“Out!” yelled Blindy, as I slid home. I never understood how my imaginary ump could be so darned incompetent. Just once you’d think he’d get it right. But Misser, as usual, came roaring out from behind the shed, where he’d gone for a leak, away from real Mom’s sight.
“He’s as safe as peanut in a shell in Tut’s tomb, you old miserable crunch! The guy missed him … plain and simple. How can a guy with no hands make a real tag? That’s stupid. If there was some way me and Jai here could get rid of you, we would.”
“You know darned well no other person would set himself behind this plate and get abuse hurled at him every six pitches, Kid. But I guess if you can find someone, I’d be more than happy to retire.”
“Don’t care,” mumbled Misser. “If we’re stuck with you, we’re stuck with you. Better to be havin’ an unfair game than no game at all.”
“So are you going to shut up next time your slow buddy comes in?” asked Blindy, in a more relaxed tone. I gave him a cruel stare for calling me slow, but he didn’t notice.
“I will if you make the call right. Otherwise there ain’t no choice. Besides, he’s not slow at all. He’s confused as to which team he’s on. Pitching six balls and then sliding home when you’re coming in to retrieve them makes him confused.”
Blindy rubbed his imperceptible chin. “If you’d throw those stupid balls back to him, he wouldn’t have that problem, now would he?”
Misser looked up defiantly at the old man, 60 years his senior. “You know I don’t have much of an arm. I’m more of a catcher than a thrower. Jai’s the thrower.”
Usually silent, this time I had to put in my two cents. “Then start catching, would you?”