"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, August 04, 2006

Clutching at Straws

This post first appeared as a guest-posting on BatGirl. (Her nickname guide is here.)

Author's note: BG is off for a few days bravely claiming a portion of Red Sox Nation in the name of Twins Territory. Substitute bloggers will attempt to keep you rabble amused in the meantime.

Twins @ Landed Gentry, W 8-2

Half an hour before the game Thursday night, a knot of Twins huddled in the visitors clubhouse in Kansas City.

"Well, who's it going to be tonight?" asked Radke. "I can't, I'm starting. I have to go warm up!"

"I could do it," offered Luis Rodriguez.

"Hah. You did it yesterday, and look where that got us!" snorted Little Nicky Punto.

"Well, you did it Tuesday, and that was just as bad!" Lil' Rod retorted huffily.

Radke rolled his eyes and grabbed his glove. "I gotta go. You guys work this out." And he left.

"That was NOT just as bad!" yelled LNP. "Yesterday we had THREE errors!"

"One of them was yours, stupid!"

"And one of them was yours, clutz!"

"Hey, now, everybody settle down," said Torii, stepping between LNP and Lil' Rod. "I did it on Monday, and we kicked ass, so I'll do it again."

"Ummm..." interrupted Lew Ford, adjusting his reading glasses. He was peering at a small leaflet. "It says here each team must send, at minimum, seven different players in succession."

The others looked at each other uneasily.

"And, ah, what exactly does that mean?" wondered Sweetcheeks.

"It means," said the voice of Pat Neshek, emanating from a pile of fan mail twice the size of CC Sabathia, "that you can't do it again until six other people have. Four now, since there have been two since you."

"Crap," said Sweetcheeks. "Why do we have to do this, anyway?"

Lew flipped through the leaflet. "It says here the Commissioner thinks it will add interest to the game."

LNP suggested an alternate use of the Commissioner's time which caused Lil' Rod to blush a fiery red.

"Can you breathe in there?" Dr. Morneau asked the pile.

"Yep, it's all good." Neshek affirmed.

"Hey, guys, what's up?" wondered Josh Rabe, coming upon them on his way back from extra BP.

"We're trying to figure out who's going to do it tonight," the good Doctor explained.

"I'll do it," Rabe shrugged. "I feel lucky." And off he went, bat on his shoulder, whistling a merry tune.

"Think he'll be okay?" Lil' Rod fretted.

"He said he felt lucky," Morneau said philosophically. "We'll find out soon enough."

Rabe made his way through the corridors until he reached a special room hidden beneath home plate. The umpire crew chief and Kansas City shortstop Andres Blanco were already there.

"You're representing the Twins?" the umpire asked.

"Yes, sir!" Rabe said brightly. "And I feel lucky! Shall we?"

"All right," said the umpire. "Turn around, both of you. And no peeking!"

Rabe and Blanco turned around and stared at the wall. Rabe resumed his cheerful whistling.

"Stop that!" hissed Blanco, who was very nervous.

"You may turn around," the umpire announced. They did, and he was holding two straws in his clenched fist, carefully arranged to appear the exact same length.

Rabe and Blanco looked at each other, then at the straws. Two hands shot out, both straws were plucked. They held their straws up next to each other, and saw that Rabe's was clearly longer.

"Woo-hoo!" cried Rabe, jumping up and down. "We get to play baseball!" He ran off to share the good news with his teammates.

Blanco threw down his inadequate reed. "Crap," he said glumly. "Ass-ball."

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