On the team charter flight to Miami, Daniel was quiet and very deep in thought.
“Is everything okay, Daniel?” Ruben asked.
“Yes,” Daniel said. “I’m just thinking about today.”
“The 0 for the weekend or the Old Lady and Utley?” Ruben said.
“Neither,” Daniel said. “The Wizard.”
“The Wonderful Wizard of Lobs?”
“Yes. I saw him this morning.”
“The Wizard was in New York? I thought he was in Toronto?” Ruben said.
“He was,” Daniel said. “But he was in town today. And he warned me about the latest plot from the Evil Empire. Ruben, you must be careful.”
“Apparently, El Capi-Tan is injured. Do you remember when the Gnomes tried to kidnap Ike Davis?”
“Yes,” Ruben said, suddenly understanding. “But why would the Evil Empire want me? I’m off to a slow start.”
“They see your great potential, Ruben. They can see that you have talent. They see you can become a great leader. El Capi-Tan knows he won’t be around forever. He will need a successor.”
“But didn’t they make fun of me when we fought off the gnomes with the help of Redbeard?”
“That was during spring training, Ruben,” Daniel reminded him. “The Wizard has been observing the Empire closely since then. He came to me this morning to warn us to be carful. The Wizard would not lead us astray.”
“I’ll be careful,” Ruben said.
“I know you will,” Daniel said, smiling. “Get some rest. Tomorrow is Miami. After that, I’m worried we may have to face the Ghost of Larry again in Atlanta. We’re going to need all the sleep we can.”