The Time Shifter Chapter 72


We finished our U. S. tour in early September and headed to Europe. We only took our guitars, effects and other basics while entrustingthe rest to the promoters. We missed the festival season,unfortunately, but we needed to focus on the U. S. first anyway sinceit was the largest music market outside of China. They loved us overthere and our cd was selling well in Finland, Germany, Sweden andBritain. We also had a hell of a good response in Russia to ourshows in Moscow and St. Petersberg. After a month in Europe, wetraveled to Japan playing 1-2,000 seaters. Japan was fucking awesomeeven though it was only eight dates. I stayed there for a monthfollowing the end of the tour and didn't get home until the firstweek of December.

I hired a well known agent to handle negotiations with the M's, butit wasn't Scott Boras. My agent wasn't entirely pleased with theproffer I wanted to make to the Mariners, but I didn't give a shit. I demanded a $5 million signing bonus with my base salary to be themajor league minimum and then I would ultimately be paid accordingto hitting certain incentive targets.

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   For example, if I hit . 300, Iwould get $2 million. If I reached 30 homers, I would receiveanother four million. If I hit 40, I would get five million, sixmillion if I went over 50 and seven million if I connected for morethan 60. If I hit . 400, I would get $25 million plus all otherapplicable incentives. I would receive much smaller bonuses formaking the all star team and winning post season awards such as theMVP, the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award.  

Also, they weren't going to make me cut my hair. They agreed toeverything I demanded, which probably made it one of the shortestnegotiations for a top draftee in MLB history.

We then had a hastily thrown together press conference due to howbusy I was. It was largely a festival of inanity, as most pressconferences are. About the only bit of news out of that was myassertion that when I got to ten years I would start thinking abouthanging them up and definitely would not play any more than 15years. I also said that I was a guitarist playing baseball and notthe other way around, as is usually the case, and that baseball wassecond in my heart after music, which was the truth. That made thememe in the media one of, "is Parker really committed to baseball oris he just messing around?"

Red Sentinel's sales were now closing in on a million copiesworldwide. I reported on February 15st to the Mariners' springtraining facility in Tempe, Arizona along with the pitchers andcatchers.

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   The thing about Arizona is that because of the dry air, the ball just flies for days. So all you have to do is put a nicestroke on it and let the lack of wind resistance do the rest. The first pitch I saw in batting practice, I demolished it 600 feetor more. In Boston in late March, that would have gone 450 or 500tops.

Also on that first day, I walked on to the field wearing a piece ofduct tape over my mouth. "Now THAT is a rookie I like!" one of theveterans remarked. Naturally, they put me through all the usualhazing shit over the ensuing weeks: calling me not by my name, butjust "rookie" or "rook," making me carry their equipment and evenhaving me do a set for them back at the hotel. If one of thereporters wanted to do an interview with me, I would just point tothe duct tape and throw my hands up in a "what can I do?" gesture. It was hilarious.

A couple weeks into this, I brought the band out to rehearse atnight for the recording of our next record, "Lords of theWasteland. " I also had to get up in the middle of the night a fewtimes to do phone interviews with rock magazines in Japan andGermany.

I was ripping the cover off the ball in the run up to our exhibitionslate and so I was inserted into the starting lineup in early Marchfor our first game, which was against St. Louis. I was thrown afirst pitch fastball down and away and blistered it just inside therightfield foul pole for a leadoff homer and a 1-0 lead. I came upagain in the third and there was a new pitcher, who must havefigured I liked to dive out over the plate.

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   So I was given a heaterup and middle in and I got all of it, lacing a laser beam more than500 feet away. I thought I would get pulled after that, but theyallowed me to have one more turn at bat. In that air, breaking stuffdoesn't bite like it will in a more conventional environment. So Iwas given a hanging slider that seemed to scream, "hit me!" and itwent way out to center.

The following game, I finally saw a splitter and swung over one forstrike three. Ugly. So the next time I was up, they threw me anotherone in the middle of the plate and maybe ankle high and I golfed itover the centerfield wall. The look on the pitcher's face waspriceless.

During my next plate appearance, they tried to get me to fish onsomething above the zone, but I didn't go for it. Then they wentdown and away and I sliced that off the rightfield foul pole.

By the end of spring training, I was leading the team in homers byfar and hitting over . 600. With a piss poor offense, they werepretty much forced to put me in the Opening Day lineup at age 17 andseven months. That brought me shitloads of attention, some of itembarrassing because it seemed like they were cutting the plaque toCooperstown before I'd even taken one regular season MLB at bat.

We opened the season in Oakland and I batted leadoff with FrankyGuitierrez second and an aging Ichiro Suzuki third.

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   When I came tobat to kick the game off, I expected, and got, a fastball down andaway and lifted it into the seats in right for a quick 1-0 edge. Thepitcher hit his spot, but I got to it before the ball did. Frankysingled to center and Ichiro slipped a grounder up the middle for aknock and they pulled the double steal. We plated two more on agrounder and a fly ball and that made it 3-0.

In the second inning, I ran down an extra basehit bid in left centerto help out our starter, Felix Hernandez. He retired the next 12 menin a row after that. In the meantime, I came up in the second withthe bases loaded and nobody out and a chance to ice this early. Iwas looking for something in due to the fact that I got fullextension on a pitch away in the earlier time up. I got somethingin, but too far in for a ball. I took a circle change for a strikeand then he came back with a fastball that was middle in and I justkilled it. Absolute defenestration. The ball landed way up in thebleachers of the abomination that is the A's home park and it wasnow 7-0.

Now given how far I hit that, I was expecting chin music my nexttime at bat and yep, I had to duck one. "The next time that happens,dude, you're going to be out for the season," I told Kurt Suzuki,their catcher. "Get back in the box and shut the fuck up, rookie,"he answered.

