As July came to a close, everything was going according to plan for the alt-2014 Royals. Following the all-star break, the team went on a dramatic winning streak, pulling well ahead of the AL Central. The core of the offense–Hosmer, Burrell, Holliday, and Gordon–were finally firing on all cylinders. Meanwhile, Strike-O-Matic, Carlos Martinez, Kyle Zimmer, and Bartolo Colon routinely provided quality starts and saved the shaky bullpen from overexposure. It was starting to look like the Royals wouldn’t have any problem cruising to the playoffs.
It seemed as though Strike-O-Matic and Pat Burrell didn’t have much to worry about as the trade deadline approached. But then one morning, shortly before a press conference to honor him for yet another MLB Rookie of the Week award, Strike-O-Matic injured himself by trying to iron his shirt while he was wearing it. Of course, he was a machine, so this wasn’t really a problem. He just needed to repair the damage to his artificial skin and reboot. But in the process of restarting his internal computer, Strike-O-Matic regained all of the memories he had lost during the time travel process.
After all, Strike-O-Matic had been sent back from the post-apocalyptic future of 2099 to work with Mike Trout and the Angels to save baseball. He had only recruited Pat Burrell and joined the Royals after a memory malfunction. No one assumed this was a problem, since it shouldn’t have mattered which team Strike-O-Matic helped to win, as long as it both changed history and stopped the robot masters. But when Strike-O-Matic’s internal computer rebooted, he remembered a terrible truth.