"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

Monday, May 14, 2007

See Ya, Sidney

TBL is guest-blogging (as "Infield") over on BatGirl today.

Post reproduced below for archiving purposes:


The Infield Report: Bonfire of the Inanities

Late Saturday night, Sir Sidney Ponson sat in front of his locker in the Twins clubhouse. The rest of the team was gone, except Torii Hunter, who was touching up the surgically precise edges of his goatee across the room.

Sidney pulled an undershirt off of a hanger, gazed at it for a moment, sighed deeply, and dropped it into the box at his feet. He took a glove off of a hook on the side, gazed at it for a moment, sighed deeply, and dropped it into the box at his feet. He picked a pair of shoes off the floor, gazed at them for a moment, sighed deeply, and dropped them into the box at his feet.

All this sighing was starting to get on Torii's nerves. It made it hard to concentrate, and a man needs to concentrate when he's got a diamond-edge razor in his hands. He set it down.

"Hey, Siddy, what's up? Why the long face?" he called, towelling shaving cream off of his legendary cheeks.

"I got designated for assignment," Ponson gloomed, heaving another deep sigh.

"Aw, man, that sucks. What were you supposed to do--it's obvious you're cursed. And getting uncursed, it ain't easy. I should know."

"Do you think it was my glove, Torii?"

"Might've been."

"Or maybe my cap?"

"Could be."

"Cleats?"

"Hard to say, Siddy," Torii opined. "If I could tell something was cursed just by looking at it, 2005 would've been real different."

"Hoo yeah. For me, too. And 2004. And 2006. This season, obviously. And--"

"You know," Torii interrupted hastily, because he had a feeling that list was going to go on for a while. "You gotta get this curse under control if you want to catch on with another team."

"I know, I know, but what can I do?" Sid wailed.

Torii pointed at the box, and at the locker. "Burn it. Burn it all."

"Even my lucky glove?!?"

Torii gave him The Look. "Just how lucky you think that glove is, Siddy? I gotta say, the empirical evidence just isn't there."

"You're right, Torii. You're right." He sighed a sigh so massive that locker doors fluttered in the breeze. "It all has to go. It's my only chance. Do you think they'll let me start a fire in the parking lot?"

"You, no. Me, definitely. You finish cleaning out that locker, and I'll meet you out back in half an hour, ok?"

"Okay. And thanks, Torii. You're a swell guy."

"Aw, shucks," Torii blushed. "I know that."

Half an hour later Ponson hauled his box out to the back lot to find a crackling bonfire and Torii rummaging through a grocery bag on a folding table.

"I ran to the store for some snacks," Torii said with a grin. "Curse-breaking is hungry work. We'll eat after."

"Excellent!" Sid exclaimed, instantly feeling much better about the whole enterprise.

"Well, go on," Torii urged. "Toss that stuff on there. A quick break is easiest."

And Sidney threw his cursed posessions one by one onto the inferno. As each thing caught fire, he felt a little lighter in his heart, which had been heavy indeed. Torii tossed in the new hat he'd been wearing the last couple of games, because he was starting to have a bad feeling about it.

"Sometimes we just need to let go of things. Like old undershirts, and sucking," Sidney said philosophically.

"Word," Torii agreed. "C'mon, man, let's roast us some grain dogs while the fire's high."

Ponson started to nod, then froze. "Grain dogs?"

"They're good. And low-fat. I got the Mexican Chipotle kind. Spicy!" He skewered a couple of zesty dogs and handed one to Sidney. They toasted them over the burning wreckage of Ponson's days with Minnesota and ate them on soft buns with mustard and sauerkraut. And by the time the flames guttered out and they had swept the ashes away, Ponson had learned that fire purifies and that tasty food doesn't have to go straight to your massive belly.

At the end of the night he walked Torii to his car. "Say, Torii? I was wondering something."

"Yeah?"

"How'd you get all that wood on short notice? I hope you didn't do anything silly like spend a ton of money on a rush delivery just to make me feel better."

"What, that stuff?" Torii said, climbing the ladder into the driver's seat of his massive vehicle. "Shoot, that was just a pile of assbats that were laying around the clubhouse. You take care of yourself now, Siddy."

"You, too, Torii. And thanks!"

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