- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

They Really Shouldn’t Have Gone to Such Lengths

“Oh, what’s this? I wasn’t expecting anything!”
“C’mon, open it.”
“I almost don’t want to. It’s so beautifully wrapped. Who put the bow on it?”
“That was Pete.”
“As if Pete hasn’t already done enough. I’m going to undo it very carefully…oh my!”
“Do you like it?”
“Like it? I love it!”
“It’s an extra-inning win.”

“I can see that!”
“We all put it together for you. See? There’s ten innings in there.”
“Such interesting craftsmanship. The foundation is so sturdy.”
“That was Jason’s doing. He crafted the first five-and-a-third.”
“Jason? The same Jason who could barely get through a third of an inning just a few weeks ago?”
“The very same. He’s been taking classes.”
“It shows!”
“I hope you don’t mind the little crinkle there just past the fifth.”
“No, it’s wonderful. It shows it was made with his very own left hand.”
“It was Mickey’s idea to let Jason keep working on it. It was also his idea to eventually make him stop.”

“Well, it’s beautiful. You don’t even notice there’s something a little wrong with the sixth. Is this a hair?”
“Oh, that’s Robert’s. Robert helped Jason do the sixth and then he did the seventh all by himself.”
“The hair just makes it more authentic. Ooh, what’s this little thing over here?”
“That’s a bunt. Jeff put that on in the third.”
“Jeff is so smart! Like a regular little squeezing squirrel.”
“That’s not all Jeff did. Take a look. He put four hits in altogether. Scattered them throughout.”
“The way he’d hide nuts for the winter — what a clever young man!”
“And did you see this catch over on the right? Michael made that. And this RBI single. He came up with that, too.”
“Michael was certainly busy, I see. Did he put this ball all the way over here?”
“No, that was Todd. Todd wanted to do something special, and that’s basically what he knows how to do.”

“Todd does it very well. He should be proud. Tell me, though, whose idea was it to make this an extra-inning win? That wouldn’t have occurred to me!”
“Funny story about that. We weren’t gonna do that originally. I mean not that you’re not worth the extra effort…”
“Please. Mind you, a regular win would have been just fine.”
“But Mickey had this idea about making it extra.”
“Mickey again? First he has Jason do more than five innings and now you’re telling me this was his brainchild? So creative, that one!”
“He got Jeurys to help him.”
“Jeurys? Did he do the eighth inning? Did he do it all right? I know sometimes Jeurys has trouble.”
“No, Jeurys was fine with the eighth. Well, mostly fine. Good enough.”
“That’s a relief. I know Jeurys tries so hard. It would have been fine with me had he just signed the card.”
“Mickey thought it would be good to let him do the ninth, too.”
“The ninth. Really?”
“Oh yeah.”

“Um, I hope this doesn’t sound unappreciative, but doesn’t Edwin usually do the ninth? I wouldn’t want to bother him too much, but he does so well with those.”
“Mickey didn’t want to disturb him again so soon after he did his last one, not to mention the ones just before that.”
“I understand. It’s just that Edwin is so good with those.”
“So Mickey asked Jeurys to do the ninth.”
“Uh-huh. Listen, I really don’t want this to come out wrong, because the thought is really what counts, but is that the reason…”
“The reason the ninth looks like it does? It’s OK, you can say it.”
“Well, I know this was obviously put together with so much love and care — and Jeurys really does try his best — but the dents, and the splotches of Red…”
“It was Mickey’s idea.”
“I see.”
“Now to be fair, Jeurys tried his best.”
“Oh, of course, of course! I’m absolutely sure he did.”
“But he’s not as handy as Mickey seems to think, so…”
“Is that why there’s an extra inning?”
“Pretty much.”

“But it’s a very nice extra inning. Who made it?”
“Drew put the top half of it together.”
“Drew? It’s such exquisite work! I didn’t know he knew how to do something like that!”
“None of us did. And the bottom half, that was J.D. and Jeff — and you already saw the bow Pete put on it.”
“It’s extraordinary. It really is. I’m going to line it up right over here with the other wins you boys have given me. See? It looks gorgeous next to them. I’m going to tilt it just a little but so you can’t make out the ninth unless you go looking for it. I mean I know Jeurys worked hard on it and all.”
“And Mickey.”
“Oh, Mickey. Of course, Mickey. So creative. Two innings for Jeurys, the eighth and the ninth. I guess it all turned out for the best, but…”
“But what?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all. There, in this light, this win is absolutely flawless [1].”