Dan Peschong reports on an escape from the Astroholics rehab center.
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A TV glows in the corner of a living room – 9 sets of eyes are gathered around it in silence. There are loud noises and bright lights seeping in from outside and as the clock shows 10 PM – the channel is changed.
Two well dressed anchors are sitting behind the desk in front of an electronic banner proclaiming “Breaking News”.
“Good evening, I am Andy Cerota”
“And I am Rachel McNeil. Bill and Dominique are off tonight recovering from their latest plastic surgeries.”
“We have breaking news in Sugar Land on the rehab escapees named the Astroholics Nine. We go now to Asian reporter Tricia Takanawa for the latest.”
“Thanks, Andy. As you can see behind me the Sugar Land Police swat team has surrounded a home here in a quiet neighborhood in the First Colony area. They say that the nine escapees from the Bill Spiers Center for Astroholism and Related Conditions are holed up in a one story brick home at the end of this cul-de-sac.
We are currently waiting for a press conference from the chief of police. While we are waiting, here is a short interview taped earlier today with Dr. Jennifer Melfi, who runs the rehab center that the Astroholics 9 left in the dead of night 4 weeks ago.”
The scene switches to a well-dressed woman with glasses who is hurrying across a parking lot.
“Dr. Melfi, what can you tell us about the nine escapees from your rehab center?”
“Well, obviously, due to client confidentiality I cannot disclose their names or even confirm their numbers. I will say this is very unusual, since all of the patients at our rehab center are there voluntarily. Any of them could have checked themselves out and walked out the front door at any time.”
“Dr. Melfi, is there any danger to the public from these escapees?”
“All I will say is that each of these people care deeply about a team that has been the worst team in baseball for the last 3 years, has changed leagues against their wishes and has gone out of their way to turn their back on the fans. To still care after all that sounds pretty unbalanced to me – how about you?”
The scene shifts to a podium with a microphone. A large man in uniform backed by about 20 others is standing there. A voice-over says, “And now to the press conference at Sugar Land police headquarters.”
“Chief – how did you locate the 9?”
“Well, it has been a well coordinated effort involving many government agencies. For instance through our connections with the NSA we were able to identify multiple electronic contacts from the Sugar Land area with a known Astroholic blog run out of Louisiana by fugitive Chip Bailey. The big break came when the postal service delivered a package to this specific address containing highlight videos of the 2011 and 2012 Astro seasons. This was significant as they are the only order ever received for these DVDs.”
“Did the group plan to watch these videos to help fill their hours of confinement?”
“What about the rumors that the group has taken hostages and handed over a list of demands.”
“I can confirm that the group is holding the starting lineup and rotation from the current Astros somewhere in this ranch style home.”
“Are the Astros willing to negotiate for the return of their team?”
“Jim Crane is unwilling to commit any money to get them back. Jeff Luhnow was wondering if the Astroholics had any young prospects they would trade in exchange. But a couple hours ago the group has passed along what I would call a rambling manifesto and a list of demands from each of their participants to obtain the release of the players.”
“Could you read the list of demands?”
“Sure….we are going to use their blog handles here:
Brian T demands that the 2005 World Series be re-played in full with the Astros allowed to close the roof.
Daveb demands that the 40 man roster rule be waived for the Astros and that they be able to bring up all eligible youngsters from the minors without Rule 5 implications (yes, even George Springer).
Astro45 and Bopert Weaver demand that Jim Crane be tarred/ feathered / run out of town on a rail and forced to move the team to Scranton, Pennsylvania or Akron, Ohio and the St. Louis Cardinals to be transferred to Houston in their place.
Devin demands that Comcast Sports Net be piped into whatever correctional facility he is eventually sent to with his compadres.
Steven demands that mlb force the Cubs to send Jim Deshaies back to the Astros.
Dan P demands that the head of Bud Selig be brought to him on a stick or at the very least that he be placed in the stocks for a day outside Minute Maid Park without his toupee (at least he assumes it is a toupee – why would a guy worth $400 million pay for that bad of a haircut).
That is all I have at this time.”
“Is there any end in sight for this stand-off, chief?”
“Like the CSN broadcast stand-off…..no.”
The scene goes to black….