The Hitting Zone - Chapter 908: V3 ch143
We boarded the bus in a good mood. Well…most of us. Bryce was catching a lot of grief from the big three on losing his complete game shutout.
“One more inning. Three outs.” Dave stressed. “What happened?”
Bryce sighed and slumped in his seat. “I don’t know.”
“He choked.” Kyle said with a laugh.
“Don’t worry, we’ve all lost it at some point.” Garret told him. “My sophomore year, I would be all over the place.”
“Yea, because you only had speed. No control.” Dave stated.
“At least I got to start.” Garret straightened up proudly. “Look where I’m at now. Best pitcher in the county.”
“Second best player in the county.” Kyle corrected. “You’re only the highest pitcher because you can hit. I bet if they just judged on pitching skills, it’ll be a tough call.”
“I would still be number one!” Garret grinned. “You and Dave can fight for number two.”
Dave rolled his eyes. “You’re ridiculous. You’ve had more bad starts than us.”
“That’s because I had more starts overall.”
Bryce was stuck in the middle of their discussion, occasionally getting jabbed about the one run he gave up.
I turned to look at Noah, who was on his phone at his seat. I leaned over. “What did Alisha say?”
Noah simply showed me his phone.
Alisha: Girl probs, don’t ask
Right below that Noah told her we won our game, that he didn’t get to play, and that I did well.
I slowly nodded, feeling my face heat up. “Oh.” Awkward. What do you say to that?
“Maybe we can take her some chocolate tonight.” Noah suggested. “That’s what girls usually crave, right?”
I nodded again. Sounds right to me. “Will one of the twins even take us?”
“Psh. Why bother with them? We’ll just tell Mom.” Noah said. “She’s a girl. She understands this stuff.”
Makes sense to me.
Noah started to type on his phone. “I wonder how Zeke and his team did today?”
Zeke had his tournament this weekend in Texas. It was in a different kind of format, playing three different teams and the one with the best record wins. If they have two records that are the same, they go by run differential. Zeke said that this tournament doesn’t mean much, but Noah found out that it could improve their National ranking. Yesterday they won.
“Currently playing!” Noah said, eyes on his phone. “I wonder if I can find a way to watch.” He tried looking for a livestream but could only find a radio broadcast. He played it on blast, trying to drown out the bickering twins but it only helped so much.
The drive home took some time. Having snacks being traded and passed around really helped. By the time we pulled back into our city of Watsonville, Zeke’s team had won their second game in their tournament. He played well going 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
We got home and found Grampa watching tv in the living room. No sign of Mom or Dad. They did say that they were going to be at some open houses this weekend. I was the only one that really needed a shower, while the other three simply changed out of their uniforms. I came back downstairs and only found Noah and Grampa.
“Kyle wanted to go out with Marie.” Noah told me. “Dave caught a ride, probably going to the mall and movies. I don’t know.”
“You two should have gone out too.” Grampa told us. “When I was your age, getting out of the house was the time I could have fun.”
“Meh.” Noah shrugged. “It’s almost dinner time so why bother?”
“They’ll probably stay out for dinner.” I said, taking a seat on the empty couch.
“Maybe we should have Mom and Dad take us somewhere special for dinner without them.” Noah tried to come up with an idea. “You did the best today after all.”
“Wherever is fine.” I reached for the couch blanket and started to wrap myself up. “Soup in front of the tv would be good. No running around. No homework.”
Grampa laughed. “You sound like you’re ready to retire.”
“He gets better when it gets warmer.” Noah told Grampa. “You can take the boy out of Southern California but you can’t take it out of the boy. He just craves the warmth.”
On cue, I shivered. “Hey, I can’t help it. It’s what I’m used to.” I grew up in a warmer climate and this was out of my comfort zone. By the end of baseball season, the start of summer would be better for me.”
“I understand.” Grampa said. “I spent a summer in Florida and thought that was going to be the death of me. The humidity. The heat. The bugs.”
Noah laughed. “You babies.”
“What climate do you like living in?” I asked him, wondering if he preferred a certain season.
“I try not to care too much about the weather or climate.” Noah said. “I’ll have no control over where I get drafted to or what it’ll be like when I’m there. It’s better to take a neutral approach so you don’t get disappointed.” Noah looked at me. “The pros play from March with the dream of getting to October. You’ll run into really hot games. Really cold games. Maybe a little bit of sprinkling if an umpire says to play on. Windy games in Chicago. I think one time Minnesota saw snowflakes on opening day!”
“Zeke was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.” Grampa mused. “I bet your mom was really happy he chose to stay relatively close. I wonder if he would have made the same choice if a closer team would have picked him?”
“Like the A’s or Giants?!” Noah asked, but then shook his head. “Nah. It was a pipe dream. Zeke sounded pretty set in going to college.”
“He was originally set on entering the draft.” I threw out there.
“Teenagers. So fickle-minded.” Grampa chuckled. “If I had a dollar for every time I changed my mind, I would be better off even now.”
“Well I won’t be changing my mind.” Noah declared. “It’s the pros for me. No matter how late I get picked. I’ll fight it out in the minor leagues.” He looked at me. “What about you, Jake?”
“I don’t know.” I stayed in my blanket. “Dr. Moore said I have time to decide.”
“A lot of time. A lot can change.” Grampa nodded. “Dave picking Vanderbilt is the biggest surprise I saw coming. Him and Kyle separating? Strange sight to see.”
“They were bound to at some point anyways.” Noah pointed out. “How many twins make it professionally? The chances of ending up on the same team? Nearly zero percent.” He thought about it. “Unless one of them enter free agency and then try to plan to get the same team to sign them. It could work if they ignore money.”
“I’d ignore money to play with you.” I told Noah. That would be a great relief. “Could we do that right away?”
“Not right away. That’s impossible.” Noah explained. “Drafting. Signing. Rookie contracts. Then you have to be good enough to make it to the big leagues. Well we both have to. Be decent enough that other teams want us. It’s a whole thing.”
“Oh.” There goes that idea.
“You boys are thinking so far in advance.” Grampa spoke up. “Give yourselves a break. Enjoy your time in high school. Win another championship with the twins and then without. Take your time.”
“Yea, yea, we know.” Noah grinned.
We spent the rest of the day hanging out and watching tv with Grampa. Talking about everything from our game, Zeke’s game, and to the upcoming home game on Tuesday. Mom and Dad did take us out to a nicer dinner than normal with Grampa which illicited complaints from the twins.
“You guys did that on purpose.” Kyle accused.
“Yea, the one time you eat the good stuff is when we’re gone.” Dave agreed.
“I don’t make the decisions around here.” Noah said with a smile. “Take it up with Mom.”
They did not take it up with Mom.