When this season started, I didn’t think we’d make it this far. I remember Emily moving her stuff out the morning before our first practice. Those first three games I got drunk during batting practice and fell asleep in the dugout. I remember the umpire waking me up in the second inning of one of those games, telling me they were calling the game on account of the “mercy rule.” Sixteen to nothing in the top of the second.


Then, when the first game in May got rained out, I was sitting on the picnic table in the parking lot, watching the rain fall on the cars and thinking about Emily. I started crying when Craig’s dad was asking me about who I was gonna have play first base. God, I got so high that night.

We’re so close to that trophy now, guys. You know that feeling, when you get so close to something so many times, but you just can’t seem to grab onto it? That you’ve been through all the love and the touching and the heartache so many times that you feel like you’re one failed relationship away from chasing three bars of Xanax with half a bottle of whiskey and lying down to die on the bathroom floor?

Yeah, I guess you are a little young for that. Oh well. It’s coming, just know that. But that’s how I feel about this trophy. Except this time I think you guys have a chance to grab it. Let’s do this thing.

I remember that practice when—wasn’t it you, Ernie, who cracked that pitch foul and knocked the cigarette out of my hand? That was when I first realized that maybe we had a shot at being champions. And you guys never gave up.

We won our last 10 games. Remember how surprised the Barracudas looked when we beat them in the first round of the playoffs? I wish Emily was at that game. I wish she could have seen their faces.

Let’s get out there, guys. You know where to be. And, hey, win or lose, you better believe we’re all going out for pizza after this game. Do you guys know if there’s a pizza place that serves beer around here? Not sure, all right. Hey now. Let’s have some fun, guys.

Let’s win this baby.