The cubbies elk hunting trip gets underway: with the crew involved growing in the end to a half-dozen participants(Tex, Smoke, Zeke, Big Z, Hector and little S)
This venture lasts 4 days but there's actually not much hunting going on. In the end, it's more a mix of hiking with rifles while trying to find elk, sitting around a cabin fireplace jawing about this, that and everything else and a rather considerable amount of alcohol intake by most of those present. No elk gets taken but all have a good time.
'CUBBIE STARS GO ON DRUNKEN SHOOTING SPREE'
Thus is the headline; courtesy of one Jerrod Calloway: a New York sportswriter who's had it in for the cubbies and Myth in particular since his rookie season. With spring training jusr around the corner and his beloved New York teams lacking any the world series apperances the last season Jerrod is just drumming up business.
Myth refers to Calloway as Jerrod the Jackal.
One of the Chicago papers receives a letter claiming to be a press release from ALF( animal liberation front). They have placed Zeke on a 'hit-list' due to his hunting.
What exactly that means, no one but the author's of the letter seem to know.
Zeke and his girlfriend, Alicia go on a Valentine's day date.
The couple is getting serious and probably the best thing that's happened to him. He pretty much does nothing but think and train for baseball but Alicia trys to open his horizons to the world beyond. She surprises him during this date by mentioning how she used to love riding motorcycles in high school.
Zeke completely misses the hint.
Ezeikel Myth has arrived in Mesa for Spring-training having driven out from Chicago with Alicia.
Ah! Spring-training! The world all anew! As Mays was wont to say a age ago; "There was a feeling in the air." Baseball! The most wonderful thing in the world!
And Zeke has come primed. He is convinced he is in the best possible condition and this season; if he keeps his head and has some luck; will put in his very best year yet. He's worled especially hard on his baserunning skills and he thinks a big season on the bases is there for his taking. Life is good.
And now with the curse buried and back to back world championships there lies the next target for Chicago...
3 in a row... we got a lot of holes to fill but we filled weak spots last year.
Zeke kinda liked the world.
Manager Jack 'Cap' Gavin has gotten in early to Mesa as well and they're soon exchanging pleasantries... then Gavin gets to business.
Has Zeke been following the off-season news? Especially the one concerning Preston Shaw?
Sure! Great move....we can use his bat...wish we could have kept Rami and Tweets, though.
Well....Shaw is a centerfielder, you know.... and he has this clause in his contract...
Myth learns the particulars: centerfield is Shaw's to further notice.
It figures, Myth silently tells himself. Just when I was starting to get settled in.
So: am I in left or right now?
Ah....actually...we were thinking 3rd base.
Myth manages to not fall over.
3rd? The last time we played me other then the outfield was catching and that worked out so well, we stopped it after the first season.
With Rami gone; we really don't have a suitable replacement...
What about that Kappa guy? The draft choice last year...
No one thinks he's ready for major league pitching. Don't you think you can learn 3rd base? It's hard, yeah, but you're young...you got skills and we got all spring training to get you broke in...
Great! We'll start you on a crash course straight up. Ground balls this afternoon...
They part and Myth trys to pretend the tumbles and fumbles in his stomach mean he's just hungry; not apprehensive... and a tad angry.
They sign Shaw in December... but don't tell me about holding down 3rd base till the last week of February?
Zeke has a bad feeling about this...
Last edited by Iowanic; 02-24-2012 at 06:24 AM.
It's Myth's birthday. He's 20.
There are a small bevy of gifts and he certainly starts out having fun unwrapping them one by one.
1st: from his fellow hunters in January;
a Alaskan hunting trip(all expenses paid, allegedly) for the fall (Well-past October Zeke notes with satisfaction)
2nd: from the chicago sportswriters;
A bowling ball, carved to look like a baseball. Whether it'll even roll straight down a alley is questionable. Myth gets chuckles when he holds the curiously wrapped orb to a ear, shakes it and announces "Chicago writers? But it's not ticking..."
3rd: Cub's management display a white flag; with the number 660 in black upon it.
The cubs will now fly this off the scorebaord at Wrigley. The 'Official' Cheeto-meter.
A explaination of the Cheeto-meter probably needs to be undertook here.
Starting early in Myth's second season; everytime he hit a homerun, a particular group of 'Mythicals' (Myth fans) would hold up a cobbled together cardboard display, counting down the remaining homeruns till the career record was tied. It's a shameless rip-off of the Shawno-meter from years past and uses the nickname Zeke actually can't stand (Cheeto). But it is in good clean fun and now the countdown will be kept official, for all to see.
Note: some outside observers note the countdown is from the 755 mark, not 762. This causes a bit of hooting from a few out in 'Frisco and even a joke or two. "Typical cubs fans," wrote Jerrod Calloway in a article, "They can't count."
4th: from Jack Gavin;
A digital Baseball card.
