Running with the Bulls

SUBJECT: Hutch
DATE: Wed, Sept. 17 17:23:23
FROM: “Dave & Carrie Pearson” <dave&carrie.pearson120@aol.com>
TO: jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov

J.W., you wanted to know what happened with Hutch so I’m filling you in. Well, Hutch started off mad because I called him out for lollygagging in the parking lot 10 minutes after the umpire asked for the lineup card.

Hutch knows Rule #1: Be on time! The same thing happened with Tilley last season. Remember him? First he was late, then he was history. You know we can’t hold up the game for these prima donnas. If you wanna run with the Bulls you better be on time and in uniform!

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So when I saw Hutch with his jersey hanging out, I reminded him of Rule #2: Jersey tucked in at all times! No exceptions!

The second time I asked him to tuck in his jersey, he ignored me. Even as I was putting him in the game! So I asked him for a third and final time to tuck in his jersey or leave the field. I looked at Darryl who was in the dugout with his jersey tucked in. He was ready even though he knew it wasn’t his night to play. Since Darryl was ready, I simply replaced Hutch with Darryl.

Hutch had a few choice words as he came off the field. The only ones I’ll repeat are: “What about Bruce? His jersey ain’t tucked in!”

I didn’t believe him at first. But I checked and he was right, Bruce did have his jersey out. So I pulled Bruce off the field and threatened to permanently replace him in the outfield if he didn’t tuck in his jersey immediately.

J.W., you know the rules. So do all of these men. The rules haven’t changed since they first agreed to sign on with the second season of the Bulls. But now they’re finding out that behind my kind and gentle nature is a tiger. A tiger that cares about this team and is serious about fostering the team spirit that keeps us going when things get tough.

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

SUBJECT: BULLS’ CONDUCT CODE

DATE: Tues, Sept. 23 22:09:17

FROM: “Dave & Carrie Pearson” <dave&carrie.pearson120@aol.com>

TO: gambrell@leisure.rv.sales.com; jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov; darryl.cannon@rental-mart.com; kschneider@morgan.stanley.com; dink@ace.fence.and.windows.com; mark@pettiford.irrigation.com; steve&steph@stoutlandscaping.com; bmcgraw@imperial-cleaning-net; eloveland999@gmail.com; mwhite@cisco.com; ray.gillyard@premier-marketing.com

The moon itself smiled upon the Bulls tonight with our very first shutout win! Can you believe it? The Cardinals strutted in with a 7-4 record and left the field with a total of 5 losses! Now we’re holding our own at a respectable 4 wins and just 8 losses.

Did you catch Chuck’s brilliant pitching and Bud’s superior defense of first base? And Kevin at shortstop earned an MVP by gunning down the lead hitters in every inning. And did you see J.W.’s unbelievable running catch of that long hit fly ball in the last inning? It was one for the history books!

We’ve only got four games to go, but after what happened with Hutch, and later with Bruce, I thought it might be a good idea to spell out the Bulls’ Conduct Code one more time.

#1: Be at the field 15 minutes before the game starts.

#2: Proper attire at all times. Jerseys should be tucked in and ball caps turned forward.

#3: No player will miss more than 2 practices and zero games. Period.

#4: If something happens, and it will, keep it on the field.

#5: No cliques!

These rules are necessary because they not only ensure we will have fun but they will help us grow as a team. But if others like Hutch and Bruce decide they don’t want to follow the rules, so be it. Apparently, there’s plenty of room for their shenanigans with the Pirates.

But I have said it before and I will say it again. I am so very proud of each of your accomplishments. It is an honor to be your captain. The team spirit between us all comes very close to that same feeling I had when I was still living in Atlanta and my brother and I played together in the City’s Industrial Open League. Those were the days!

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

SUBJECT: RE: Sorry

DATE: Wed, October 1 02:24:17

FROM: “Dave Pearson” < dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: ray.gillyard@premier-marketing.com

Ray, I’m very sorry that your Senior VP decided to show up unexpectedly from Philly. But surely there are other guys in your office who could show him the town. Besides, if he is a man of integrity, I’m sure that he would respect the fact that you need to honor your commitment to the Bulls.

You’ve already missed two practices this season. Based on experience, I’ve learned that when starting players miss practice, they will also miss games. So if you decide not to show tomorrow, I’ll take it as proof that your heart is not set on running with the Bulls. It is with sadness that I will accept your resignation.

Just so you know, I did hear you and Kevin last week muttering something about this not being the Major Leagues and how there’s nothing wrong with a bunch of guys just trying to have fun. For the record, I want to have fun, too, but if we don’t protect the team spirit that holds us all together, we’re in danger of falling apart. We had our fifth win last night against the Rangers, which was definitely due to your contributions as batter and in left field. But it was close and we made a lot of silly errors that could have been avoided.

