The Tunnel at the End of the Light


A lean figure shuffles through the yard of an abandoned home in a late summer Chicago midnight.  He pries open a manhole cover with ease and descends away from the artificial lights of the city into an all encompassing darkness, the likes of which are rarely seen in this day and age.  Once at the bottom of a seemingly bottomless ladder, the man flips on a LED flashlight and meanders down a claustrophobic pitch-dark pathway.  There is a light somewhere down the way but it seems like it takes forever to reach. 


After some time of squeezing and crawling through this stuffy gangway and continually scraping himself on pipes and mechanical devices, he reaches the light.  It is emitting from under a steel door.  With much difficulty he was able to open it but he had to stand sideways because there was virtually no room to maneuver.  By this time, the air quality had slackened considerably, he was essentially breathing his own carbon dioxide, it was hot and the dew point was an artificially 85+ degrees.  He nodded at the man in the room (it was more like a closet) and squeezed himself in. 


The room held a small table with a telephone and laptop on it, a cot, a chest and a man sitting on a chair.  The only way he could close the door was if he laid down on the cot so that is what he did.


"Why are you here?"


"We are lost."




Just then the telephone rang.  The man lit up a cigarette and took three deep puffs.  He picked up the telephone on the 9th ring after exhaling a large volume of smoke into the face of the trespasser; adding to the lack of breathable air.


"This is he.  Yes.  He just got here.  You didn't tell me he was coming.  I don't like surprises," the man hung up the receiver with a loud bang.


After looking out of the corner of his eye at the newcomer for some time, thus spake the man.  


"What is it you want?"


"Uhhh-uhm….I think its best to introduce myself my name is Rick Hahn and I am the….."


"I know who you are, you and KW are the sole reason I am so fucking grumpy," interrupted the man.


"Well, that makes it easier then.  Kenny tells me you are the oracle," shyly stated Hahn.


"I am a blog-guy."


"A blogger?"


"What did you expect down here?  I am beginning to think this is a waste of time, you're going to have to leave."


"Wait, I apologize.  Kenny sent me down here to see what you thought about a few trade possibilities that have come up."


"Why didn't he fucking come himself?"


"To be honest, I think he is afraid of you.  He hasn't consulted you on any trades since 2008, he thinks you might be a bit upset."


"Why would I be upset?  He has been paying my yearly retainer fees.  I don't care if he uses my input or not and obviously he doesn't either.  Tell me what you want and then you're going to have to leave."


"The Braves are offering Brandon Beachy for Carlos Quentin…"


"So you want a 3/4 starter in return for one of your team's leaders in OPS.  That sounds like a great move."


"Everyone loves Beachy, they're raving about him in Atlanta.  Look at his K/9.  The kid is a phenom."


"A phenom in the National League in a large park let me know how that works out for you.  Now get out of here, I have work to do," the man starts typing on his laptop.


"Wait, the Cardinals want Jackson, Thornton and Viciedo for Colby Rasmus.  What do you think of that deal?"


"Viciedo is your best prospect but thats not saying much."


"So you think that’s a good deal?"


"If you think trading your best prospect for an average CFer is a good idea."


"Our scouts tell us he is above average defensively and has some upside at the plate."


"I call bullshit.  Upside of what?  Below-average?  Get out of my basement.  Before you go, tell me…what do you think you're going to do with Rios."


"The plan was to move him to right once Quentin is gone but you don't think that is a good idea so...I don't know."


"Tell me when I said that wasn't a good idea and when my opinion started to matter to you?"




"The only thing you can do is take him out to a pasture and shoot him.  Make sure you do it in a vast landscape with no signs of civilization to be seen.  Leave his body there but extract his toe.  Bring it to me."


"Wh-wh-why do you want his toe?"


"To add to my collection."


The man opened the chest and next to a dead horse's head were jars with a kidney stone, an appendix, a frayed labrum, a detached lat, a vertebrae, a piece of brain matter (marked Carl Everett), several bone fragments from wrists, a broken ankle, a bruised ego, a shattered kneecap, Mike Caruso's hands, some belly fat, locks of sandy-brown hair. a goatee and countless other gruesome trophies.


"What are you?"


"A blog-guy.  If you want to know what to do with Dunn, bring me the ears of Lillibridge.  Over time, I intend to fashion a postmodern Prometheus.  This creature will have exactly zero WAR for his career.  The most perfectly replacement level player in history.  This being will put Willie Bloomquist to shame."


"You are a sick man.  We are firing Greg Walker and the team psychologist this morning, I'm getting out of here."


The man pushed him back onto the cot, brandished a flawlessly polished machete and said, "Not without a memento you aren't and if you don't like it...perhaps you can talk to the darling of the underground."


As he finished that sentence a growl and loud howlings came from the other side of the door.  The door sounded like it may come unhinged.  Screeching metal was all Hahn could hear before he passed out as metal hit flesh.

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