- I immersed myself in hobbies for the rest of that evening, but inside I steamed. My favorite pitcher had busted his behind the entire season and yet they were benching him. He gets into one little rough patch and he’s benched like he’s not even trying. I continued to dwell on it after I climbed into bed.
- That night I had a dream. My team was playing a home game and my favorite pitcher was on the mound. The opposing team had a runner on first base and the batter at the plate had two balls and one strike. The pitcher was watching the catcher go through signs and trying to gather himself. The pitcher nodded to the catcher when he agreed on a pitch, but instead of going into the wind-up he continued trying to gather himself. He seemed nervous, something unusual for a veteran player of his caliber. Suddenly he gave a hard cough. He held his hand to his mouth and a few seconds later he gave a louder, longer, and deeper cough.
- The base runner and the first baseman stopped to look and both the catcher and the batter seemed frozen in place. After pausing for a few more seconds, the pitcher uncovered his mouth and prepared to throw a pitch. As he started to go into his wind-up, however, he suddenly stopped and began a coughing fit so intense he bent over. After one cough a few red drops sprayed from his mouth. There was a pause followed by another hard cough. This time a trickle of red started to stream from the corner of his mouth.
- The catcher signaled for a time-out, which the umpire granted. Trying not to look at the pitcher, the batter stepped aside to give the catcher a clear path to the mound. The pitcher started to step forward, but then collapsed onto one knee, clutched his chest and stomach, and started to tremble. A weak groan escaped his lips. The team trainer ran onto the field as the catcher and the third baseman tried to help him.
- At that point I awoke in a fright. I tried to calm myself and tried to reflect. I eventually took two messages from my nightmare. First off, even though I was sad that my guy had been benched, I should be grateful that he wasn't in the hospital dying from some condition, or in jail for doing something terrible. Secondly, I wondered if maybe he had some condition that the fans didn't know about, and the coaches were just trying to protect him. Sometimes you don’t know what someone is going through or what their reasons are for doing something.
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