Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blogger Bracket Challenge Entry!!

Intro:  In case you're wondering why I'm suddenly trying to write like a bone-fide writer (finally, right?), it's all because of the awesome "Blogger Bracket Challenge" being brought to us by the great Nachos Grande.

Brackets of bloggers are brought together and given one baseball card to write about.  The submitted posts are then voted upon, and hack writers will fall by the wayside, while the masters of the keyboard will rise to the top.  Yeh, right.  Did I mention there's voting involved?  How will this not end up like every year's All-Star teams?

Everyone in my bracket is riffing off the card below.  Here's my entry:


Do you have any idea how hard it is to make it all the way to the pinnacle of the baseball ladder?


 Tons of baseballers peak out at 17.  They rule the high school fields and the morning after the prom, nada. Unless you're the next Brian Harper, no MLB team is signing you in the senior parking lot. 

Your next stepping stone becomes the college circuit.  And that aint no picnic. Guys who just might have the right stuff to make it in the bigs are all around you, and they're all trying to strike you out. While one good point about college is that college chicks abound, a ring on the finger of a cute coed has derailed more than one guy's diamond aspirations of another kind.

But you stay focused on the game you love and on becoming stronger and faster because you've wanted to be a professional baseballer since forever.  You have the good luck of a quality baseball program and no major injuries.  You start to pile up some numbers and you get noticed by the scouts.

By hook and by crook you find yourself in the minor leagues. You're on the Farm, man!  That'll work!  The mirage that was the major leagues for so many years is solidifying and starting to look like an achievable goal.

Of course there's always the possibility your team can drop you at any time - just like back in high school! Or you can be traded on an hour's notice and now you're the new catcher for the Mudville Outs.  You can't promise a girlfriend or a wife where you'll be in two months or even two weeks.  And just for good measure, everyone else here is trying their damnedest to strike you out.

You work harder than the next guy.  You take extra BP and infield.  You learn other positions and even dabble in switch-hitting.  You avoid injuries and learn not to fear the high heat.  Your batting average rises, your girlfriend says she'll stick with you - no matter what, and you discover your power stroke.

One day, you get called into the skippers office and you get THAT news. You've been called up!  The big club needs you!  Pack your bags, kid.  You made it to The Show!

You're Big Time now.  Team jets.  Custom made bats, gloves and cleats.  Press in the locker room and lobster every day on the team buffet table.  You've got your own nickname, the girls dance to your batting theme music, and kids wear your jersey in the stands.  You're getting some love and respect from the media and you feel like life don't get much better than this.

One day you receive a baseball card autograph request in the mail.  It's a card you haven't seen before. It's kinda funky.  It's got a flame roaring through your torso - or is it behind you?  Dang artists!   It's got different numbers and symbols on it.  Where to sign?

Then you see it.  You see what card those bastards gave you.  In plain writing, for all the world to see...your card is "EASY OUT".

Sitting on your bed alone, you're transported back to that terrible day those very words became the nickname you've kept hidden, but which also motivated you, for the past 10 years. 

You pick up the phone and dial up room service. "Two double cheeseburgers and a large strawberry shake, please."


  1. No one deserves to be an "Easy Out"

  2. I have to admit I was hoping someone ran with the "easy out" on that card when I picked it. Well played!

    1. Thanks, man. The challenge was to not make it so obvious that would be the punchline.

  3. Ouch...I'll have one of those cheeseburgers please.

    1. I gotta admit, I had you in mind when I mentioned him being a catcher.

  4. Oh, no. He can't have two double cheeseburgers and a large strawberry shake. He once missed just an entire season due to irritable bowel syndrome. Do you want him to relapse!?

    1. LoL. At least he's already going to be in the catcher squat position.