It is Understood around the Hot Time offices that, somewhere in the bowels of Toyota Park, cut off from sunlight and the company of other living things, toils an Intern, and that among the Tasks laid for them is the ritual of Reading That Trash On Hot Time, primarily to report instances Taking Hauptman’s Name In Vain.
The room is a grey concrete rectangle with a single door. It smells faintly of mold within minutes of being cleaned. Piled in the corner are the remains of confiscated two-pole banners reading “HauptmanOut.” The single desk is an obvious hand-me-down, missing a single footpad and so prone to teetering back and forth along a diagonal axis; atop the desk, a battered laptop, a notepad covered in doodles, a half-eaten bag of trail mix. It is not a pleasant place. The Intern works here.
I am writing to that Intern. Hello, Intern. I hope they are treating you well, within the expectation that you spend your every moment sealed in grey concrete cell, cut off from the warmth of human contact. I’m taking this odd step because we need you, Intern - we need you RIGHT NOW. A crisis is upon us! You must act!
Nelson Rodriguez is missing! Or he’s deep in a drugged slumber! Or he’s tied up in his office after stumbling onto a far-fetched criminal enterprise and being left for dead!
We need you, Intern! You, and ONLY YOU, can find/awaken/free Nelson!
I do confess that I have very little additional information to assist you, Intern. I can only conclude that Mr. Rodriguez is incapacitated or near death, because the man who boasted about ‘[shaking] up the soccer world!’ less than 18 months ago can’t be the same guy waiting out the end of the transfer window, watching Orlando scoop up their latest transfer target without a peep, sitting on his hands while Lee Nguyen withers away in New England! It makes no sense! Something’s gotta be wrong!
Just a thought: If you don’t find Mr. Rodriguez in his office, maybe nefarious forces are keeping him home in New Jersey? Perhaps … without internet access or phones? THERE HAS TO BE A REASON, INTERN.
We are counting on you. I promise not to say anything about Dear Leader this time. Go find Nelson, Intern. Go!