In the corner of a dark and mostly empty parking garage in downtown Kansas City, a figure stood in the shadows behind a van. A navy blue hood covered his head, his pale nose and chin the only visible parts of his face. The man checks his watch, then looks around.
Finally, he heard something. The mild growl of a Toyota Rav4, echoing about the concrete of the parking garage. It soon comes into sight, a forgettable grey, its fenders and doors dulled with dirt and salt from the roads. The man’s contact had indeed followed his instructions to come inconspicuously. The vehicle pulled into an empty space, and the engine ceased.
The man perked up and watched as another man in a black hoodie stepped out of the Rav4 with a manila envelope. He was wearing a nondescript black hoodie and a wool beanie. Stepping into the light, the man could finally see his face: Alcides Escobar.
“Thank you for coming,” the man said. Escobar nodded slowly, then glanced around. Assured that no one was near, Escobar gave the man the manila envelope.
“Here,” Escobar whispered in a thick accent. “This has everything you need.”
“How should I use it? Will it really get him to do what I want?”
Escobar smiled. “Hopefully, you don’t. But yes. You’ll get to play as much as you want. Trust me. I know.” With that, Escobar gave the man the envelope, clapped him on the shoulder, and got back in the Rav4. Just as quickly as he entered, Escobar started the car and drove away.
The man looked down at the envelope. Ned Yost pictures: COMPROMISING. He looked back up, got into his own car, and then lowered his hood. Chris Owings smiled. Never again would he ride the bench. Not as long as he was a Royal.
Kansas City Royals lineup
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May Chris Owings and the Royals conquer. Amen.