The storm clouds that brewed all day had turned into a full-fledged melee of precipitation. Aledmys Diaz pulled his blanket up over his head in a futile attempt to drown out the roar of thunder and the piercing snap of lightning. It was late and he was oh-so-very-tired. His team was in the middle of a stretch of seventeen straight games. He groaned out loud as a particularly brilliant bolt of lightening struck somewhere nearby, illuminating the small room with a radiant glow.
"Can't sleep, eh? It happens, kiddo. These summer storms in St. Louis are marvelous, but fierce," a quiet voice called out from the corner of the room.
Diaz instinctively sat up from his bed and reached for his Louisville Slugger he sleeps beside, but halted mid-way when he saw the lanky figure in full Cardinals regalia inspecting a harmonica sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, the darkness of the night obstructing his face.
"This again," he muttered under his breath, "Sir, I do not mean to sound ungrateful, but in the future when you all show up, could you maybe try to give a guy a bit of notice? I don't know how many more of these late-night visits I can take, you know?"
"'More of these visits', you say? Who else has visited you, son?" the figure asked with an amused chuckle.
"2001 Albert Pujols was here a few months ago - sitting in that very chair. Hey where did that chair come fr-"
"Rookie Pujols, huh? Very interesting," the visitor replied, blowing a few notes through the harmonica.
"'Interesting'... I guess you could call it that," Diaz answered, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Well, I suppose you are wondering why I am here," he stated, putting the harmonica in his pocket.
"Yeah, Pujols didn't know why he showed up."
"Rookie... Anyway, I am here, Pujols was here, because you called us here, Aledmys."
"I... called you here?"
"Sure did. With your play. See, whenever a rookie gets off to a fast start, we like to keep an eye on him, see if he has what it takes to... well it is too early for that. We don't like to jump the gun, especially after the Bo Hart Affair a few years back. But, uh, anyway, you are doing real well, kid, real well. We like what we see. We think you have real potential. Plus, you smell nice."
"Well, gee, thanks, Mr. - I am terribly sorry, but I cannot actually tell who you are," Diaz responded hesitantly, rubbing the back of his neck again.
"Oh, it is your time now, Aldemys - my name is not important. I am just a man," The Man said meekly, slowly standing from his chair.
Lightning cackled again and The Man was gone, the chair disappearing with him. Diaz rubbed his eyes, staring at the now empty corner of the room.
"Was that... was that just...? Never mind," Diaz said to himself before collapsing back onto his bed.
what else is going on in baseball...
- Ichiro Suzuki records 2 hits, 4 shy of 3,000 | marlins.com
- Ken Griffey Jr. awaits Hall of Fame induction | mariners.com
- Ken Griffey, Jr. was always a pure joy to watch. | Sports on Earth
- Ken Griffey Jr. was a transcendent motherf**ker | SBNation.com
- Ken Griffey Jr. to enter the Hall of Fame as all-time great center fielder despite strange career arc | Beyond the Box Score
- A timeline of the best highlights from Ken Griffey Jr.'s remarkable career | SBNation.com
- Mike Piazza's Hall of Fame career began in LA | dodgers.com
- Dream Trade Deadline moves for 10 GMs | MLB.com
- White Sox could sell before Trade Deadline | MLB.com
- Statcast: Reynolds' 484-foot HR | MLB.com
- David Ortiz hit a batting practice home run that got stuck inside Pesky's Pole | MLB.com
- Royals honored by President Barack Obama | royals.com
- MLB Scores Big Win in Minor-League Wage Lawsuit | FanGraphs Baseball
- Now Might Be the Best Time to Trade Evan Longoria | FanGraphs Baseball
- Baseball player sprints to the other dugout during live action to start and lose a brawl | SBNation.com
- #MLBRank -- Stark my all-time top 10 | ESPN
- Ted Williams deserved to win the MVP in 1941 | Beyond the Box Score
- 2015 World Series Champs at the White House: I Called It | Royals Review
what the cardinals are up to...
- As injuries mount, St. Louis Cardinals play most inspired baseball | St Louis Cardinals | ESPN
- Big anniversary for Piscotty with tying three-run homer | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com
- Aledmys Diaz Is Having One of Best Rookie Seasons in Cardinals History | 101Sports.com
- Improved Cardinals Rotation is an Emerging Factor in NL Playoff Race | 101Sports.com
KNOW THINE ENEMY...
the los angeles dodgers...
- Justin Turner, Dodgers beat Stephen Strasburg | MLB.com
- Chris Archer’s Obvious Fit With the Dodgers | FanGraphs Baseball
- Julio Urias adept at handling Los Angeles Dodgers' challenges | Los Angeles Dodgers Report | ESPN
- Series preview: Cardinals vs. Dodgers | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com
- Dodgers vs. Cardinals schedule & probable starting pitchers | True Blue LA
- Mike Piazza Hall of Fame call bittersweet from Dodgers standpoint | True Blue LA
- A Los Angeles Dodgers Community | True Blue LA.
the nl central...
- The Value of Kyle Schwarber | FanGraphs Baseball
- Joey Votto Is Still Pretty Good at Baseball | FanGraphs Baseball
viva el stuff..
Why Aledmys Diaz is the Real Deal | Viva El Birdos
VEB Day 2016 Part 2: The Reckoning: Details and Signup | Viva El Birdos
- A visit from the ghost of Albert Pujols (kinda) - A Hunt and Peck | Viva El Birdos
- NBA will move 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte after North Carolina fails to repeal anti-LGBTQ law | SBNation.com
- St. Louis weather | stltoday.com
- OLD CAR COLUMN: A 1949 Lincoln-powered F-3 like no other! | Automotive | stltoday.com
- Jaden Schwartz, Blues Agree To Five Year Contract | St. Louis Game Time