Publicly, they are mild-mannered champions of the baseball diamond. Behind closed clubhouse doors, however, the Houston Astros are Astroforce, saving the world one mission at a time. But fighting evildoers can take its toll with injuries. We join them now at Minute Maid Headquarters. . .
Minute Maid Headquarters. The Clubhouse.
AJ: Gentlemen, I call this meeting of AstroForce to order. We have intelligence that Baron von Tyler is sending his agent and our old friend Dumpster Fire to Oakland tonight.
Cole: Hinch-Pitter, does this mean---
AJ: Yes, Cole-Power, von Tyler is planning to steal the world’s supply of pine tar.
Gurriel: ¡El Diablo!
AJ: Sí, Hombre de La Piña. Without pine tar, Astroforce will be rendered helpless, and Baron von Tyler knows this. We have already seen what has happened to Gattis without pine tar. He was powerless and now El Oso Blanco is gone.
Bregman: I begged him to wear gauntlets! I begged him!
AJ: Oso is gone, Arrogant-Man. Direct your pleas to the new kid.
Tucker: Actually, I’ve felt my power has been coming back lately.
Bregman: But for how long, Tedboy? For how long?
Tucker: Stop staring at me.
AJ: Let us observe a moment of silence for the departed. For Oso. And for Great White, who has been missing in action for weeks. I fear we may never see him again.
[All bow their heads in silence.]
White: I’m still here, guys.
Reddick: To Oso and Great White! They are missed.
Cole: Fearless leader, please let me take the point on this mission!
AJ: No, Cole-Power, your history with the Baron may cloud your judgment. We cannot let this become personal.
Cole (slams fists down on table): Blast!
AJ: Control, Cole-Power, control! You must learn control! . . . That goes for you too, Framberator.
Valdez: I didn’t say anything!
AJ: For you, Framberator, I just meant you need to work on your control in general. Anyways, Cole-Power, you are still on an undercover mission, are you not? How goes that?
Cole: It goes well. I am periodically allowing runs at an alarming pace. Nobody suspects how powerful I truly am. Or that my power dwarfs even that of Upton-Man.
Verlander (under breath): Like hell it does.
Cole: What was that?
Verlander (loudly): I said, “My bell has rust!”
Springer: Hinch-Pitter, we have suffered many injuries. Buenos Diaz, L2V, Framejob, Professor MuQ and I have all been tainted in our battle with Dr. Odor.
Altuve: I’ve tried bathing in tomato juice and everything.
Correa: I am down as well.
AJ: Captain Correa! No! Astroforce needs your power! Who did this to you? Was it the Troutmaster? Judge Bomber? Was it Gomezhead? Curse you, Gomezhead!!!
Correa: No, I was getting a “massage”. . . if you know what I mean. And I was “sliding into home”. . . if you know what I mean, and I cracked a rib.
Springer: Daniella did this to you?
Correa: I didn’t say that.
AJ: Very well, we will have to go forward without our greatest weapons.
Verlander: Should we call in for reinforcements?
Kemp: Put me in, Skip! Put me in!
Alvarez: I am ready to join Astroforce. I have my catchphrase for evildoers ready: “You’re done.”
Reddick: Shouldn’t it be “Jou’re done.”?
Alvarez: Whatever! The point is I’m ready!
AJ: Not yet, Yordan. The time is not right. I’m thinking mid-June maybe. . .
Alvarez: But we are fighting Dumpster Fire tonigh----
AJ: Yes. . . mid-June would be super.
Cole: Sir, without Captain Correa, Super Springer or L2V, who is there left to take point on this mission?
Peacock (stands up): I will.
Peacock: I am the Peacock. You gotta let me fly.
AJ: So it shall be. Astroforce Go!
To be continued. . . (unless Hatter regains his sanity.)