What Happened if Corey Kluber Fell Into a Time Traveling Adventure?
Author’s note: The following, as I’m sure you’ll realize quickly, is a work of fiction. It exists because we know very little of Corey Kluber, in fact I’ve yet to find a single interview of any substance he has done. I’ve decided to see what it would be like if Kluber, as I imagine him to be, were to be pulled into a sudden adventure through time, and see how he handles it. And let’s be honest, the winter is cold and long and I was bored, so this sprung into being. So enjoy it. There could be more.
The sun was midway through its daily climb, still hidden behind the trees to the east, speckling the broad expanse of green grass with gold. Corey Kluber stood on his deck surveying his lawn, watching his dog Jasper chase a rabbit off the grass. It was Jasper’s territory, set out by his piss on the same trees, every day. A smile tickled the corners of Corey’s mouth as he sipped his coffee. The offseason was a strange time after six months in Cleveland plus nearly two months down in Arizona. He hadn’t had a real day off since February with workouts, pitcher’s meetings, starts, throwing programs and charity work and suddenly, nothing. Amanda had taken the kids, one to daycare and the other to Mommy and Me, giving him free reign of the house for the morning. She understood his need to reconnect with home after half a year away, she was a good baseball player’s wife. She understood the game. A pitcher is by nature a solitary creature within a team, whether on the mound, in the bullpen with a select few, or at home among family. She knew he enjoyed the quiet and solitude of a his own personal castle when he could.
Kluber gazed about the yard, ragged on the edges since he’d had to hire a landscaping company over the summer with all the rain Alabama had gotten. The deck, practically a sweeping terrace at this point after the addition last summer, was in need of a fresh paint, the white was chipped from Jasper and the kids’ playing, and the weather had been savage at times. A glance up at the house behind him reminded him of the window frames needing painting, and some of the bricks had begun to crack from the weather. He’d have to call someone for that one. A good mow and a weed whack to start, and the hedges on the west end could use a trimming. Maybe he should replant them, a couple were in the early stages of death already, replete with brown spots and scraggly branches.They stopped Jasper though – his dog stalked the hedgerow looking confused, his quarry having disappeared in the bush. Kluber didn’t understand why he didn’t hang out on the other side of the yard, so open to the forest beyond, plenty of romping room for the beast. The German Shepherd, so big already for only being a two-year old, turned his head toward Kluber and cocked his head expectantly, drawing another half-smile from his master. Kluber let out a loud whistle, and Jasper covered the hundred yards in just seconds, taking the stairs in a couple bounds before skidding to a stop at Kluber’s feet.
Jun 16, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) celebrates after his defense turned a double play in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
“Good dog,” Kluber said, scratching that spot behind Jasper’s ear. He made his way inside with Jasper padding just behind, passing the piled up letters of praise from fans, his teammates and other league people for his incredible 2014 – 21 wins, 3.12 ERA and a playoff berth for the Tribe. He had a meeting with the front office in a few weeks to discuss an extension, he should probably give his agent a call in the next couple days. But not today, today was for making his home his own again, maybe making Amanda and the kids some dinner.
With Jasper padding along behind him, Kluber put his coffee mug in the sink and took the stairs to the garage to make sure the mower was running. The yard shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, and Masty said he’d be in town later in the day, that could be fun. The big Jamaican had called yesterday saying he was on his way from Florida to Texas, said he wanted to go fishing. It was Corey’s first couple days back though, he’d rather not spend a perfect day like this on the water. Maybe he could convince Masterson to try golf.
The garage was clean and tidy as he’d left it, not even dust to speak of. Tools on their hooks, workbench clear and his yard equipment arranged as he’d left it. The John Deere sat ready, gleaming like the day she was bought. Good thing Amanda thought ahead and filled up the gas canister. Kluber hit the garage opener, causing Jasper to run in frantic circles before Corey calmed him, and wheeled the mower out. A quick check showed it was all in order, so he cranked her right up and headed toward the back yard.
Twenty minutes later and Corey was deep into mowing, working his way across toward those hedges in perfect, orderly lines when without warning, a loud bang came from the mower’s engine. As Kluber sat there the air filled with sooty black smoke, and he leapt off in alarm.
“What the hell…” Kluber muttered, crouching to look at the machine. He looked it up and down in disbelief – the gearbox was in shreds, pieces of gear jabbing through the motor like they’d been launched from a cannon, and one of the pistons was lying on the ground by the mower. It was impossible.Kluber grumbled audibly, hoping the oil didn’t leak into the grass. The gulf coast had enough contamination without this. He tried pushing the thing, but the wheels were stuck, jammed in gear and the powertrain looked twisted to hell. Somehow the entire mower had gone to hell in a split second, torn apart from the inside. He stood for a minute, considering his options, when in the distance he heard a yelping and barking – Jasper going crazy again. Sounded like he’d found his way behind those hedges , hoping to catch that pesky rabbit.
“Jasper! Here boy!” he bellowed, but the yelps didn’t cease or come any closer. A little gap in the bushes was just visible, and Kluber made for it to get his dog to stop going insane.