April 29, 2013
Chapter 23: Transmogrified!
One of the clubhouse attendants found the box in the corner of a storage room in the visitor's clushouse while looking for some extra towels. It was a large, dingy, lumpy thing, with several layers of dust.on it. The clubbie didn't really have a reason to pull it out; perhaps it was the desire to see what was inside it, perhaps just a fit of boredom, but he dragged it out and dusted it off.
"Hey! Come here!" the clubbie shouted when he opened it up. Everyone came running, only to see the guy wielding an old black bat. "Look whose bat this is!" he said, grinning. We look at the bat, and was mildly shocked to see Albert Belle's name on it. "There's probably 15-20 bats in here," he said, rummaging through the box. One of the guys took it from him and tried to imitate an Albert Belle swing, then immediately looked at the bat with a puzzled look on their face. "Hmm, that's funny" he said. "These are pretty light. I heard that Albert swung a heavy bat." By this time all the other players had come over, and they grabbed the bats still in the box. "This one's light, too!" one shouted. In a couple minutes, we realized why that was.
It was a pretty large box, large enough for a man to fit inside it with a bit of difficulty. We started wiping off the dust in order to see if there was a label on it or something, and suddenly someone started reading "Trans-mog.." A couple more wipes, and the entire word was visible. "Transmogrifier" we all read, written in a child's shaky handwriting, not entirely sure what we were reading. Someone on the other side of the box shouted "Hey, come look at this!" All of us crowded around. One of the words, also in a child's handwriting, was "Eel." Another was "dinosaur." And so on; there were several words printed in a circle, and a moveable arrow in the center of the circle.
At the bottom of the circle, written in an adult's handwriting, was "Corked". We all looked at each other, trying to process things, and suddenly someone put our thoughts into words, "Hey you don't think someone set Albert up..." and we immediately dismissed it out of hand, though I bet we all knew he was right.
We forgot all about the box until we reached Kansas City later that month. For whatever reason someone had taken the box on the road trip, and one of the guys spotted it. He ran over to it, but tripped on something and bumped it.
After a couple seconds, the box stopped shaking, and by this time everyone was looking at it. We opened it, and hundreds of bugs came flying out, all in the shape of baseballs. Then we looked at the side of the box, and saw where the arrow was pointing at.
It was the last game of the road trip, and everyone was in a good mood; we had won 10-3 the night before. So we decided to have some fun. "Hey Ubaldo!" one of the jokers shouted. "Come over here! We're going to transmogrify you!"
"Wait a sec!" I shouted, "he has to pitch tonight." The joker smiled and said "I know," then went looking for a sharpie.
There was total silence in the room. Finally Ubaldo got out from the box, which had been turned upside down to accomodate him. He looked exactly the same...except for a goatee that wasn't there before. "How do you feel, Ubaldo!" Ubaldo smiled. "I feel great! Let's go win a ballgame."
Terry stood there, a puzzled look on his face. "Wait..you better shave before going out there.."
We all turned around. Raburn was getting out from under the box, also with a goatee, beaming.
Terry found Giambi. "Jason, you have the flu. Ryan's starting tonight," he said, the tiniest of grins on his face.