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Old 04-29-2007, 03:12 AM   #701
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Yes, I'll need to change that. Keep in mind that what you're reading is essentially a first draft, so mistakes are bound to happen. I've noticed several continuity or reference errors as I've re-read everything.

Don't worry, I'll fix it by the time the book comes out.

As for a next chapter, that's hard to say. I've been simming mostly these days trying to get enough material to scope out the middle third of Dave's career. I have the next 5-6 chapters mapped out. The next chapter could be as early as Monday.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:13 PM   #702
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yea, I just saw that no one had mentioned it (that I saw) so I thought I might as well say something.


cool, thanks for the quick answer
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:56 PM   #703
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Does anyone have this on a Word file or something like that? I'd love to print this out, it's amazing!
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:38 AM   #704
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Unless Tib himself makes one available, it would be a faux pas to make a word file out of it and distribute it, as Tib has first print rights as the author and is exercising them in electronic form here on the forums. We would need his express written permission to put a word file together.

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Old 05-02-2007, 04:46 AM   #705
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I think there's a link a few pages back. As long as it's for personal viewing only I have no problem with it.

I suppose this is a good time to introduce a website I'm working on for all my writing:

http://www.freewebs.com/scott_tibbetts/index.htm

It loads kind of slow for some reason, but eventually all of Short Hop will be kept there.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:24 PM   #706
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I had a customer in my office the other day...named Dave Driscoll...
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:11 PM   #707
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I didn’t know at the time he had played in the BBA, the Black Baseball Association, back in the fifties before the CBA was segregated.


Just reading over your work, for about the third time, and noticed something.

Shouldn't the sentence read 'integrated' instead of 'segregated'?

By the way, that's wayyyyyy back in Chapter 3, haha!
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:43 AM   #708
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Just reading over your work, for about the third time, and noticed something.

Shouldn't the sentence read 'integrated' instead of 'segregated'?

By the way, that's wayyyyyy back in Chapter 3, haha!
Crap...

okay, changed it. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:55 AM   #709
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CHAPTER 52

And Them That Don't

So them that gots has gots, and I got mine. I was very pleased how it turned out. How could I not be? Noah acted like he just hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. He high-fived me ten times in the elevator.

“How does it feel to be the fifth highest paid shortstop in the league, Davey?” he crowed.
“Great,” I replied, but he wasn’t listening.
“The Magic Man is going to throw me a party when I tell him about this. He’s going to send me to Hawaii for a week! “I’m going to buy one of those new Mustangs. Hey! You do spots for Chicagoland Ford, right? Can you get me a deal?”
“Get you a deal? You just made about $80,000.”
“Ah, you’re right. I don’t want to put you on the spot. It’s no problem. Forget I even mentioned it. Still… Fifteen million! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it happened so fast. You were fantastic in there. I know I told you not to say anything, but man, if I’d have know you were going to go into the whole ‘team spirit’ speech I would have let you do all the talking. It was brilliant.”
“Thanks.”
He stopped as we got to the lobby and looked at me.
“Aren’t you happy for you, Dave? This is a huge payday. Huge.”
“Yeah, man. I am. It means a lot to my future.”
“Okay. Good,” said Noah. “I mean, you’re sort of acting like I got you too much or something.”
“No, it’s great,” I said. “I’m just a little overwhelmed. I’ve never had this much money before. I’m not quite sure what to do with it.”
“You spend it, buddy!” said Noah, giving me a slap on the shoulder. “I gotta call this in. I’ll send you the paperwork in a few days, okay?”
“Okay.”
And he was gone, leaving me to walk to my car alone.

Fourteen million was a huge payday considering they were only going to give me eight. I knew that, but somewhere deep down I wondered what the money meant. I mean, that much money must mean something, right?

It might mean Mr. Bassone expected me to outperform myself the next four years. It might mean he expected me to be a leader of a winning team. It might mean I had an obligation to become some kind of star, now that I was getting paid so much. I was sure at the time it meant something.

But it didn’t. It didn’t mean anything. It meant I was the best available at that moment and I got paid based on the market. I know that now.

Baseball money isn’t like normal money. You can’t compare the two because baseball is a world unto itself and the laws of economics that run the real world simply do not apply to baseball. Your compensation is almost entirely derived by your competition and how well or not they play. I was an average hitting shortstop with good defensive skills. If there had been even two more available shortstops like me in the league at the time – or even in AAA – negotiations could have gone much differently. You have to take advantage when you’re a commodity because if you don’t you may find yourself being treated like a used up resource.

