The next logical and predictable step in the escalation came when the late great Red Sox, led by Ted Williams actually support
The Boss's position based on the belief that the Afterlife Sox can certainly best the Cloud 9 in Heaven just like they did on Earth.
When Steinbrenner begins referring to the Afterlife Sox as the Dead Sox, Saint Michael the Archangel - God's right hand man and
de facto general manger of heaven - orders both teams to cease and desist immediately. The Boss responds by firing Saint Michael
and replacing him with one of his original Yankee general managers, Gabe Paul. Paul refuses the job and states that returning to the position of general manager in Paradise makes it something significantly less than Paradise. Saint Michael refuses to be fired and is
quite correct when he cites the fact that The Boss has absolutely no hiring or firing authority over the Cloud 9 or any other soul in
Heaven. The Boss, infuriated, vows to make Saint Michael's “life” a “living Hell.”
The “Living Hell” comment attracts God's attention and he commands The Boss to, “Shut Thy Trap.” He also reminds Mr. Steinbrenner
that there is only one Boss in Heaven and it is certainly not George Steinbrenner. Undeterred, Steinbrenner accuses the Lord or favoring the Red Sox at the expense of the Yankees. An infuriated Deity fines Steinbrenner and threatens to banish him to Purgatory for an extended stay if he does not stop advocating for actual games and trying to establish his own Heavenly hierarchy. With this,
Steinbrenner quiets down on the issue of the Cloud 9 winning games and begins to turn his attention to new areas.
While every game in Heaven ends is a fair tie, Steinbrenner wants more drama and excitement injected into the games and demands more and more from his players to make his team the “best”. He announces that if he is not allowed to best the other teams, we will instead set the standard for other teams to live up to – even thought the Cloud 9 cannot win, they will clearly be the superior team and what all other teams must live up to obtain the tie. When he states that the only real reason the ties exist in the first place is due to
divine intervention – and the Cloud 9 Yankees do not require that level of supernatural support – he stumbles into the next extistential crisis. He offers to let the Cloud 9 Yankees play without the angels in the outfield to assist in leveling the playing field. Just let them
play he says and we'll see what happens. Saint Peter and Saint Michael are stymied by the ethical dilemma since letting the Cloud 9 Yankees play and lose as they surely must if divine intervention is applied only to their opponents, the concept of Heaven and
perhaps the existence of Heaven itself, is at risk since a loss disproves a basic tenant of Heaven's logic: there is no unhappiness
and loss is an integral part of unhappiness. In short, the Saints are stuck pondering how something can possibly exist where it
cannot ever exist by design.
The Saints consult every former baseball commissioner beginning with Judge Landis and they cannot reach a decision. Former commissioner Bart Giamatti suggest they submit to binding arbitration with God to settle the issue.
Steinbrenner agrees and both sides present their case to the Lord. God patiently listens to both sides and issues a ruling that changes
the rules of Heavenly baseball for all eternity. He decides that His mandate of freewill extends to Heaven if the parties involved accept
the real and potential consequences of exercising freewill. If Steinbrenner opts to exercise his freewill and rejects divine intervention
he will lose every game his team plays if his opponents exercise their right to accept it and win. If both teams reject divine intervention then the game must end in a tie exactly like regular contests do since nothing in Heaven can be decided without divine intervention – otherwise it would not be Heaven and cease to exist. If Steinbrenner's opponents maintain the support of divine intervention Heaven is maintained. If his opponents also opt to exercise freewill then the Lord invokes Divine Intervention to ensure a tie and thus maintain Heaven's existence.
The Saints and former commissioners are thrilled with God's ruling as it wisely maintains the status quo while it allowed all voices to be heard. The Realm is astounded when Steinbrenner announces he will exercise his freewill and reject divine intervention. George says
he will take his chances with his team in spite of the fact that they are destined to forever lose or not win regardless of circumstance.
As losses continue to mount Steinbrenner hires and fires every Yankee manager to ever make it to Heaven to no affect. There is no
need to recount the details of the coming and going of Billy Martin, which only seemed to last an eternity on Earth proves to actually
last an eternity in the afterlife.
The Cloud 9 Yankees always put a great fight in spite of being forever doomed to lose or not win, and the old Yankee Stadium is
always packed. Yes, the old Yankee Stadium. In a rare honor and a heavenly first, once the last remnants of the old Yankee Stadium
are knocked down and it ceases to exist, it is granted an inanimate soul dispensation and takes up residence in Heaven. The Boss
wept with joy when he saw it in its pristine restored state for the first time and announced that now he was really home.
