All Part of the Game

The manager slowly walked out to the mound. When he got there he leaned in close to the pitcher and said, “Listen, Luis, the bases are loaded and there are two outs. I think the batter is going to try to catch us off guard by bunting. So I want you to throw him your knuckleball low and outside and then charge the plate right after you pitch the ball just in case he gets some wood on it.”

“I got it, Dave,” the pitcher said. The manager walked back to the dugout and Luis wound up and threw his knuckler. Unfortunately, the batter swung away and the ball zoomed out at full speed, connecting with the charging pitcher’s head almost right between the eyes.

The sound of the crack the ball made when it hit Luis’ skull reverberated throughout the ballpark, destroying the festive mood of the thousands of fans in the stands. The medics came out to attend to the unconscious pitcher and called for the stretcher to carry his limp body off the field. Any sense of optimism about the pitcher just shaking off his injury and being able to resume the game disappeared.

Fortunately, Luis did regain consciousness in the locker room, but after being transported to the hospital for further evaluation, the doctors determined that Luis had suffered from significant nerve damage and agreed that his professional baseball career was likely over.

A year later, Luis returned to baseball, but not as a player. His new job was as the team’s pitching coach. One of the first things he taught his charges was to never rush the plate before the batter swung at the pitch.


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (bunting), Word of the Day Challenge (charge), MMA Storytime (zoom), Ragtag Daily Prompt (festive), Your Daily Word Prompt (optimism), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (nerve).

Fandango’s Provocative Question #79

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

First, let me start by saying that this week’s provocative question is about sports, so if you have no interest whatsoever in sports, I will understand if you want to stop reading now. Come back again next week and maybe my provocative question will be more compelling for you.

Second, I am a sports fan, although I’m not a sports fanatic. I keep up with how my favorite teams are doing, but while I enjoy watching and reading about sports, I’m neither an expert nor a true aficionado.

As a fan, I was disappointed in March when sports were essentially cancelled. The NBA halted the professional basketball season. The NCAA cancelled its annual college basketball March Madness tournament, and Major League Baseball suspended professional baseball indefinitely. I definitely felt the void. Although, to be honest, I haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would.BC8E9F5E-4BBE-4524-91EA-62D19558EFDDWell, the suspension of the Major League Baseball season ends tomorrow, when big league baseball kicks off an abbreviated, 60-game season (the normal season has 162 games). And all games will be played without any fans in the ballparks.

So, in light of the commencement of the Major League Baseball season tomorrow, my provocative question is about the return of sports.

Have you missed profession and/or college sports since the seasons were either cancelled or suspended in March? How do you feel about the timing of the return of sports, especially given the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, at least in the United States?

For those of you who live outside of the United States, have sporting events in your country resumed? Are fans permitted to attend the games? How do you feel about it all?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Thursday Inspiration — Game Over

0F7F2818-EB64-4289-9A3F-750CD9F29E4EYesterday’s Thursday Inspiration theme from Paula Light, “game,” was very timely, in that yesterday was the day we learned that in the United States it’s game over. Most major professional and college sporting events in America have been cancelled or indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA has canceled college basketball’s March Madness tournament. Major League Baseball (MLB) has canceled the rest of spring training and will delay the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended professional basketball for at least 30 days.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has put its season on hold, as has Major League Soccer (MLS) and the PGA. Professional tennis has suspended matches through April 20th, and even though NASCAR IndyCar races will still be held, there will be no fans attending.

The economic and social impact of these cancellations and suspensions is going to be enormous. NBA officials are anticipating potentially “losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars across the sport.” And that’s just one sport.

The NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament is 15-day, 14-city event that, between media, marketing, broadcasting, ticket sales, gambling, and the rest, generates billions of dollars.

It’s hard to say whether or not these suspensions and cancellations of major sports in America would have happened regardless of the bungled actions of the Trump administration in dealing with this global pandemic, so I’m not going to point the finger of blame at our total incompetent and unfit president. But he certainly hasn’t done anything to help the situation and our country is going to pay a very high price.

Who Won The Week? 11/10/19

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My pick for this week is The Equal Rights Amendment.

What is the Equal Rights Amendment, you ask? That’s an excellent question. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. No brainer, right?

The ERA was originally introduced in Congress in December 1923 — nearly a century ago. In order for the ERA to be added to the U.S. Constitution, it must be ratified by 38 of the 50 states. Right now, 37 states have ratified the ERA, although five state legislatures (Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota) voted to revoke their ERA ratifications. But it remains an unresolved legal question as to whether a state can revoke its ratification of a federal constitutional amendment.

So why do I think the Equal Rights Amendment won the week? This past Tuesday, the elections in Virginia turned that state blue. Democrats won control of Virginia’s legislature and it has a Democratic governor. The incoming state legislators have expressed their intent to hold a vote on ratification, and, if passed, it would make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the amendment, if the five revoked ratifications are included.

Further action from Congress may be required before the ERA can be admitted as a constitutional amendment, but after 97 years since the ERA was first introduced in Congress, America may finally end the legal distinctions between men and women. It’s about fucking time.

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Who Won The Week? 11/3/19

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My pick for this week is underdogs.

This week the Washington Nationals won Major League Baseball’s World Series. They beat the Houston Astros, who finished with the best record in baseball this year, at 107-55, and who were the overwhelming favorite to win a second championship in three years.

The Nationals, on the other hand, were the decided underdog. Their chances of winning the World Series on May 24, when they had won only 19 of their first 50 games, were only 1.5 percent. And yet, in a seven-game series, where the road teams won all seven games for the first time in World Series history, the underdog Nats came out on top.

So congratulations to the Washington Nationals, who brought a World Series title to the Nation’s Capital for the first time since the Washington Senators won it all in 1924.DCB7AF22-48B7-49C8-BD00-3575BE49058FAnd now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?