Thursday, July 19, 2007
The baseball player described in this post is wholly imaginary. No existing player or team of Commissioner Bud Selig’s Major League is represented here directly or indirectly. No character is derived from any man or woman, living or dead.
Ten men of slovenly appearance watched from the section of stands behind home plate. They were loose-jowled, glassy-eyed, and short-limbed. It was a hot early-April day, and they huddled together as if fighting to sit closer to an air conditioner. They peered about furtively and aggressively chewed tobacco. Each clutched under his runty arm a clipboard curiously devoid of notes. On seeing Yovani Gallardo take the mound, the men closest to the action edged back in their seats while those behind squinted and silently and unconsciously mouthed baseball clichés over their companions’ shoulders.
Yovani Gallardo’s first warm-up pitch hit the catchers’ mitt and, after a brief delay, a sound that was loud and sharp echoed throughout the dilapidated stadium. The ten men recoiled as if the sound had been from their cheeks being slapped, and when they recovered they hunched over their clipboards and scribbled with 3-inch scorecard pencils a "+" symbol. Then they shifted in their seats and looked out of the corner of their eyes, each trying to gauge the reaction of the others.
“Good arm slot,” the boldest one muttered cautiously.
Another snorted out of his nose in agreement.
“Good movement, too,” another added in a slightly more confident tone.
“Good late movement,” the bold one corrected.
“He’s got a real live arm,” said a third, finally sensing that it was OK to gush about Yovani Gallardo.
“That’s a plus fastball,” the bold one said, wanting to be the first to define the pitch.
The remaining men chipped in:
“His stuff is electric.”
“He’s got a great pitchers’ body.”
Posted by DrGravitee at 5:31 PM