The combination of the real Yankee Stadium and the relentless excellence of the Cloud 9 Yankees strain the capacity of the House
That Ruth Built. More and more souls flock to the games regardless of the teams O-for-eternity streak. While no one pays for
admission in Heaven and baseball is free to all there is undeniable stature in leading Heaven in attendance. Steinbrenner vows to
Saint Michael the Archangel that if he is banned from victory and cannot lead in the standings he will lead in attendance and field
the most popular team in Heaven. “By God,” says George, “I'll win something in Heaven!”
To which God replies, “Leave me out of this, George.”
When ushers begin to turn away souls on game days, George Steinbrenner petitions the Lord for a new stadium. When Saint Michael
the Archangel reminds George that the Lord already granted a special dispensation for the Old Yankee Stadium to be rebuilt in
Heaven, Steinbrenner counters that is all well and good, but the Old Stadium still has the same issues that plagued it on Earth,
lack of luxury boxes and insufficient parking (this time for chariots).
St. Michael refuses to even discuss the issue stating there is no need to rebuild Old Yankee Stadium, plus the New Yankee Stadium
still stands and is thriving. God Himself intervenes when Steinbrenner threatens to move to team to Hell, to which the Afterlife Red Sox reply, “GO!”
Events once again reach a crisis point when Steinbrenner announces he has signed Satan to pitch for the Cloud 9 Yankees. George
states he's bringing in the Devil to, “Try and light a fire under this team and finally win a damn game!”
Saint Michael reads a statement from God stating the He forgives George for his transgressions while in Heaven, but there is no way
Satan will be admitted back, especially to play in something so trivial as a baseball game.
Steinbrenner reacts with a statement of his own and proclaims that God favors the Red Sox and cites the 2004 American League Championship Series as proof. The Afterlife Red Sox decline comment.
Satan's agent, (Scott Boras – very much alive & well on Earth), announces Satan will report to the Cloud 9 Yankees in time for the next series against the Red Sox. Saint Michael vows that having once fought to expel and keep Satan out of Heaven and “I'm not going through that again – the answer is no.”
God adds - in his infinite wisdom - that Satan can return if he denounces his ways, rejects evil and fires Scott Boras. This not only
allows Steinbrenner his new starting pitcher (he does possess a wicked curveball) it restores Heaven to state that has not existed
for millennia, frees the millions of souls that would have been trapped in Hell for all eternity, eliminates Evil, and ushers in an
unimagined error of holy peace and spiritual; awareness.
Boras refuses the deal and Steinbrenner suggests arbitration. Saints Michael and Peter erupt in anger, furious at the very suggestion
God submit to an impartial third party to decide an issue He has already decided. The commissioners issue a joint statement
supporting the Saints and include a comment that states, “This time, George has gone too far.”
“There's no way in Heaven or Hell I will back down now, the very pride of the Yankees is at stake here.” The actual Pride of the
Yankees, Lou Gehrig, cautions Steinbrenner that he should be mindful he is actually making these remarks while in Heaven and if
he does not find a way to gracefully resolve what he has started future statements really will be made from Hell.
A movement begins to take hold in Heaven to have Steinbrenner banished to Purgatory to until he sees the error of his ways, gives
up his quest of victory, and drops his demand for a new Yankee Stadium.
God takes pause and notices that in spite of all the Steinbrenner driven drama, Heaven based Yankee fans are more euphoric than
usual, due in large part to Steinbrenner's efforts. Since no team ever loses, the opposition is always happy since they cannot be
defeated by the Cloud Nine yet still play their best possible game regardless of the predetermined outcome. God explains to the
Saints that it is a win-win for all involved.
The Saints agree with the Lord, but do insist Steinbrenner somehow be reprimanded for his aggressiveness. God reminds the Saints
that Heaven is about forgiveness and compassion and the very presence of a soul in Heaven means they are now beyond approach.
That is correct, Saint Michael says but it is apparent that even in the afterlife George is having trouble playing by the rules that have
stood since before the dawn of time. The Saints ponder the Lord's point regarding happiness and craft a plan.
Steinbrenner's machinations have increased Yankee happiness, not necessarily at the expense of others, but it has become disproportionate. The Saints propose a Bliss Tax. When a team reaches the Divinely set happiness threshold, the excess happiness
is redistributed to teams and their fans that experience a happiness deficit when compared to the happiest teams.
Ever the shrewd businessman, George proposed that he be able to siphon off a portion of his “billable bliss” to fund his New Yankee Stadium. He reasons that an increase in Yankee related happiness will only serve to increase every team's happiness and as they
grow happier they can fund their own new Heavenly ballparks. The Saints regard George's proposal with suspicion, but agree with
God that maybe this time George “gets” it.
The Bliss Tax results in a baseball renaissance in Heaven. Teams like the Mets, who suffer from a dearth of homeruns in their
pitcher friendly home in Citifield, rebuild a heavenly version, but move the outfield fences in to 300 feet. They go on to set
numerous homerun records.