Basically; it's a 30 by 15 inch pair of flat video screens. The upper one displays a rotating series of photo's of Myth in action. The bottom screen is a year by year stat count of his career. The big thing is it gets updates after every game, so one can watch the numbers change almost daily.
5th: from Alicia;
A application and instruction manuel on obtaining a motorcycle operator's license.
Myth hems and haws on this one but they finally strike a deal. Zeke will go thru the process of getting his bike license and Alicia will recieve a season-ticket to Wrigley and she promises to see at least one game (In it's entirety) per week thru the season.
It's a dinky little plain box; the lid held down by gray duct tape. There's nothing indacating who it's from and Zeke first figures it's some gag gift from teammates...
But inside ia a note; printed out most likely from some P.C printer.
This note contains little cheer and many threats. It's posed in the form of a rambling riddle; with accusations of vague misdeeds by Myth that are hidden but will be someday exposed and the ending hint is all these misdeeds will be paid for and soon. There is no signature.
Zeke has had goofy letters from various fruitloops for a couple years but this one is almost a word for word repeat of some he'd gotten way back in November. Same type of paper, maybe even the same printer.
Zeke decides to dismiss it. It's too fine a day to ruin with worries...
Last edited by Iowanic; 02-29-2012 at 02:00 AM.
Cap Gavin has decided to try a new method to kick off spring training: a 'meet and greet' Bar-b-q for everyone on roster or staff. The cubs this year will have more then a few positions open on the bench and Gavin's pestered management for a small collection of 'newbys' who'll at least be given a look-see.
The grills get underway though, oddly enough, Gavin himself isn't there at the start. Everything seems to go well; the old-timers try to clue in the newcomers; the newcomers try to get a feel for what it's like to have a opportunity to make a two-time world champanion. Myth meets 3rd base prospect Phil Kappa(A most unique exchange since Kappa is at least a full year older then Myth) and silently wishes Kappa could take over at 3rd. Myth's taken hundreds of ground balls daily but he's just not picking things up quickly. Chatting with other oldtimers; the lament over the loss of Rami and Tweets is still on-going and likely to be a wound long in healing.
Gavin finally arrives and waves the team about so he can do some speech-makin'.
He doesn't delivery anything original or moving but he does say everyone will get a chance for the team and as a team, they're in good shape. Dynasty? "Why not?" he says with a grin to many hoots and much clapping from those listening.
His M.C duties done, Gavin works the room for a bit; he brings up something with the oldtimers that invokes surprise and talk: 'Cy Young' hasn't been spotted yet this spring-training.
'Cy Young' is the derisive nickname given to a fellow who's shown up for cub's spring-training for at least 4 seasons. He insists on a tryout and displays nothing resembling baseball skill(He's a pitcher...in title, anyway) gets dismissed... to return the next spring-training. It's like clockwork; if it's spring-training, 'Cy Young' will make the scene. Not this season, though. So far.
The afternoon winds down quietly: at the least the oldtimers and newbys were cordial.
And Preston Shaw doesn't show.
Last edited by Iowanic; 03-01-2012 at 05:56 PM.
The cubbies get to the matter of getting together a roster and it's while playing catch and shooting the bull Preston Shaw makes the scene.
He's in uniform; glove in tow and he slips into conversation like a sword from it's sheath.
Myth's usualle catch partner is right fielder Sushi. Shaw steps between and wordlessly makes himself Myth's new catch partner. Teammates; nearly all oldertimers in this bunch stare and shake heads disapprovingly.
But Shaw is wasting no time. He's here he's a cub and everyone WILL know this....but he's got a few questions, too.
Like: what's up with the Bar-b-q yesterday?
When he got there; at the time he'd been told, everyone was long gone. But that's not the vital point. He, of course, called Cap Gavin on the mystery and was told the time had indeed been moved up but....he said he'd told Myth to contact him on the new time....and this certainly wasn't done. What up?
Shaw's dark eyes fasten on Zeke's. He's looking for something...
Myth doesn't know what for or why: he's still trying to make sense of this story. Cap Gavin never contacted him about any such thing! He says so; too.
Shaw listens; nods and appears to move on. A uncomfortable silence descends: Myth's teamamtes; some who've been acting like his big brothers for the last two years, are in no hurry now to put out the welcoming mat.
Preston after a few toss backs to Myth returns to the forefront. He's very much looking forward to the season and he'strained all off-season to be ready(It shows, too). There's nods and affirmations and how each likes to train begin to be chatted up. A couple minutes on Myth mentions he's really stepped up swimming. Preston wonders if weight-training might not benefit him more; Myth demurs: he doesn't see more bulk as helping his game.
Shaw believes this to be short-sighted. "You need learnin' up, young man." he chides, "You wanna go to the next level with the long-ball; I can show you a weight program that'll out meat on your bones and bucks in your bank account." Myth doesn't know what to say; hesitates...Shaw puts a bit extra on his throw; perhaps subconsciously trying to force a repy out of the other. Myth holds onto the ball.... and tosses it to Sushi. With a wan smile, Myth states he needs to work on his 1st step. He trots away' leaving Shaw with the other's.
