Hey, everybody. Hey, guys? Walt? Walt, can you hear me down there at the end of the bench? I just wanted to say something quick here. If you all don’t mind gathering a little tighter. Thanks.

I wanted to apologize for dropping that fly ball. As you know, the timing of it is awful, since this loss means we won’t make the playoffs for the first time in eleven years. Now, I’ve never really been one to make excuses. So I won’t start now. But, man, the sun couldn’t have been more front and center in my eyes. I couldn’t see a damned thing. I was following the flight of the ball from the moment the batter hit it, and then, suddenly, total eclipse. That’s no excuse, though. I should’ve had it.

And, of course, you guys probably saw me tweak my knee a little bit when I slid into third during our rally in the 5th inning. Yep, the same knee I had ACL surgery on ten years ago. I really doubt that had anything to do with me dropping that fly ball, but I can’t help but think maybe, maybe, it came into play at that instant. Either physically or just mentally. Who knows, right? Sports are crazy like that. I’m sure it wasn’t hurting enough to affect me catching that ball. I only have myself to blame there.

And, you know, there’s the whole thing about how left field isn’t really my natural position. If Laura hadn’t face-planted into the fence going after that fly ball in the first inning, I’d still be in right field where I’m much more comfortable. It’s just, you know, an entirely different view of the game and the batter. But, whatever position you’re playing, you still have to make plays. And I didn’t do that.

And there’s probably no point in me even mentioning how tough my divorce has been. You guys know that. After awhile it takes a toll. Of course, I’m not saying that my failed marriage is the reason I dropped the ball—although it is certainly a distraction. Bottom line: I should’ve caught it. Whether my wife cheated on me with my best friend or not. I really should’ve caught it.

And, maybe I’m being ultra-sensitive here, but did you guys hear about that woman in Atlanta whose 3-year old child has been missing for a week? You have to feel for her, don’t you? I know if that were me, I’d want to die. Stuff like that has a strong effect on me whether I’m at home, or work, or playing in a silly softball game. I literally cannot stop thinking about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were in my subconscious as I put my glove up to catch that ball. Regardless, you have to block those things out.

Well, there’s no point in beating this to death. Let’s go get some beers. I just wanted to let you know I’m sorry for dropping that ball, and I have no interest in making excuses or even bringing up the idea that the horrific images of those poor otters covered in oil after the Exxon Valdez crisis hit me at weird times, and, well, never mind. We’ll get ’em next season.