If it makes you feel any better, I have a lot going on in my personal life with Carrie moving out. Don’t know if you knew that. But in spite of all that’s going on with me, I have never missed a practice or a game. I am always in uniform, ready to play, and on time! You should expect nothing less from me as your captain.

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

P.S. FYI, Dink didn’t miss Monday’s practice even though he stepped on a nail at work!

SUBJECT: BULLS MAY STUMBLE BUT THEY NEVER FALL!

DATE: Thurs, October 2 21:10:30

FROM: “Dave Pearson” <dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: gambrell@leisure.rv.sales.com; jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov; kschneider@morgan.stanley.com; dink@ace.fence.and.windows.com; mark@pettiford.irrigation.com; steve&steph@stoutlandscaping.com; eloveland999@gmail.com; mwhite@cisco.com; darryl.cannon@rental-mart.com; bmcgraw@imperial-cleaning-net

As I sit here sipping my beer, reflecting on tonight’s game, I have to say that in spite of it all, our team spirit has never been stronger. Here’s a recap.

Before the game, the Bulls huddled together for a deafening rebel yell that echoed across Peppertree Park. Like the Class A Team that you are, every single player started off with your navy blue jerseys tucked tightly in and caps turned forward, ready to face the enemy head-on. The Pirates knew that they were in for a battle for their lives. ARRR!

The top half of the first inning was a cakewalk. You guys allowed only one runner to reach a base before Chuck, our fearless pitcher, picked them off, player by player. However, a sixth victory for the Bulls was beyond our reach. So what went wrong? A LOT!

1) Mark’s wife Pam usually prays for us and unfortunately she couldn’t be there. Bad omen from the get-go.

2) Top of the third: Bud’s courageous slide into second base. Although he made it home, he could barely walk so I had to pull him out of the game. Turns out that he has a sprain. So he’s out until spring.

3) Eddie’s misstep as he failed to tag second base, costing us the only run of the game.

4) Steve forgetting his glove and having to use Bud’s, a move that surely meant the loss of that fly ball that had his name written all over it.

5) Was it a coincidence that I was struck in the neck by a ball thrown by the Pirates’ 3rd baseman (Hutch, a.k.a. former Bull #13) as I made my way to first base? I think not. Especially when I saw Hutch and Bruce laughing about it at the end of the inning. But I was thinking of you guys when I kept it on the field.

We can recover from these events. But with Bud’s injury and the loss of Ray, we are now down to 10 players. Two more losses and we could face a forfeit. So we must be scouting now to recruit additional guys who might be interested in running with the Bulls.

J.W. tells me that Mort Dingler from the Braves might be interested in switching to a team that can give him more time on the field. He’s got bad knees, but at 6’5” and 320 pounds, only a blind man couldn’t hit that target when throwing him the ball. And can you imagine how intimidating it would be for the poor soul running into second? I know I’d be pissing in my pants. But don’t get too excited. All is dependent on Big Mort’s agreeing to abide by the Bulls’ Conduct Code. Let me know what you think.

See you on Saturday. With just 10 players, it’s imperative that each one of us attend the few remaining practices, both for physical conditioning and the team spirit that we all so enjoy.

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

SUBJECT: ******HURRICANE JEANNE UPDATE******

DATE: Mon, Oct. 6 16:10:13

FROM: “Dave Pearson” <dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: gambrell@leisure.rv.sales.com; jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov; kschneider@morgan.stanley.com; dink@ace.fence.and.windows.com; mark@pettiford.irrigation.com; steve&steph@stoutlandscaping.com; eloveland999@gmail.com; mwhite@cisco.com; darryl.cannon@rental-mart.com; mdingler@livebait.and.pawn.com

Some of you have asked if Hurricane Jeanne will wash out tonight’s game. Good news. At 2:30 p.m. today, the City upgraded the playing conditions at Peppertree Park from RED to YELLOW!

This means, in my expert opinion, that we will face the Cubs after all. So don’t count on a cancellation. Worse case, if the Cubs don’t show, we can at least get a good practice out of it. Don’t let this late-season girlie-cane rain on our parade.

If you don’t hear from me by email by 6:15 p.m. this evening, please report to the park even if it is raining at your house. Our fate is not in God’s hands. The only person who can cancel the game tonight is the umpire.

