When recently I contacted the Underworld about the potential listing of this vast property, I was stunned when Satan himself answered the phone. While I was tempted to ask what happened to all his hired help down there, Satan, being much more direct, got immediately to the point and said his action was a preliminary step because he had only been recently informed of the stunning development that the Houston Astros had made the 2015 baseball playoffs and were in play to make it to the World Series. Shockingly, Satan admitted that he was worried that if the Astros did actually win the World Series, Hell would indeed freeze over. He said 2005 had been a close call but hinted that he had ‘fixed’ things so that the Astros would lose four straight one run games to the Chicago White Sox and his empire would not be at risk.
However, quite quickly the interview turned somewhat antagonistic. Satan was very upset he was caught unaware that the Astros had actually led the American League West division for most of the season. No one had told him anything about such developments. Satan said, “I know that Crane guy and I loved it that he intentionally tanked his team for so long. I mean, how can you not like a guy, who has the lowest payroll in baseball and the worst record for three years running. What caused him to go to the dark side and start winning.”
Moreover, Satan bitterly complained that no one had told him about the Astros stunning developments this season. He wanted to know, “Who is the Carlos Correa and what is he doing leading the team and being a candidate for Rookie of the Year. What is he, 18 years old or something?” He seemed even more mystified with what he termed “that Mountain Man guy” who won 20 games. When I asked Satan if he was referring to Dallas Keuchel, he just intoned, “How am I supposed to know about these things? You expect me to keep up with current events that might impact my empire. You mean read the newspapers everyday or act like a compliance officer? Who has time for that? I am running the biggest land scam there is, the Underworld. How can I ever keep up with a risk as low as the Astros winning, which could cause such gigantic climate change and cool down the temperature around here?”
I tried to tell Lucifer that reading the daily Sports page, even in the Houston Chronicle, can be a small pleasure each day. Further, even though his risk profile for weather change in Hell is overall very low from a big picture perspective, the ambient temperature of Hades rising is a significant risk for him so that he might want to be informed if there was a chance the risk profile could be impacted. By reading the daily newspaper and enjoying catching up on the daily sports report, he could follow events which might impact his business model. His response was telling, “How on earth could you expect me, the Devil, to keep up with current events. You expect me to read the Houston Chronicle every day? Do you know everything I have to do and you really want me to follow the Astros, on the off chance they will make the playoffs, win the World Series and cause Hell to freeze over?”
Somewhat surprisingly, Satan then posed a hypothetical to me. He asked, “Are you trying to tell me that if I am doing business somewhere and there is a report that my agent is actually a foreign government official which I did not know before the news report, I am responsible for that or that I have to do something about it? Are you really telling me that a company has to monitor the people it does business with?” I somewhat sheepishly (because of course, you never want to make Satan look too stupid or upset him too much) replied, yes there are certain laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) which require ongoing monitoring, even of such lowly pieces of information like newspaper articles in foreign countries where a company does business.
I then told the Devil there were services that monitor changes, reflected in news stories, which might modify your risk profile and can notify you on a daily basis of any such changes. Satan seemed to be from the Dark Ages when he replied, “You mean to tell, I can sign for a search service, that monitors Hell’s risk profile for changes? That is impossible!” I said that not only was it possible, I knew several companies that provided ongoing monitoring of newspapers and other sources and can report any changes to him on a daily basis. I asked him if he had ever heard of Ryan Morgan at LexisNexis? He exploded, “Ryan Morgan, I know that guy and he is a winner but but worse, he supports the St. Louis Cardinals. I don’t like people that are winners and support winners and first class operations and the Cardinals are both. Don’t tell me about that guy or his team.” When I asked him if the Cardinals were winners because they hacked into the Astros computer system to steal confidential information, Satan gave a cryptic response, “You don’t see the Cardinals fiddling with baseballs, do you?”
I decided to go all in and ask Satan if he felt an increased risk today, after the Astros had shut out the storied New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium, last night. After a long discussion about how much he liked a team that was also known as ‘the Evil Empire’, Satan said that he really was not too worried because after all it is the Houston Astros we are talking about here. He did admit he was going to monitor the situation a bit more closely going forward. If something happens and the Astros keep winning, he wants to be ready to deliver a risk-based solution that will protect his empire. He concluded, by once again expressing amazement that there are companies which engage in ongoing monitoring of risks and use that information in their risk management on an ongoing basis. After all, he said, “It’s much easier just to fiddle with the equipment to affect the outcome of games” whatever that might mean.
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© Thomas R. Fox, 2015