This was never truer for me than when I got home and read on the wire that 39-year old James Jaffe, future Hall of Famer and the best hitter in the game for the last ten years, had just been offered a minor league contract by Baltimore – in effect a demotion.

What is Theo thinking? I thought. I was shocked at the lack of respect for such a great hitter, but I knew what Theo was doing. He knew Jaffe would never take it. He knew Baltimore would never allow Jaffe to be traded; it would cause a riot. Theo knew he’d retire first, saving Baltimore lots of money and forcing the competition to bid for him at Free Agent rates, and in that rarified air Jaffe could command as much as $16 to $18 million a year. That much money to one player could cripple a team.

Funny, huh? I got paid based on my commitment to winning, a pretty good glove, and a shortage of really good shortstops while James Jaffe, a legend whose 500th home run went right over my head, got the boot. Cliff was right. “And them that don’t…don’t”.

Gwen thought the contract was fair, but cautious. She told me Trip Hinke, the station’s sports guy, told her I wouldn’t have received more as a free agent anyway. Trip wasn’t the only one who thought so, judging by the response on the Comanches’ website.

Deserving or no, Gwen immediately began remodeling our house. When she finished with that she started on the other four we now owned.
“Honey,” I said one morning at breakfast, “we don’t actually get the money until my current deal is up in October.”
“I know,” she said, holding up two colored cards. “Do you like Almond Mousse or Shepherd’s Robe for the hallway?”


With nothing to do during the All-star Break but think of all that money, I called Hal Newhouser, the scout who signed me. Hal had retired and was living in Orlando. In his early sixties, he had arthritis and emphysema now, but it couldn’t stop him from walking to the local Little League field to watch ballgames. We still talked, but less and less frequently. Now I really needed some good advice.

“It makes me feel a giant monkey has been strapped to my back,” I said to him.
“Of course you feel that way,” he said. “And you should.”
“I should?”
“They didn’t give you all that money because you have a pretty smile. They’re businessmen. They made an investment in you.”
“So am I supposed to be an All-Star now? Is that it? I’m supposed to lead the team to a championship?”
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Not exactly. Son, the real worth of something is rarely tied to what you pay for it, whether the currency is money or trust or faith or anything else of value.”
“What’s it tied to, then?”
“Expectation. I worked for 28 years in the expectation business and let me tell you something: people make value judgments based on their desires and goals and almost never on reality. It’s no different than when people get married or start businesses. They base their decisions on an expectation of happiness.”
“So Bassone has an expectation of happiness?”
“Don’t all gazillionaire businessmen?”
“So I have to decide what his expectation is.”
“Don’t you know what’s expected of you?”
“I guess. I mean, I think so. I think he wants me to be an All-Star.”
“That may be what you expect of yourself, but that’s a dangerous place to go. Don’t make assumptions about owners, Davey, you’ll never get out of the box. It’s simple business. Every person who enters into a contract for their services must ask themselves: ‘what am I being paid to do?’ It’s the first basic question in a business relationship. It doesn’t matter that it’s baseball. We could be talking about any highly-skilled job. What do you think you’ve been asked to do?”
“Well, they made me the fifth highest paid shortstop in the league, so I guess they expect me to be in the top five shortstops.”
“Yes. Exactly. Now you’re thinking.”
“But how do I get there?”
“Get there?”
“Yeah. How do I reach that expectation? Do I train, do I get one of those sports shrinks? What?”
“Davey, Bassone knows you can’t guarantee him an All-Star performance. Nobody can. He knows you can’t guarantee a championship. But he also knows you’ve played hard through injury. You’ve spoken up when you had to, and remained silent when you needed to. You’ve maintained positive relationships with the other players. You’ve been a good teammate. Your character is something they want, even if All-Star games and championships never happen. You ever read that book I gave you all those years ago? The one by Harry Dell? The Elements of Success?
“Only about twelve times.”
“Well, read it again. You are one of their elements of success, Davey. I believe Mr. Dell would put you in the core/character category.”
“Yeah, as long as I’m in the top five shortstops.”
“You’re still not getting me. Old Man Bassone has enough money for anyone he wants. He could have traded for Terry Ruddy. Everyone knows he’s available. He wanted you.”
“I’m not following you, Hal. If he could have Terry Ruddy, why would he take me?”
“I think his expectation is that you stay right where you are, Mr. Core/Character. He needs a solid center. Every championship team does. God knows the Comanches do. Davey, Bassone made you the fifth highest paid shortstop because he believes you are already in the top five.”

