Monday, June 12, 2006

Your mom digs the long ball, Part 2

Weekend Roundup - Mariners @ Angels.
Friday: Mariners 4, Angels 1 - Washburninated.
Saturday: Mariners 12, Angels 6 - Ichirollin' wit' da homies.
Sunday: Mariners 6, Angels 2 - Kompletely Felix.
Sunday at Maple Wood: Winner Buys Beer 35, House of Slack 13. Yay softball season! Yay getting stomped! At least I was 1-3 with an RBI.

Jeremy Reed walked into the clubhouse Sunday morning with a big grin on his face.

"Hey guys, can I get you all to do me a favor and sign this bat for me?" he asked, holding out a Sharpie.

"Sure thing, man," said Mike Morse, taking the bat and pen and signing.

"Ya sure, ya betcha," joked Jamie Moyer as he signed the bat.

"Yeah, Jer, whatever you need," Raul Ibanez remarked, signing. "What's it for, anyway?"

"Well," Reed grinned sheepishly, "I've been a good son this weekend, unlike last time -- I remembered to leave tickets for my parents to the games, and I even cleaned up my room when I visited their house. But I realized I didn't have a cool Father's Day present for my dad yet, and I thought he'd like something special like a bat signed by the team."

"Yes, Reed-san!" replied Johjima. "You have become very good son now." He signed the bat.

"Hey, little man," started Richie Sexson as he took the bat. "I don't know how to break it to you, but Father's Day isn't until NEXT weekend."

Jeremy Reed blushed. "Uhh... uhh... I knew that! I just wanted to make sure I got it to him really early!"

Jarrod Washburn nodded. "There's nothing wrong with making sure you have your bases covered early for these things, J-Reed," he said. "But, you know... I believe you still owe your parents a home run for last time. And you have an unsettled score with Jered Weaver's older brother. He's still giving up home runs like there's no tomorrow."

Reed laughed. "You're right, J-Rod," he replied. "But that's harsh, dude. Calling Jeff Weaver that... it's almost as if people were going to call me Mark Reed's older brother, y'know?"

Willie Bloomquist muttered, "What makes you think we don't already?"

Reed turned. "What?"

Bloomquist blinked. "I said, did you get your bat signed by Eddie?"

The score was 1-0 in the top of the second as Jeremy Reed stood in the on-deck circle, crouching with his bat over his shoulder, watching as Jeff Weaver pitched to Carl Everett, imagining these were his pitches to hit. Weaver's really got his stuff today, he thought, as Everett fouled off another pitch.

Reed usually hated to glance into the stands during road games, as there were always a few fans in those home plate seats who had paid tons of money to sit close and were going to make the most of it heckling the opposition. But today it was okay. He could see his mom and dad sitting there, wearing their Mariners jerseys, smiling and giving him a thumbs-up. It was always nice playing in south California, where his friends and relatives could come cheer him on. Good thing the Angels had all righty pitchers too, which meant lots of playing time.

Carl Everett swung and missed for Jeff Weaver's third strikeout of the day, and walked back to the dugout wordlessly. Two out. Jeremy Reed took his bat and walked up to the plate without looking back at the stands.

Jered Weaver's older brother, meet Mark Reed's older brother, he thought, as he grinned slightly and prepared to see what he could get.

First pitch, fastball, a bit outside. Reed laid off it, hoping for something he could really get a good hack at. The second pitch was inside, too far inside. He laid off that too. Ball two. A pause. He stared out, and Weaver wound up. The ball came in towards his bat, and Reed hit it hard.

He ran. The ball sailed out, out, out -- out! A home run! Yessssss!

Circling the bases, he kept his head down, but when he made it home, he looked up. His parents were applauding. Rene Rivera put his hand up for a high-five.

"That one's for you, man," Reed pointed at Felix as he came into the dugout amidst congratulations from his teammates.

"No... es para tu padre," replied Felix, high-fiving back.

"Yeah... your dad digs the long ball," muttered Bloomquist from his end of the bench.

Jeremy Reed caught up with his parents for dinner after the game, where he presented his dad with the baseball bat signed by the team. "Happy Early Father's Day, Dad!" he said as he handed it over.

His dad took the bat. "Hey, this is great. Even better than that home run you got me. This is from the whole team?" he said, examining it, reading the signatures.

"Well, almost everyone," Reed admitted. "Eddie Guardado slept late."

"This is interesting," his dad said. "Someone wrote 'Your son sucks' in really small print off to the side here."

"That's weird," Jeremy said, glancing at it. "I don't know who on the team would do something like that. Maybe they meant Mark." He grinned.

"I don't think so. He was 3-for-4 with a walk today. Scored three runs in a blowout by Peoria."

"Did he hit a home run?"


"Ha! I win! They even hit me with a pitch because I was so good today!"

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