Even the mighty Red Sox benefit when they are allowed to construct an exact replica of their beloved Fenway Park, but with
George himself is finally happy. He even keeps Billy Martin on as manager for a millennia. George settles in for all eternity, content
to share the bliss from his New Yankee Stadium and its star attraction, the Cloud Nine.
While George remains content, the Red Sox happiness begins to rival that of the Yankees. The constant influx of 200,000 souls per
game at Heaven Fenway leads to many converts to Red Sox Cosmos. George's time in Heaven turns to pure Hell when he is forced
accept happiness handouts from the Red Sox. The “B” supplants the “NY” as the adornment of choice on angel wings.
A millennia of peace is shattered when Steinbrenner erupts after the Sox announce they would like to appeal to God for permission to inquire about Babe Ruth returning to the Red Sox.
The Sox want to use happiness to implement a free angel type system whereby players can move and play for any team they desire
after 5 millennia with the same team and a total of ten in the heavenly league. Since time passes at a different rate in Heaven than
time on Earth, many of these requirements have been satisfied by the legendary players from Earth's past with Babe Ruth very much
a candidate to become a free angel.
Steinbrenner rails against the free angel system and declares it will destroy the integrity of the game and allow only the happiest
teams to become happy and create a bliss imbalance amongst teams. The Red Sox suggest one of God's original edicts, the establishment of freewill in human beings and their souls, simply continue to be exercised in Heaven in matters of where players
want to go. They can even play for every team over time - which is unending in Heaven – turning that possibility into a “reality”.
The Sox stand behind the logic that all that needs to be done is for someone to just ask the players. Any soul that does not wish to participate can opt to stay put, or change their mind at some future point. The Sox posit that it is all just as matter of freewill.
Sox fans in Heaven are ecstatic over the possibility of fielding an Ultimate Cloud 9 featuring legends such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb,
Walter Johnson, Ted Williams, Honus Wagner, and dozens of others passing through the home team dugout in Heaven's Fenway.
The primary obstacle, and the very detail Steinbrenner invokes is the Preserve Clause. A previously unquestioned agreement that the
soul of a baseball player would in fact play for the team he was most identified with on Earth. The intent of the Clause as drafted by
Saints Michael, Peter and Paul, ensured the preservation of a player's legacy into Heaven and in the “spirit” left behind on Earth by avoiding any confusion over loyalty and appropriateness.
The Red Sox position states that freewill supersedes the Preserve Claus as legacy cannot be preserved at the expense of freewill.
The Red Sox confer with the Saints and the Saints determine the Preserve Clause can be overturned since it was not God's decree.
Had it been, overturning it would present evidence contrary to God's infallibility and thus cause yet another crisis. Saints are not infallible.
George argues that abolishing the Preserve Clause does in fact disprove the infallibility of the Lord and the subject cannot even be broached at the risk of undoing the very existence of Heaven if God is somehow proved “wrong”.
God settles the dispute when he declares that he approved the Preserve Clause as it was the proper thing to do and what the situation called for at the time. His consent was merely the endorsement of a trusted angel's decision to exercise free will and present the
Almighty with a plan to preserve all that was good about these particular souls as they enter Heaven. God states that if a better idea presents itself and is the result of the further practice of freewill, then He must honor His obligation to respect the decision, to do
otherwise introduces a contradiction Heaven cannot survive.
Steinbrenner argue that endorsing this plan risks infallibility as it once again “proves” God favors the Red Sox and points to the Earth
year 2004 as evidence. God ignores the challenge and simply states that the abolishment of the preserve clause and the
implementation of what He now refers to as “Free Angelcy” will increase the happiness of Heavenly souls exponentially. He decrees
that we are now in the beginning of a new era of baseball joy in Heaven. Fans can now see what they have never seen before with combinations of legends, all stars, and humble everyday players each in possession of the ability to play where they wish and with whomever they want. Former rivals can now see what the experience of being teammates is like and players that never had the
opportunity to step on the field with friends now have a new experience to look forward to after a seeming eternity of the same
teams and players.
It is a beautiful day in Heaven, even by Heavenly standards, when Babe Ruth takes the mound for the Red Sox in Heaven in front of 233,333 souls. In the first inning he strikes out the first to Yankees and retires the third on a fly ball to Ted Williams, who opted to
stay with the Sox after turning down an offer from Steinbrenner.
George politely declines the invitation from Red Sox owner Charles W. Somers to watch the game. He opts to stay in his office at New Yankee Stadium and complete the required paperwork for the next round of happiness sharing payments from the Red Sox, the only
team happy enough to support all of Heaven League Baseball.