Last edited by Iowanic; 03-02-2012 at 12:12 AM.
the awkward quiet returns but it doesn't lie long. Shaw seems amused by something and goes back to talking. "I never realized how skinny that kid is...how do you hit 52 bombs being skinny..."
"How many bombs you hit with that weight-routine?" Bon-Bon is usually a have-fun, make jokes kinda guy. But he can be brutally blunt when he wants to be.
Shaw sends him a look hardly any friendlier then the one he'd sent Myth earlier. "I'll hit 50 some day....count on it! More then 50....I'm not trying to put Myth down: he's really put up some numbers, ya know.....but Sosa hit 60 or more....what? 2? 3 times...."
"There's a difference." Tex spat his omnipresent 'bacco into the grass. "Cheeto's clean." "You know that." "I know that."
The climate in the group is quickly pasing to wintry: Shaw's more puzzled then afended; certainly not deterred from speaking in any case.
"Maybe it's good: him goin' to 3rd and all, though." "What's good about it?" "His arm. Based on this here; he doesn't have the arm he's advertised to have...."
Smoke gives a knowing smile. "You haven't seen his centerfield arm."
Shaw smiles now. He thinks he's being put on.
"Just how many arms does this boy have?" "Two." confirmed Smoke; tossed casually to Tex, continued. "Did you notice which one he's been warming up with?"
Shaw blinks; thinking back. "His left." "Exactly. Cheeto's ambidextrous: he can throw from either side. He uses his right when he's in center..." "WAS in center..." "So maybe he's gonna use his left in the infield. He's more accurate with his left..." Ambidextrous? Why doesn't he switchhit?" "You'll have to ask him." "I think I will. Toodles." And off he goes, looking for Zeke.
Myth's found a more or less empty practice field and he's taking leads from 1st: working on his first step. He's just about convinced himself over the off season that with a improved 1st step he can really crank up his base-stealing. He stole 68 in 73 trys last season: this is the year...
Up hustles Shaw; all smiles and noise. "Can I call you Cheeto?" Zeke frowns; trying to find just the right lead; not looking at the other. "I've always preferred Zeke." "Zeke. Zeke it is. Man; you're ambidetrous." Zeke isn't sure if it's a question or statement.
Last edited by Iowanic; 03-02-2012 at 02:13 AM.
"I guess I am." "Then why don't you switchhit? I switch hit, you know. We'd have pitchers dumping in their drawers just at the thought.
Myth answers like someone answering something he's done so a hundred times before.
"When I 1st started hitting; I just chose righty. Once I got used to it; I've just never been able to feel comfortable otherwise." "Well; you know your business, I guess. Say: what's the farthest you've ever thrown a baseball?"
Now what the heck, wonders Myth.
"No idea." "Bet I can throw it further." Myth shrugs; pawing at dirt. "Probably." "You don't care, do you?" "Nope."
Shaw laughs; Myth does manage to work up a mild smile. They both sorta circle one another; Shaw clearly wanting something but not sure how to proceed; Zeke wants to work on his 1st step but doesn't want to seem rude.
"Let's me an' you have a throwing contest. Who can throw farther." "I'm not interested." "Why?" "Throwing far has it's uses but without accuracy..."
Myth sets himself as a baserunner off 1st base; he slowly steps over his right foot with his left, Step...go back...step...go back...
"We can do that, then. Wanna bet on it?"
Step...go back... left over right...go back...
"No: no money. Betting money always seems to mess things up. A 'dew. Winner buys the other a mountaindew." "You wanna, then?" "Sure."
If it'll shut you up, thinks Myth.
The contest ends up being like a game of horse in basketball: the target is a metal trashcan and by the time the issue is decided, that trashcan is pretty dented up. Preston Shaw indeed has a arm: range and aim both among the best of centerfielder's in the game. But Myth in the end prevails: nailing the can as it sits on homeplate from the centerfield warning track. Shaw isn't exactly a good loser butMyth doesn't mind. Not liking to lose can lead to good things he's learned.
He also learns his final fling, a magnificent lob that clunks right into the can itself, sends forth twinges thru his right shoulder. It's not terribly painful; more a little stabbing nip but something tells him it's smarter to learn playing 3rd as a lefty...
Last edited by Iowanic; 03-02-2012 at 03:31 AM.
Is this some kind of story?
"(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack
"I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)
That's the intent. There are other threads hereabouts featuring Myth's 1st two seasons. You might like to check them out.
Finally, they're playing some ball.
Myth plays the first 3 innings, gets a walk and a K then nods to The bench coach, gathers his gear and heads to the showers: done for the day.
Shaw watches his every move but says nothing. His frown might be all he needs to say.
Zeke plays 4 innings this time and loses a easy pop-fly in the sun just off 3rd base. The broadcasters comment how clumsy Myth looks around 3rd. While also noting how sharp Shaw looks in center.