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Offseason Choose Your Own Adventure - A Thanksgiving Day Call

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A 7 vote difference means Alexander Henry closed shop and went home for Thanksgiving. But shop is never truly closed, as communications remain open.

Japan v Netherlands - International Friendly Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

Here’s the entire story so far! We’ve passed 10 articles in the series. And we’re still getting tons of votes despite it being so long running. Thank you for supporting this endeavor.

This is a fictional work of art. No, I do not speak for any active or retired player, personnel, or legendary figure.


Alexander Henry’s Office - November 22nd, 11:10 AM EST

Alexander Henry sat for a few minutes at his computer after Susan left the office. All the other workers had already gone home to be with their families, and in the silence you could hear a pin drop.

Henry stared at the financial records his advisers had drummed up for him. With Stanton now in the fold, the money just simply wasn’t there to do anything else at the moment. So why did it feel like something was left unfinished? Henry was not a great financial expert, but reading the numbers seemed to indicate they had under 10 million dollars to work with before reaching the “harsh penalty” area of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Henry wasn’t too enthused about losing 10 spots on his first round draft pick, particularly since he just moved two good pitching prospects and the system was looking light.

Cleveland Indians v Boston Red Sox
For these Red Sox to make any more moves, more salary must be freed up, someway, somehow. Is Hanley going to eventually be cut loose? Or will it be someone else?
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

He turned on his phone, flipping through Twitter. For all the pain it had caused him early in the offseason, he was hoping to find something that would benefit him. Instead of finding reports that could have helped him negotiate, he only found pictures of cats, and fun facts (such as: “The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache on a standard playing card”).

In frustration, Henry closed the app and went back to staring at the numbers. It felt like the answers were staring him in the face but he just couldn’t get from point A to point B right now, and without his team around him he was unlikely to get anything done.

Deciding now was finally not the time to be a busybody, Henry shut down his computer. He turned off the lights. He was going home for Thanksgiving.


Alexander Henry’s House - November 23rd, 1:30 PM EST

Henry walked into his house. As he walked into his own home, he was startled to find it occupied, and by a lot of people, at that.

??? #1 - “Is that you, Alex?”

??? #2 - “My stars, it is, what are you doing here?”

??? #1 - “Get Uncle Phil! He’s going to want to see this!”

Both young men ran out the back door to the patio, to get said uncle. Those were Alexander Henry’s brothers, Brett and Todd. Brett and Todd were not particularly close to Alex, as they were twins, and Alex left home when they were just 10 years old.

Liverpool FC Hold 24th Hillsborough Anniversary Memorial Service
John Henry will not be at this gathering, they are not related.
Photo by Liverpool FC via Getty Images

??? #3 - “I cannot believe what I am seeing.”

The voice carried no compassion, or any real emotion at that. That plain, simple monotone. Henry recognized it instantly.

Henry - “Ah, Susan, how do you do?”

Susan - “We literally parted ways just yesterday, how do you think? What are you doing here? I thought you’d be at the office, working, like always.”

Henry - “I sort of figured I’d come home, and just enjoy life for a change. Besides, I didn’t want my wife being alone on Thanksgiving.”

Susan - “You don’t have a wife.”

Henry - “Too true. So why are all these people in my house?”

Susan - “Well, they needed to be somewhere.”

Henry - “It just seems awfully convenient that everyone in my family would choose to come to my house of all places.”

Susan - “Well, I invited them.”

Henry - “That’s still not answering my question.”

Susan - “And you shouldn’t question a good thing. Hey, look. It’s your Uncle Phil.”

Uncle Phil walks into the room. Uncle Phil always loved Alexander Henry, and also the Boston Red Sox. Uncle Phil sees Henry, smiles, and walks over to greet him with a massive bearhug.

Uncle Phil - “Good job on securing ownership of the Red Sox. And you got Giancarlo Stanton! You are doing me proud, little nephew.”

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
Uncle Phil is really happy to see Stanton in Boston. So it was worth it.
Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images

Henry - “I’m trying. It’s really tough to get anything done, against 29 other GMs.”

Uncle Phil - “Just know that despite your coldness, the entire family is behind you, and supports you.”

What followed was a 3 hour conversation about how Henry needed to be a lot more involved with his family, and how everyone has missed talking to him over the past 25 years. Eventually, Henry was able to break free, and get out back, to have a moment to himself, or so he thought.

Alexander Henry’s Patio - November 23rd, 4:30 PM EST

??? #4 - “Alex.”

Henry - “Dad.”

You could cut the tension with a knife. Several knives. And it is Thanksgiving, so there were probably a few handy to do just that. Minutes passed without a word being said.

Susan - “Dinner is ready, you two.”

Dad - “Right, thank you, Susan. What would Alex do without you?”

