In the dark future of 2099, robots playing baseball is commonplace. Pitches are thrown at 150 mph. Bats are laced with carbon fibers to increase home run distance. Laser weapons are mounted on arms to assist with breaking up double plays. These machines are designed with a certain brand of the sport in mind–one that fragile human flesh and bone would be unable to withstand. But it was more than that. Robot baseball was efficient. It was calculated. It was stripped of random chance and uncertainty with the virtual minds of the players guided by calculations beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
When the rogue AI K.I.R.K.G.I.B.S.O.N. selected six robot masters to send back to 2014, it did not anticipate these differences. It believed that the robot masters would be unstoppable. It failed to take into account…the human element. The fielders behind the robot pitchers would not be perfect. In fact, many of them would be quite terrible. The pitches the robot hitters faced in 2014 would be slow and unpredictable. And so, despite everything that had gone wrong with Mike Trout’s plan to save baseball, there was still hope.
As May came to an end, and faced with a mediocre start to the season, player/GM Pat Burrell made two dramatic moves to improve the Royals. Struggling prospect John Lamb was shipped out for the most corpulent pitcher in basebal, Bartolo Colon. And James Shields, whose ERA was beginning to affect the tides, was traded to the Cardinals for Matt Holliday and Carlos Martinez. This was a risky deal, as one of the six robot masters was playing for the Cardinals. There was a good chance Shields could put everything together again, but Burrell saw enough potential in Martinez that he didn’t believe St. Louis could end up winning the deal.