Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beltran v. Wainwright revisited (Endying the Pain)

"Carlos. You must finish what I started. Finish what I started Carlos."

Beltran hung up. He had been getting these calls for the last 48 hours. He had been booed, attacked in the media, mocked by elected officials, pissed on by forgotten gods, but nothing like this. Whoever this was had his personal phone number. Unable to shake the feeling, he got in the elevator and went down to the 12th floor to see Francouer.

Frenchy was admiring his haircut.

"Carlos! This is awesome! You are in my apartment! We're teammates and buddies!"

"Yes," said Beltran, businesslike. "Jeff, you have told me about a demon that calls you sometimes. Is this a non-fiction?"

"Sure is! Probably! It's certainly true to me. As for the rest of the this and that, who knows? I am me, me alone, just myself. You know?"

"What does it say?"

"Usually it mocks my ability to play baseball, says my streaks won't last, that I'll never fulfill my potential. Occasionally it asks about my family and other stuff, but it's mostly just, y'know."

"Stunningly accurate," Beltran whispered.


"Does it ever ask you to do anything. Perhaps an ambiguous task for you to fulfill?"

"Nope. Say, are you nervous about facing Wainwright tonight? You kind of famously struck out against him a few years back. The last time we..."

Frenchy was still talking, but Beltran could not hear him. He could only see the curveball, the brutal hammer, the pitch he had been most asked about. The one that would haunt him until... it stopped.

"I was about to head to the roof. Are you ready?" Beltran tuned back in to hear those words. He nodded wordlessly. Up on the roof they met Pagan and Bay.

"We were about to leave without you!" said Bay.

"You're lucky I always underestimate the cooking time of quinoa!" declared Pagan. They strapped on their hang-gliders and took to the air, angling toward Citi Field.

"Hey Carlos," said Pagan. "What were you talking to Endy about?"

Beltran looked over, not saying anything, his mind processing millions of possibilities every second.

"I ran into him at Book Court. He said he's been calling you."

Beltran looked at New York. It was such a strange place. He looked down. Somewhere in that city was Endy Chavez. His phone rang. He didn't pick it up. Given that he was hang-gliding, that would have been extremely dangerous, but he also didn't pick it up out of a newly found emotional strength. Today, he thought to himself, will be slightly less about 2006 than it had been previously, and slightly more about today.

Beltran vs. Wainwright, 7/27/2010: 4 plate appearances, a single, a double and a walk, 1 RBI, 1 run.

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