On the morning of February 5, David Glass walks into his office and finds a man in a dark suit and dark glasses sitting behind his desk. Before he can act, the man raises an elegantly manicured hand. "Don't bother calling for security, Mr. Glass. I assure you, I mean you no harm; I further assure you that, if I did, you would be dead before any help could arrive. I am here to offer you a proposition."
The man reaches into the inner pocket of his suitcoat and withdraws a small device. It is a small, thin sheet of metal about three inches square. The metal is difficult to describe; it vaguely resembles stainless steel, but with a dull greenish sheen. The only prominent feature of the device is a small but prominent red button in the exact center of the square.
"Mr. Glass," the man explains, "if you press this button, the Kansas City Royals will win exactly five more games in 2014 than they would otherwise have won. If they were otherwise destined to win 77 games, they will instead win 82. If they were destined to win 92 games, they will win 97. The additional wins will be selected at random from the schedule and the causal relationship between your actions in this room and the additional wins will be utterly untraceable; as far as the media and public are concerned, the wins will forever be purely a product of the team's on-field performance."
"In addition, the moment you press this button, $20 million in revenue will disappear immediately from your team's balance sheet."
"Whether you press the button or not, I will disappear from this room in one minute, and no one other than the two of us will ever know that I was here."
He places the device squarely in the center of the desk in front of David Glass.