Paid To Play
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 17th, 2012
A 6’1″, 210 Lb, fairly muscular man, with medium length sandy blond hair, walks into “Johnny B’s” Rib Shack, wearing blue jeans, a white button up shirt, and brown cowboy boots. He looks to be in his mid to late twenties.
His name, Sean McClure…
Accompanying him is a 5’8″, dark curly haired fellow, a bit roundish in the middle, wearing a warn out looking black “Salt Lake Bees” Tee Shirt, grey sweatpants, and big white high top sneakers. He looks to be in his early thirties, and is wearing glasses.
His name is Greg Sonders.
“So you’re sure about this Sean?” Greg asks Sean, as Sean holds open the Restaurant Door for him, but two young blond girls come out and smile and giggle.
“Afternoon” Sean says to the two girls, and Greg just shakes his head.
They enter and sit in the waiting area of the Restaurant.
“Eight years in the Minors, without a Major League Contract… Yeah… I’m sure” Sean replies.
A hostess approaches carrying two menus.
“Right this way gentlemen”, she leads them to their table in a quiet corner of the restaurant… Sean’s favorite table, they know him by sight, as he eats there all the time.
“Thank you Stacey” Sean says as The Hostess Stacey smiles slightly, and walks away.
“But don’t they pay you pretty well?” asks Greg, who is smearing some soft butter on to a roll.
“Money’s not everything… I need to figure out some new dreams, and get to it…” replies Sean, who finds what he would like from the menu, and sits it down.
The Waiter approaches “Hey Sean… And friend” the Waiter says to Sean and Greg.
“What can I get you this evening” he asks.
“Skirt Steak for me… Medium Rare… Baked Potato, and Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing on the side” replies Sean, as he hands the Waiter his menu.
“And for you sir?” he asks Greg.
“I’ll get a Cheese Burger and a Coke… That comes with French Fries, right?” replies Greg.
“Sure does… Curly, or Steak Fries?” he asks.
“Curly would be good…” he hands the Waiter the menu “Thanks.”
The Waiter starts to step away, and then looks back “Nice Game last night Mr. McClure”, and then walks away.
“Thanks Tommy” Sean replies.
“I’m not getting any younger” continues Sean.
“You’re twenty Seven man… First thing you need to do is stop thinking in “Athlete” Years… You’re still young.”
Greg turns to the Bartender “Hey can you turn on the Angel’s Game?”
“Sure” the Bartender replies ” I think it just started.”
“I know it just started you–” Greg starts to say under his breath as he reaches for a second roll.
“Calm down Greg, remember your blood pressure” Sean says with a semi-smile.
“Don’t know how you’re going to live without Baseball man… You’ve played it since you were like five.”
“I’ll find a way” Sean replies.
Suddenly Sean’s phone receives a text message, and Sean makes a strange face.
“What is it?” asks Greg.
“It’s the Clubhouse… They say they received a call from a fairly young girl, claiming to be My… Sister?”
“I thought you were an only child…” responds Gregg.
“I am… I mean… I was… But I suppose My Dad could have remarried, I don’t know… Didn’t keep in touch with him after he left Mom when I was like… Six” Sean replies.
Sean then looks up at the game, and watches a great play at the plate by the Angel’s Catcher, “Mack Rogers“…
“Man can that guy play…” Sean says.
“Have you told Tom yet…” asks Greg.
Sean doesn’t answer, he keeps his eyes on the screen.
“You there man?” Greg tries to get Sean’s attention.
“Rogers isn’t getting up…” Sean says blankly.
Greg turns around, and they both walk up to the bar.
Meanwhile their food arrives.
“Can you turn that up Rick” Sean says to the Bartender.
“Yeah… He has yet to regain consciousness, and they’re finally bringing out a gurney… Watching that replay, it looks like he really twisted that knee… Oh yeah, the pain must have shot through his system, and caused him to go unconscious.”
They take the player off the field, and Sean and Greg sit back down at the table.
20 Minutes Later
They’ve finished their meal, and are getting up to leave, when Sean’s Cell Phone Rings.
He has a “Blink 182 – I Miss You” Ring Tone
“Hello?” Sean answers.
2 HOURS LATER ON A PLANE TO LOS ANGELES
Sean puts his head set on and is about to start playing some music when he looks at the text about his “Sister” again.
He slides the headset on.
“This just in, Sean McClure, a Catcher from The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim AAA League, The “Salt Lake Bees”, has been called up to “Temporarily” Replace The Angel’s All Star Catcher Mack Rogers, who suffered a Knee Injury, and looks to be out for an undetermined amount of time…”