Couldn't figure out whether I should dig into the Neukom stuff a little bit more or have a series preview, so I decided to do both.
Neukom: Gentlemen, as you know, I am always looking for new technology for the baseball department. I believe we have made a breakthrough. Our lead researcher, played by Morgan Freeman, has developed a demoistening ray.
Baer: A demoistening ray? Explain.
Neukom: The Colorado Rockies have the technological advantage with their humidor. One shot from the demoistening ray while the Rockies pitcher is in his windup, and the Giants will enjoy the advantage. It's undetectable. It's invisible. Odorless. Tasteless.
Brian Sabean is shooting the ray into his open mouth, and making a face like a cat licking peanut butter off its fur.
Sabean: Oh, god, this tastes like burning pigeon feathers, oh, no, oh god.
Neukom: Wait, it's not tasteless. That's right, that was in an older version. But it will demoisten.
Sabean pushes the intercom button on his phone
Sabean: Susan, could you be a doll and get me 26 glasses of water?
Neukom: Gentlemen. Allow me to introduce the Air Thickener 3500.
Baer: Good gravy, that thing is huge.
Neukom: It's a prototype, so it will be bulkier than the finished product, yes. When we actually move it out of AT&T Park, it will need to be smaller, so we can sneak it into Coors Field. The goal is to thicken the Denver air, eliminating the offensive advantages of the Colorado Rockies. Turn this baby on, and in just a couple of hours, it will be almost impossible to hit a home run wherever you're playing.
Baer: How do you turn it on?
Neukom: This switch right here.
Baer: The glowing red switch that's clearly in the on position right now?
Neukom: Yes. That one.
Baer: Bill, has that machine been on for the entire season?
Baer: Dammit, Bill.
Neukom: Wait ... this shouldn't ... now, how did ...? Wait a second ....
Neukom: Gentlemen, what he have here is the StatGalactus 3600. It's a super computer developed in a joint project between the NSA and Air Force.
Baer: It's ... it's beautiful.
Neukom: It took several million dollars to reprogram the computer from its original purpose, which was launching and controlling intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Baer: Several million dollars? I wasn't informed of this. None of the investors were!
Sabean: Does it have a database that allows me to sort through eras using linear weights and extrapolated runs?
Neukom: No. It was designined to get the answer to one question: Why are more runs scored at Colorado than any other park?
Baer: Wait a second ...
Neukom: In front of you is a dossier. Inside, you will find the complete report.
Sabean: Mine just has a piece of paper that reads, "Denver is really, really far up in the air."
Neukom: Dammit. Let me see that.
Baer: Alright. Screw this. I have to make a phone call to the executive committee. This has gone too far.
Neukom: I was lied to! The Craigslist ad promised something much better! There were pie charts! You have to believe me!
Sabean: Wow! You mean it's floating like Cloud City?
Neukom: Gentlemen, this is a laptop. It has an internet connection, and the "browser" has bookmarks that take you to "websites" called Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.
Baer: You're out, Bill.
Neukom: No, wait, I can explain. This machine is $600, and every organization issues them.
Baer: OUT. You're out. Pack up your office. Take your voodoo box with you.
Neukom's shoulders slump. He hangs his head
Neukom: I understand. But I'm keeping the things I had the Technology Department make for me. They're mine. I hold the patents.
Neukom pushes a button on the middle of his bow tie. The tie spins like a propeller, and Neukom rises off the ground, hovering two feet in the air. He picks his head up, slowly looks around, and opens his mouth to say something.
He thinks better of it and closes his mouth, a single tear rolling down his cheek. He drops his head again, and silently flies out of an open window, never to return.