Henry just watched as his dad walked inside. He made no move of his own to walk in. So instead, Susan came out onto the patio.

Susan - “Your dad means well, probably.”

Henry - “Yeah. Probably.”

Susan - “He probably doesn’t even remember that you lost his entire fortune gambling in Vegas on your 23rd birthday.”

Alexander Henry had lived a charmed life, but that life was as full of twists and turns as any other. On his 23rd birthday, he went down to Sin City, gambled away his father’s entire fortune, and had to work tirelessly to get back half of what his father had once owned. This latest venture, buying the Red Sox, was supposed to be the final venture. He had tons of money, and could theoretically pay his father back at any time. But to do so would leave Henry with no wealth whatsoever, in his late 40s. No, Henry needed to maintain a cashflow.

Susan - “Stop worrying so much. He’s happy you are here at all. He wouldn’t have shown up at your house if he didn’t want to see you.”

Susan walked back inside and motioned for Henry to join her. Thanksgiving dinner would go just as countless dinners in the country would go. It would also end the same way, in a food coma.


Alexander Henry’s Bedroom - November 23rd, 8:30 PM EST

Henry awoke to the sound of his cell phone ringing. The food coma knocked him out.

Henry - “This is Alexander Henry speaking, hello.”

??? #5 - “Hi, this is the agent for Shohei Ohtani. We’re sending out a memo to all 30 MLB teams, and also giving a courtesy call, as it is Thanksgiving in the United States. We do not expect an answer to the memo until next week, but figured it would be best to mention it now, so you have time to organize your plans.”

Netherlands v Japan - International Friendly
Shohei Ohtani could end up in Boston. He probably won’t.
Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

Henry - “Ah, thank you, would you mind sharing the details of this memo with me right now? I’m not at the office, nor am I particularly near it.”

Agent - “No problem. We are starting the process of getting Shohei Ohtani an MLB contract, and as we expect every team will pony up the 20 million dollar posting fee, we’re deciding to get proactive, and see which team is the best fit for Ohtani. Here are the criteria we are looking at:

‘An evaluation of Shohei’s talent as a pitcher and/or a hitter;

‘Player development, medical, training and player performance philosophies and capabilities;

‘Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training facilities;

‘Resources for Shohei’s cultural assimilation;

‘A detailed plan for integrating Shohei into the organization;

‘Why the city and franchise are a desirable place to play;

‘Relevant marketplace characteristics.”

(Credit for the above resource goes to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times)

Henry - “Ah, fair enough. We’ll get back to you within the week.”

Agent - “Do note, we want answers in both English and Japanese. These are both vital for our purposes. Thank you for your time, enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving.”

Japan v Mexico - International Friendly
It is not illogical to request that an answer be in both English and Japanese. This will not be a hangup in any way whatsoever.
Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

Alexander Henry’s House - November 24th, 10:30 AM EST

Henry - “Susan, please tell me we have a Japanese translator in the organization already, I’d really hate to lose out on Shohei Ohtani because we forgot to hire one.”

Susan - “We have several, myself included.”

Henry - “Wait, you know Japanese?”

Susan - “A fair amount. Don’t ask.”

Henry - “Anyway, you saw the list of criteria, right? The full list is at the office, which we’ll return to, tomorrow. But what do you make of it?”

Susan - “Honestly, sir, it doesn’t seem likely we’re going to walk away with him, because we simply do not have a lot of money for an international free agent. I know the agent says money will not be an issue, but if a team like the Yankees offers a similar experience, and around seven to eight times as much money, he’s going to take their offer.”

Henry - “Right, so we need to make ourselves stand out. How do you propose we do that?”

Susan - “Have to start with the fanbase, the chance to win, and our history with Japanese ballplayers. Not all of them have worked out, but Hideo Nomo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara have all called Boston home at one point or another.”

Henry - “With Stanton on our team, we probably do not have room to stash Ohtani at DH, if he truly wishes to be a two way player, so how are we going to make this fit?”

Susan - “That’s why you get paid the big bucks, and not me.”

Poll

How will you pitch the Red Sox to Shohei Ohtani?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Suggest he will be a two way player, and that a trade of an outfielder is coming.
    (125 votes)
  • 13%
    Ask that he remain just a pitcher, to allow him to become elite at one thing, rather than good at two.
    (29 votes)
  • 17%
    Insist Boston has the most passionate baseball fans on earth.
    (38 votes)
  • 12%
    Do not make any sort of offer for Shohei Ohtani.
    (27 votes)
219 votes total Vote Now

Poll ends on December 8th, 2017, at 10:00 PM ET.

You might notice that I’m spacing out updates on this series more and more. This is not an accident. With the first major hurdle jumped, and the offseason going slower than expected, I have to slow this up as well. We’re really far ahead of schedule.