Satan called a Press Conference Saturday at midnight to announce that he was putting up his entire real estate portfolio up for immediate sale. He made this announcement on the heels of the Houston Astros win over the New York Yankees earlier that evening to advance to the World Series. When asked why he alluded to climate change in his prepared statement, the head of Hades said “I am not one of those know-nothings to deny the existence of verifiable data. I allowed those losers to make it to the World Series back in 2005 but twice in one century, that is too much for any fallen angel.” 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. He stated there are “multiple ways to manage risk.”

Satan said that he was aware, “Houston has had two 500-year floods and one 1000-year flood in the past 18 months but climate change in Hades?” As Satan said “Give me a break. The Cubs were bad enough but the Astros; how much does a devil have to put up with around the homestead.” He concluded this section of the Press Conference with “I have had a good run but I am getting out while the getting is good.”

Moreover, Satan bitterly complained that no one had told him about the Astros stunning developments this season all of which were foretold by Sports Illustrated who predicted the Astros would win the 2017 World Series back in the June 25, 2014 issue. “Who is this Mr. Sports Illustrated, only I know the future”, Satan shouted at the assembled throng, “Whoever he is, tell him is on the naughty list, as in permanently.”

He also wanted to know, “Who is the shortest player in baseball and why did he lead the league in hitting?” He seemed even more mystified about an Astro he termed as “that guy who dates Kate Upton” who won 9 games without a loss. When a reporter asked Satan if he was referring to Justin Verlander, traded to Houston on August 31, he snapped, “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 a World Series, which could cause such gigantic climate change and cool down the temperature around here?”

I had switched over to Satan’s Press Conference from the post-game wrap up. In that press event, one of the more interesting comments came from Alex Rodriguez, on one of the game’s key plays. Rodriguez talked about the process which led to that play and one that the entire Astros infield was a part of going forward. It was Alex Bergman’s cut down, at home plate, of Greg Bird on Todd Frazier’s infield dribbler in the fifth inning, to maintain the shutout and shut down the Yankees. Rodriguez first noted that the Astros had clearly practiced the play and some idea of what to expect. Rodriguez then observed that the catcher, Brian McCann, had signaled the play to be made to the entire infield before Bird stepped to the plate. Rodriguez then said the two pitches thrown, both fastballs inside were designed to induce a ground ball to the left side of the infield. It still took a great catch by Bergman, with a perfect throw to McCann behind the plate; who then held onto the ball as Bird slid into it for the out to be called.

In compliance parlance, it was all about process. A situation has been practiced so a plan was place to manage the risk of a man on third, when the precise situation appeared with one out. The correct risk management strategy was then called by the head of the infield, the catcher and communicated quickly and efficiently. The rest of the infield, in the person of Bergman, executed the risk management strategy to perfect. The result was a running saving out and the game momentum solidified for the Astros.

The final question asked to Satan was if he felt an increased risk today, after the Astros had shut out the storied Yankees on Saturday night? After a long soliloquy about how much he liked a team known as ‘the Evil Empire’; Satan admitted he was going to monitor the risk a bit more closely going forward. If something happens and the Astros win the World Series, he said wanted to be ready to deliver a risk management strategy that will protect his empire. He concluded, with an enigmatic statement about his (un-named) favorite football coach, “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, 2017