You understand what’s at stake here.


We all like Julio. He’s a nice guy. Lotsa fun in the clubhouse. Hell, if I had a dollar, and he needed a dollar, well, f@#k, I’d give him that dollar. Just hand it to him and shit.


But soon he’ll be ready to come off the DL. And we can’t have that.


Now, killing the guy would be messy. We can’t have blood on our hands.

Perish the thought.

So you’re gonna have to go back in time and make sure he never gets a job in professional baseball.


We have a time machine here. Is it ready, doctor?


Excellent. Now go and make things happen. To Julio.


::Travels back to 1985, Dominican Republic::

Hey, kid. Where you headin’?

The ballfield. My name’s Julio. I play Little League.

Well I guess that’s cool. If you like being poor.

Huh? Baseball players ain’t poor. They make a lotta money.

That’s what they tell you. But once you’re on a plane to America, they put you to work. Mowing grass or stitching pig bladders into fancy purses for the rich.

Aye carumba.

Want my advice? Stick to math.

Math? Like school math?

Damn straight. That’s where the real money is. Adding, subtracting. Here.

What’s this?

It’s a calculator. You can do all sorts of cool tricks with it.

::fiddling with it:: I don’t see no Donkey Kong on here.

It ain’t a f@#kin’ video game, pancho. It’s numbers. The lifeblood of everything in this world.

::still fiddling with it:: Hey, this is pretty cool.

You wouldn’t happen to know where the Lowries’ summer vacation house is, wouldya? I gotta drop off a sack of bats.

::Later, back in 2008, at Bukowski’s Tavern::

So blah, blah, yadda yadda yadda, we’re all set.

Good work, Josh. Now I’ve got to get to my secret base on the moon to help NASA locate Mecha-Giambi. I trust you’ll take care of the tab?

Sure, sure. No problem. Eh ::picks up bill, squints:: Damn, I should’ve asked Terry to figure the tip. I can never do percentages. Hmmmm….

Excuse me, sir. I couldn’t help but overhear your predicament. Perhaps I can offer some assistance. You see, I am in the business of mathematics.

Okay. Eh…

Looking at your bar tab, it appears that you’ve had six whiskeys, two Jaeger shots and a half-dozen Heinekens.

Well, it is breakfast.

With your bar tab being $250, I would estimate an adequate tip to be 42 dollars.

Thanks, buddy, I… hey, you look familiar to me. Do I know you?

Not unless you attended MIT, my friend.

::The Next Day::

Ready for another time travel assignment?

Uh. Sure.

Excellent. You’re familiar with Tim McCarver?

The broadcaster?

Not if you can help it.


* * * * * * * *

Apologies to McSweeneys, the Dugout, and readers everywhere.