I was stunned. I hadn’t thought of that. I mean, I wasn’t even close to thinking of that.

“Davey?”
“Yeah, Hal?”
“Son, the hard part’s over. Just play.”
“That’s it? Just play? That’s what he wants?”
“Yep,” said Hal. I could hear him smiling through the phone. “Imagine, Davey, in this day and age, actually getting paid to actually play actual baseball.”

I suddenly flashed on what Hal said to me the day I signed with Atlanta: “Expectation. Now that can weigh more on a man than all the money in the world. Never forget it’s a game, Davey. Play the game and you’ll be all right.”

And suddenly I believed it.


We went 6-2 to start July, led by Happy Parikh who continued to blister UL pitching and make his case for MVP. On the 13th we were 4 games back of Cleveland when they came to Chicago for a weekend 3-game series. We had them right where we wanted them.

We got swept.

I went 0-10 in the series while Flash stole his 39th base. It was miserable. I began to think Mr. Bassone would reconsider his offer. Then, as bad as it was against Cleveland, it got a lot better against KC. I hit a 3-run homer that bounced off the foul pole. After that we swept Boston in Boston and we won the next two series in Washington and Seattle.

I jammed my finger against the Sentinels on July 21st, so I was sitting out when the trade deadline came around. Normally I would have been a little anxious; my name always seemed to come up in the press this time every year, but not this year. This year I was safe, but I still watched the wire (I always found it ironic that the wire, as it had been known for almost 70 years, was now actually wireless) for signs of movement from the Chicago front office. On July 30th I was going over the day’s trades on my handheld when I saw a familiar name.

Moose, who had been hitting so well in AAA with no chance at breaking in with Atlanta, had been traded to the Montreal organization for left-hander Alex Fish. He was a Quebec Capital now. Atlanta, who had been struggling to stay over .500, needed pitching and Moose was a potential 30-homer catcher who wasn’t going anywhere with Blas Urbano behind the plate (Blas was hitting only.263 with 5 home runs at the time, but he had the big contract), and Alex Fish was a lefty middle reliever the Generals believed could be turned into a starter.

The news must have been welcome for Moose. Although Quebec was awful and Montreal not much better (34-47), it was a chance to play every day. Furthermore, Montreal had no true everyday catcher in the system. What they really had were two number two catchers. He must have felt that much closer to the Bigs. For the hundredth time I thought of calling him, but didn’t.

It must have been a shock to our old Hinesville teammates Bobby Nitta (5-2, 3.09), Yoogie (2-2, 3.82) and Dave Guevara (.262, 4sb in 40 games). I’m sure they expected Moose to get called up to help them secure a playoff spot. Now they would have to make it on their own.


But they did make it on their own, and more. While we were plodding our way to an 82-80 record, which included being swept twice in September, Atlanta was gaining momentum. While I struggled on a throbbing knee to break .250, Nitta, Yoogie and Guevara were steadily contributing, allowing the Generals to slowly pull away in their division. While we dropped three straight to Cleveland down the stretch and guaranteed ourselves tee times for October, Atlanta cruised to a division title and a 3-1 elimination of Vancouver in the Division Playoff.

In the UL, it was Cleveland and Baltimore again. Theo’s club was weaker than the previous year and succumbed to Von, Flash and Al Gills 4-0, setting up an Atlanta-Cleveland finale.

It put me in a weird place. On the one hand, my early teammates had a chance to win rings for themselves and I was rooting hard for them. These were the guys with whom I learned the game. This was Yoogie, one of my best friends at a time in my life when memories were made. This was “Brooklyn” Bobby Nitta, the hard talking Italian kid with the wicked slider who used to tell such dirty jokes. This was Dave Guevara, who had come so far in his personal journey, getting clear of drugs and re-dedicating himself to the game. Dave Guevara my double play partner. Dave Guevara who had just lost a brother in Afghanistan. I wanted to be with them.