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   "You've been warned, asshole," I snapped. He jumped inmy face and the umpire got between us. Good thing the umpire got tohm before my right foot did. I looked for something away either inthe dirt or on the corner. He left it up and I rifled it off therightfield wall for a double. The second baseman barked something atme, but I don't talk to the enemy, so I acted like he didn't evenexist. Ichiro came up one out later and doubled into the alley. Ismiled at Kurt as I dashed across home plate. I was back up in theseventh and wondered if they would flip me then since they had adisposable reliever on the hill and someone else warming up. I wasthrown a heater on the inner half, but belt high, and I top handedit into the third row to make it 9-0. My last at bat in the ninth,the reliever got behind to me 3-0 with two on and then threw a "getme over" fastball, which I got over the centerfield wall. I hadbroken one of the most asinine of unwritten baseball rules, letting3-0 pitches go by. Fuck that.

All their infielders squawked as I trotted by them and then I rolledinto home and, of course, Suzuki gives me shit. I shouted at him,"compete on every pitch or go work at Burger King," I snarled.

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   ThenI flashed the number "4" with my fingers to represent what I justvictimized him and his pitching staff for to put myself in thehistory books with just one day of major league experience.

The next day, KI was fully expecting to get flipped when I came up inthe first. And yep, here comes a fastball right at my head. I backedaway from it by bending my back. Then they threw a slider down and awayand I swung and missed at it. I was out on my front foot. But I did thisintentionally and let the bat fly at the pitcher with all the force Icould use to snap my wrists to make it happen. The bat crashed into thesouthpaw's throwing arm and he went down like he'd been shot because henow had a broken upper limb. The benches emptied. I spun around andcaught Suzuki, who stands all of about 5'11", flush in the face with mymetal spiked baseball shoes and not just put him in a coma for threeweeks, but ripped part of his face off. Several of his teammates came atme, but I knocked them all out with a combination of roundhouse kicks,straight righthands and karate chops. The police had to come on to thefield to settle the brawl while I stood tall inviting more of theirplayers to try to take a shot at me. I was ejected by the umpire, so Igot in his face and backed him up against the screen because he keptretreating as I vociferously made my case. My manager and one of thecoaches pulled me away.

Once I went to the dugout, I phoned up to the press box and told themedia that the lefthanded pitcher should have been charged with assaultwith a deadly weapon and attempted mayhem, but that the Oakland policewere so in the pockets of the ballclub that I didn't think it wouldhappen.

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   "If he had thrown at a cop he would be dead so quick from a hailof gunfire it would have made everybody's head swim. They kill OscarGrant for having the temerity of being a black man on a passenger train,but they let a white guy with a hard sphere in his hand that has beenknown to kill people off by mere dint of him committing the assault on abaseball field," I advocated.

That day's Oakland battery were out for the remainder of the schedule. Two of the guys I punched out sustained facial fractures and were o theDL for a couple of months. One of them was their starting third baseman,so that hurt both him and the bay area nine further. The other guy was ascrub. I was out for a month due to the ensuing suspension. But duringthat time, I not only expressed zero remorse for what I did, I accusedthe commissioner, Bud Selig, for being soft on beanballs and thuscreating an atmosphere that will one day get someone killed. "You'llhave blood on your hands there, Bud, and people will remember how Icalled you out on this issue and how you just sat on your hands and letsomeone die. If that isn't contributory negligence, I don't know whatis," I charged. I also called the A's manager and the lefthander inquestion "a couple of headhunting bush leaguers who are disgraces to thegame. " The manager shot back, "wait, he takes out four of my players,puts one of them into a coma, and he calls ME  a disgrace? He has ascrew loose and belongs in prison. " I retorted that, "not only was what Idid an act of self defense, but that he was willing to call a pitchthat could cripple me for the rest of my life or even kill me for acompetitive advantage during a kid's game. He's the one who belongs inprison for essentially inciting a riot and taking part in a conspiracyto commit an act of mayhem. The guy is a complete thug, as are Suzukiand his pitcher.

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   Why are they not being prosecuted?" I fumed.

MLB's lawyers, afraid that the commissioner's unwillingness to deal withthis question was going to see the league filed on by the kind of masslawsuits like the NFL was being inundated with, advised him that he hadbetter do something about this issue

This was the last time anyone threw at my head. When I came back, I wasseeing a lot of pitches out over the plate and I was hammering them. Bythe end of May, I had 21 homers and 52 RBIs. So in June, I rarely saw afastball and my walk rate went way up because breaking balls are harderto command than heaters are. I absolutely crushed some hangers. I wasalso running all the time because of the bases on balls and so if youwalked me with nobody on it was like giving me third base. Despite theincident with the A's, I was voted on to the all star team. At the breakI was hitting . 464 with 33 homers and 60 steals

With my growing fame, the number of girls interested in being with mealso swelled. On a road trip to Anaheim, I had my pick of half a dozenblondes, who immediately surrounded me when we landed in the hotellobby. I took this one little hardbodied girl upstairs to my room andwatched as she peeled her halter top and her little white dress off ofher tanned, toned physique. She also had nice, thick lips and I spent awhile just kissing her while I fondled her natural looking D cups andflicked her stiff nipples with my fingers. She had a little landingstrip fronting her pussy and I brought the noise to it with gusto,reaming her to a number of orgasms before I unburdened my balls insideof her.

As she lay there with my spunk drooling out of her pink entrance, I tookin how amazing she looked.

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   That was all she was, a fuck object, becauseshe had very little content. I had to probe her inner wetness againwith my dipstick and turned her twat into a sloshing mess with the twoloads of semen I injected into her. Fuck, it was soooo good to be me. .