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

SUBJECT: BULLS’ CONDUCT CODE RULE #5

DATE: Wed, Oct.15 19:13:15

FROM: “Dave Pearson” <dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov

J.W., you know how much I like you and how much I have enjoyed our special friendship over the past year. However, it has come to my attention that you and Big Mort have formed a clique with Chuck. As you should know, this is a clear violation of RULE #5. Not only were you cracking jokes during my pre-game pep talk last night, you three were handing around Mort’s vacation pictures from Martinique.

Looking at a few pictures of topless women in the dugout may seem harmless enough to you, but I have no doubt that it threw off the rhythm of our line-up last night, leading to no less than two no-hit innings. Congratulations. Not all records are good ones.

Cliques are like cancer. They spread like wildfire through a team, infecting the good players as quickly as the bad ones. Are a few laughs worth the loss of our hard-won team spirit that you and I have built over the past two seasons? Think about it. We have one game left for the year and I’d like nothing better than for the Bulls to go out as winners.

Dave Pearson, Captain, Bulls

SUBJECT: INVITATION TO END OF SEASON COOKOUT
DATE: Thurs, Oct. 24 21:10:30

FROM: “Dave Pearson” <dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: gambrell@leisure.rv.sales.com; jwhawkins@ncdoa.gov; kschneider@morgan.stanley.com; dink@ace.fence.and.windows.com; mark@pettiford.irrigation.com; steve&steph@stoutlandscaping.com; eloveland999@gmail.com;dwhite@cisco.com; darryl.cannon@rental-mart.com; mwhite@cisco.com; bmcgraw@imperial.cleaning.net; ray.gillyard@premier-marketing.com; mdingler@livebait.and.pawn.com; hutch@economy.drywall.com; bruce.kemp@remax.com

Being the man that I am, I have decided to let bygones be bygones and invite you all to my house for a cookout to celebrate the end of our fall season. Yes, I will admit to being a little pissed off when I found out that some of you met behind my back and decided to vote me off as captain for the upcoming spring season. Funny that only 10 of you showed up for the last two games but 20 guys (past and present players, starting AND alternates) could meet for a beer on a Sunday night.

Even when I found out that you replaced me with Big Mort as captain, I still joined you in the dugout for our very last game and cheered on the Bulls! Why, you may ask? Because we were winning? No, because of the team spirit that drew us together in the first place. Let’s face it. My marriage is over but what am I doing? I’m sitting on my duff in an empty living room emailing you guys!

Who can forget our first victory against the Twins in the spring? The grand slam scored by the Chuckster? What about that famous shut-out victory against the Cardinals this fall? And J.W.’s gravity-defying catch in the outfield this year! Let’s relive the good times and forget the bad ones.

I love you guys. That’s why I know we can work it out. As you know, registration is coming up for the spring season and I need your deposits so I can go ahead and turn in our roster. Hope to see you at my pad Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The pizza and the beer are on me.

Dave

SUBJECT: Let’s Play Ball!
DATE: Sun, Feb. 17 17:05:13

FROM: “Dave Pearson” <dave.pearson511@aol.com>

TO: ehayes@healthtouch.com; ccooke@ncagr.gov; joe.childers767@gmail.com; terry&julie@frelinger.muffler.com; bpogoloff@sas.com; myarboro@AAA-pestcontrol.net; greg.ellis@progressive-therapy.org; cbridges@pump&supply.com;

bmurdock@murdock&murdock.com; floeza@pinestate-soil-and-mulch.com; rtayton@tayton.homes.com; nclevenger@tarheel-roofing.com; bdixon@trianglepavers.com; jmckay147@gmail.com; gus.allen@K9-dog-handlers.com

Hey Sports Fans,

I know that I haven’t been at church too often but let me introduce myself. My name is Dave Pearson. You might remember seeing me at the Christmas Eve service and the men’s pancake breakfast in January.

I pulled your names out of the church directory because you guys listed softball as a hobby. Wouldn’t it be great if the Hope Valley Baptist Church formed a team to compete in the Division 9 League this spring? I’ve already talked to Pastor Hargett about it and he agrees. In his words, what better way to spread the love of Christ?

Unless somebody else volunteers, I’m happy to serve as captain, which is nothing more than a courtesy title for the person who handles paperwork such as giving the umpire the line-up card before each game, etc. Of course, I do have some experience building the kind of team spirit that can lead to victories and fellowship, if you like that sort of thing. Let me know if you’re interested.

Batter Up,

Dave


Ashley Memory lives with her husband, the sculptor John Paul Harris, in southwestern Randolph County, N.C. Her poetry and Pushcart-Prize nominated prose have appeared in The Naugatuck River Review, The Thomas Wolfe Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and The Gyroscope Review. She is the author of Naked and Hungry, a darkly humorous suspense novel published in November 2011 by Ingalls Publishing Group and named one of the season's most promising debut novels by Library magazine.