Who’s your favorite Red Sox player? said Harlan. I don’t know, said Blurtso. How about you? said Harlan. I’m a Yankee fan, said Alex. Jeter? said Harlan. Of course, said Alex. We should go to a game, said Harlan. I can get three tickets for this afternoon, said Alex, but we’ll be in the sun in rightfield, so make sure to wear a cap.
Wow! said Blurtso. Look at that grass!
It’s the seventh-inning stretch, said Alex, where’s Blurtso?
Big Papi, said Harlan, has sure come back strong from his injury. His injury? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan, his Achilles. His Achilles? said Blurtso, I thought Achilles was the name of a Greek god. Yes, said Harlan, a Greek warrior, but it’s also the name of the tendon that connects the heel to the calf. Are there other parts of the body, said Blurtso, named after people? There’s the Adam’s apple, said Harlan. Hmmm, said Blurtso, why does Big Papi grab his Hercules before each pitch?
Two outs, bottom of the ninth, one strike from the championship… here’s the pitch… a swing… it’s a long flyball… the centerfielder leaps… she’s got it!… no… she drops it!… it’s headed to rightfield…
The rightfielder has it it!… no… he drops it!… but here comes the centerfielder!…
Break out the cocoa and pumpkin pies! We made a clean sweep of all the awards, said Pablo. Harlan won the homerun title, Alex won the golden hoof award, Bonny led the league in wins, I had the highest batting average, Ditto had the best on base percentage, and Blurtso hit into the most double plays.
ab h 2b 3b hr rbi r bb so hbp ba obp slg dp
Blurtso 89 11 0 0 1 4 6 0 51 0 .124 .124 0.157 26
Harlan 66 32 6 0 25 89 46 29 26 0 .484 .642 1.727 5
Alex 96 49 9 26 3 23 53 5 3 0 .510 .535 1.343 0
Ditto 1 0 0 0 0 6 52 86 1 7 .000 .989 0.000 0
Bonny 82 53 5 1 6 44 36 11 4 0 .646 .688 0.951 3
Pablo 75 56 24 6 9 77 50 18 0 0 .747 .796 1.587 2
w l ip h bb so hr era
Bonny 10 2 102 123 4 71 17 9.63
Wow, thought Blurtso, today’s game decides the championship. I’ve never been a champion. I set a record in the ski jump, but was disqualified for being a donkey. That was a relief, because the paparazzi went away. There aren’t any paparazzi here. Or any fans. I guess they’re all at home, listening on the radio. I wonder who’s doing the broadcast? I’ll bet it’s Jerry Remy. I wonder if Jerry Remy played stickball? He grew up in Somerset, so he probably played baseball, on real grass. That would be distracting, playing on grass. As distracting as playing in a pumpkin pie factory. You don’t see many sporting events in pie factories, for just that reason. I wonder if the winners get a trophy? I’d love to have a trophy, tall and shiny, with an action figure on top. Maybe a donkey taking a Ruthian sing, or a donkey making an over-the-shoulder catch, or a donkey gunning down a runner from third. A trophy would look great in the barn, with a little straw around the base. I wonder if being a champion would go to my head? I wonder if I’d begin to stay out late, and go to nightclubs, and get in trouble with the law? The paparazzi would revel in my fall, encouraging the cracks in my character. And I have many cracks. I’m not a role model. I have too many vices… pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, whipped cream. I wouldn’t want anyone to imitate me. I would be a terrible champion. But I sure would like a trophy, tall and shiny, in the middle of the barn.
Game seven, bottom of the ninth, score tied, two outs, bases loaded… “Ditto” Pedroia steps to the plate… here’s the pitch…
Game seven, bottom of the ninth, three balls, two strikes, two outs, runners on second and third, Redsox up by a run… runners are off with the pitch… it’s a slow roller to Dustin “Ditto” Pedroia…
What are you doing? said Pablo. I’m hitting some grounders, said Bonny, Ditto wants to become the next Dustin Pedroia.
No, said Bonny, I didn’t know Dustin Pedroia won the gold glove at secondbase last year. Really? Twenty-one homeruns and twenty-six stolen bases? And ninety-one RBI’s? That’s a lot for a secondbaseman. No, I don’t think you’re taller than he is.
Great game! said Alex. We’re 9-2. Only a game out of first!
We should play stickball tomorrow, said Alex. Stickball? said Blurtso. Stickball, said Harlan, is the street version of baseball. Yes, said Alex, some of the greatest players in history played stickball… they say Willie Mays was a 4-sewer hitter. A 4-sewer hitter? said Blurtso. Yes, said Alex, he could hit the ball four sewer manholes from the plate. Really? said Blurtso. Yes, said Alex. That’s remarkable, said Blurtso. Yes, said Alex. What’s a manhole? said Blurtso.