It’s not true that babies ruin
everything — but they do.
And so I render this distemper:
my expectation of remuneration.
I missed a chance at ballpark greatness,
a glorious battle for ball control wasted
as your mother’s face turned faceless
and her stomach strength proved faithless.
So the next time Longo hits a bombo,
and I’ve the fortune to be a bleacher creature,
know full well: I expect that you
will clamber for that ball with me too.
It’s Saturday, June 7. The Tampa Bay Rays have just shuddered off a ten-game losing streak. It’s 5 in the morning and my family is pouring into my parents’ Toyota, and we’re driving down the bendy part of Florida to St. Petersburg. The Rays have a chance to win two games in a row for the first time in six thousand years. I have a chance to see a Weezer concert for the first time in my life.
Alex Cobb implodes. He dangles his change-up high like a Christmas star, and the Mariners blap it for a dizzy of hits and runs.
My pregnant wife is queasy. She informs me she has blown chunks into a Tropicana Field toilet receptacle, and within a half inning, we’re riding the trolley back to the hotel, chauffeured by the kindly trolley driver who saw my wife’s pale lips and whisked us away without waiting for any more patrons. We breezed through St. Petersburg in the largest limo in the county.
Her lying on the hotel bed opposite mine, both of us sticky from the St. Pete humidity, I watch the Rays game. I picked the sits. My mother wanted to know where to sit — this was months ago. So I looked at the lineups and months in advance said: The home run hitters in this lineup are right handed (Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist). And so, still feeling empowered by my Dioner Navarro prediction (see “GIF: Humble Author Sees Through Time“, I pressed a greasy finger on my mother’s computer screen and said, “Here. Left field.”
I’m watching the bottom of the 8th, and I see my family on TV. None of them scrambles for the ball.
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