Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read is true. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.
DUM de DUM DUM
This is the city, Los Angeles, California. With three million eight hundred thousand within its limits, and a metropolitan population of twelve million. It is a city of hope, especially in the spring, but not this spring. That is why they call on me.
My name is Friday, this is my city, I carry a badge.
Sunday, early April in the spring of 2014, I was working a day watch, alone, my partner Frank was taking a well earned day off, shortly after 1 PM I got the radio call..
The Los Angeles Dodgers have gone missing.
Dodgers just don’t go missing. Between three and four million people are personal witnesses to their whereabouts each year in the city limits. I got to the location of the initial complaint in under 4 minutes, obeying all traffic laws and yielding to several pedestrians. I quickly verified the address. It was headquarters to perhaps the most loyal group of men in the city, the LAPD. I could see my office as the commissioner filled me in with all we had on the case, just the facts.
The Dodgers can not be found on television. Not just the Dodgers, but local icon Vin Scully hadn’t been seen either. The complaints were coming in non stop. the city was in a panic.
A ransom had been paid for the team twice in the past two years. Guggenheim Partners, with Magic Johnson as the groups front man, paid $2.15 billion dollars to take over the team from Frank McCourt in 2012, and the television rights were purchased by Time Warner Cable for $8.35 billion for 25 years of game broadcasts.
The Dodgers haven’t been seen since.
The investigation started with a phone call to TWC, they had been the last ones seen with the team. I was being prompted from a cold recorded voice to push a number to connect to a helpful representative. As ridiculous as it sounded, I did as instructed. Pressing 3 repeatedly on my rotary office phone while waiting 45 minutes, I was finally connected to a woman who called herself Sherry, no last name. Before I could identify myself ‘Sherry’ could not offer me more than a cursory “let me transfer you” before sending me back into a holding mode. Another half hour passed and I realized they were playing me off as some kind of wacko. They were hiding something, it was my job to find out what, I had a suspect.
As I prepared to leave the office and head to the cable company main office, my phone rang. It was Frank, it was hard to follow what he was saying, something about being at a game, there was too much commotion in the background, and I had a job to do.
Stay tuned next week, for the conclusion of Dragnet for the Dodgers… we hope.