Kaedon awoke like a ball launched off of Miguel Sano's bat. He often dreamt in simile. On a typical day, you could shoot a cattle prod into Kaedon's eleven-year-old throat and he'd just lie there like fricking moron. Not today. Today was special.
Kaedon slipped into his arbitration slippers, threw on his arbitration jumpsuit and slowly pulled down his arbitration toque. To say this was simply a normal day would be to speak as a fool. It would be akin to saying that Stephen Strasburg would file for a measly seven million dollars. You'd be giving the world all the evidence it needs to see that nothing of value comes out of your stupid mouth.
No, today is not a normal day. Today is the day when players and teams exchange arbitration figures. Today is Arbitration Figures Day! Kaedon just calls it "Kaedon's Christmas."
Kaedon's mom called him in sick for school, as she does every Arbitration Figures Day. He readied his clan of Fatheads to act out the excitement. The custom Agent Fatheads that he got from his grandma for his birthday looked divine. Their suits had an extra sparkle today. The negotiating they would do, it was too much to even think about without painful smiling. Oh, oh Kaedon wished that every player had to file for arbitration!!
The #MNTwins had just a handful of players with arbitration eligibility. Kaedon always called them the #MNTwins just in case some other friends of his were listening and wanted to jump in. Kaedon knew all the arb-eligible players frontwards, backwards and a third -wards that he invented using stats. Not just the #MNTwins players. He's not a narrow-minded nitwit.
With his wealth of information, he was as prepared as any young child to ogle at the wonder of Arbitration Figures Day! Will Dallas Keuchel set a record?!?!?!? Could Jake Arrieta and Josh Donaldson turn award-winning seasons into big-time paydays of boffo bucks? Which jerk on the internet would write the most inflammatory column? The intrigue was almost too much to handle. He was urinating just about every half hour.
Kaedon pulled out his arbitration notebook (he named it Lance) and looked through his guesses. Guesses! Please, with the amount of research that Kaedon compiled in 2015, you could hardly call these guesses! While the other children were playing stickball and going to penny arcades, Kaedon was studying prior arbitration cases like he was writing a online manifesto. Lance's pages were worn, but his memories would never wear away.
After eating his standard Arbitration Figures Day breakfast of seven oranges and a Trix Yogurt, he sat down in front of his computer, waiting for the numbers to trickle through. Kaedon wondered what kids did on Arbitration Figures Day before the internet. They probably just cried a lot and maybe read the newspaper the next day or something lame. Kaedon wasn't lame. He was prepared.
Kaedon refreshed Twitter like a...well like pretty much every Twitter user does every day. He knew that if he looked closely, he'd be the first to see the first report of the figures. Kaedon's current favorite player is Trevor Plouffe, so he set up a column for his name in TweetDeck. TweetDeck, Lance and Kaedon were inseparable, a regular three amigos.
Kaedon always gravitated toward the second-year arb eligible players. He thought they were more challenging to predict. With just one prior year of arb data and only a few seasons of stats to look at, he felt they were the perfect combo. Perfect for his deft touch and keen eye for detail. Plus, he has really low standards, making Plouffe a perfect fit.
While Arbitration Figures Day is an exciting day, it's a stressful day as well. He was sweating a lot. Jumpsuits don't breathe. His walls were slightly thicker due to overlapping Fatheads. The one thing Kaedon would never try to predict is when the information would reach the masses. That's just a ridiculous waste of time.
Kaedon had to take a break. Lunch was served and someone had to eat all that ground beef. Shortly after lunch, the numbers finally hit TweetDeck. Kaedon was shocked. Flabbergasted! Floored even. He had to consult with Lance just to make sure he believed what he saw.
Plouffe had filed at $7.95 million and the #MNTwins had countered at $7 mil.
It was just as Kaedon had predicted! His research had paid off! Upon recovering from seven consecutive fainting spells, he quickly called his father at work. He didn't answer. Kaedon left a four-minute voicemail. He started calling himself K-Dawg in that message. After hanging up the phone, he realized his chest was beat red from all the push-ups. He suddenly knew how to make homemade OK Soda. It was a life-defining moment.
His mother, who also had to take a sick day to stay home with him, was already waiting with a congratulatory cake. She believed in Kaedon, just as he believed in himself. It was Cold Stone cake too, and it had Snickers in it. Kaedon nearly ate the whole cake with his bare hands, just as you would have if you had predicted something so magically. But you'll never know that thrill because you're basically worthless. It's not your fault; you don't have Kaedon's drive.
He saved the last piece of cake. He could have eaten it as his stomach had swelled due to all the adrenaline. He smeared that piece of cake right across the face of the most jowly Agent Fathead that he had. He had laid his claim. He was an arb player now. Not an arb-eligible player, don't be Keith Sweat. He now reveled in the reverence of his former heroes. He was the Fathead.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur, but Kaedon was a Green Beret when it was over. He was also scheduled as CM Punk's first UFC opponent. He had 45 henna tattoos.
The natural high of Arbitration Figures Day/Cake had worn off by dinner time. It was for the best, because his sister brought home his homework. The end of Arbitration Figures Day is always bittersweet. Kaedon slipped into his street clothes, looking like a human child once again instead of the mythical beast he'd become. His chest was still red, but he was also still doing push-ups.
Kaedon settled down with some throat coat tea, knowing that he'd have a hard time sleeping that night and talking the next day. Tomorrow, he would go back to his normal life. No one would remember his dope prediction. He'd be Kaedon once more, not K-Dawg, the Arbitration Cyclops. That's how the arbitration game works. You're only as good as your last prediction. Kaedon knew that better than anyone. He had t-shirts with that phrase on them. In multiple colors.
All that said, it was only 364 days until 2017 Arbitration Figures Day and Kaedon had work to do. He had entered the Big Leagues and he wasn't about to leave anytime soon.