PrimeTime Moose and the St. Louis Cardinals were defeated, and the Kansas City Royals wouldn’t have to face them again, except perhaps in the World Series. Taking 3 out of 4 games from the Cardinals was a huge boost to the Royals, as the Redbirds had established themselves as the best team in the NL of the first half, despite the often puzzling decisions of the manager. But this was just the beginning of a stressful month of June. The MLB Amateur Draft was scheduled immediately after the series against the Cardinals, and then the New York Yankees rolled into Kansas City for a four game set. The Yankees hadn’t been a particularly formidable team to date, but they were boosted by the addition of a robot master of their own.
Unlike Mike Mussina, who had allowed his consciousness to be used as a template for robot players because he wanted to be able to better control farm equipment, Rickey Henderson’s reasons for submitting to the experiment were a lot simpler: he still didn’t want to leave the game. Despite being quite old when robots began playing MLB, Henderson was not ready to hang up his cleats. The 80-something outfielder still believed he had a few more good seasons in him, even if his body disagreed in literally every way possible.
Rickey had not left baseball on his own terms. While he played his final game in 2003, he continued to insist that he was in good enough shape to suit up for any number of teams, and could be an immediate contributor. Despite a pedestrian final season and legs that were held together with withering sinew, he toughed it out in the independent leagues and maintained his desire to return to MLB until 2007. The advent of robot players gave Rickey a chance to run again.
Whereas Mussina’s imprinting failed, Rickey’s was wildly successful. The original Rickey Henderson remained in his body, while numerous copies of his consciousness were sold and uploaded into leadoff robots around MLB. Each one was tweaked slightly, given upgrades and abilities to make it stand out. The most successful was converted into a switch hitter for the Neo New York Yankees. This particular iteration on Rickey Henderson, Flash Money, was chosen by K.I.R.K.G.I.B.S.O.N. to go back to 2014 to assist in the destruction of baseball.