On the other hand, the players I bonded with during my early years in the Bigs were also there, trying to fulfill the same dream. I rooted for them, too. This was Al Gills, who had such good advice for me my rookie season, who was so smart about the game and the press and who understood the intricacies of team politics so well. He helped me stay out of trouble. This was Flash, who, like Guevara, was my double play partner for far too short a time, who got drunk with me and got tattoos with me and taught me so many new swear words. This was Von Jones, the powder keg who never blew up at me, not even one time, who let me see things about him he wouldn’t let anyone else see.

These were my friends. I should have been happy.

But I felt miserable. I had been so close. I knew what it meant, this shot they had at baseball immortality. I found myself wanting it, too. I found myself resenting that I hadn’t gotten any closer. I knew they were excited and nervous, but I could not share their excitement.

I felt separated and alone. I felt like an outsider. Maybe it was because I wanted it so badly for myself. Maybe it was because the more excited I was for them, the worse it made me feel that I hadn’t achieved my own success.

Ah, hell, I told myself, you’re just being selfish.

Maybe so, but it didn’t make the burning feeling go away, the hot frustrated petty immature notion that they were getting what I wanted.

I hit .242 in 2011. I scored only 60 runs. I had a .328 on base percentage. Maybe I was only angry with myself.

And as I watched Gary Shadrick pump his fist under the pop fly he knew would end Game 6 and give Atlanta their second championship in ten years, I suddenly understood what Moose was telling me at that diner all those months ago. I understood how desire and frustration can become a dangerous mixture. When you want something badly enough, it’s possible to compromise your values to achieve it. It can even seem necessary and right to do so. And if you achieve it, well then the price paid was worth it, wasn’t it? And if you don’t achieve it, at least you were willing to risk everything.

That’s how athletes think sometimes. We live in an ultracompetitive world where results are rewarded and principles are not. No one will give you a new contract because you have an All-Star caliber moral compass, but there are plenty of people who will look the other way when it comes to winning.

So Yoogie, Dave and Bobby had Championship rings now. So did Joel Kral. Von, Flash and Al Gills had UL championship rings. Them that gots has gots. And what did I get? Lots of money and no satisfaction. Almost $4 million a year and a .242 average.

When? I wondered to myself. When will I get mine?

The next morning I walked to my mailbox to send cards to Yoogie, Bobby and Dave. I picked up the paper on my way in and saw this:

GENERALS CHAMPIONSHIP IN JEOPARDY

Former Altanta Generals minor league player Cristobal Ayala was arrested by the FBI at Atlanta International Airport yesterday on drug charges. The 30 year old Ayala, once a highly ranked prospect, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. “We believe Mr. Ayala has been selling and in some cases administering illegal performance enhancing substances to big league players in the Atlanta organization since 2003,” said FBI investigator Mark Crown.

Crown said Ayala’s presence in Atlanta led the FBI to speculate that he may have been distributing steroids to Generals players during the season and perhaps even during the League Championship itself. Reached by phone, League Office spokesman Davis Beesley said the CBA knew Ayala had been under investigation and had been cooperating with the FBI. Should the allegations prove true, Beesley said, Atlanta’s title could be in jeopardy. Calls to the Generals front office were not returned.


Next up: Chapter 53, Both Ways

Last edited by Tib; 06-11-2007 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:34 PM   #710
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simply...fantastic.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:39 AM   #711
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Excellent job, as usual, Tib

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Old 06-13-2007, 10:47 PM   #712
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Thank god this is back

We want more!
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:55 PM   #713
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Just checking in Tib, hope you are well, we miss Dave's story
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:52 PM   #714
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Quote:
...but man, if I’d have know you were going to go into the whole ‘team spirit’ speech...
should be "known"

Quote:
Fourteen million was a huge payday considering they were only going to give me eight.
Fifteen

Quote:
Happy Parikh
Same guy as before or no (Otis)?

Quote:
ultracompetitive
ultra competitive

---------------

GIVE US MORE!!!!

This is great, thank you.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:52 PM   #715
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Originally Posted by blee3543 View Post
should be "known"



Fifteen



Same guy as before or no (Otis)?



ultra competitive

---------------

GIVE US MORE!!!!

This is great, thank you.

All correct, Blee. First drafts are tough on the grammar sometimes.

A quick word -- I have taken a position as investigator with my department and it's eating up a lot of my time, or at least computer endurance. It's been challanging and will likely get even moreso in the coming months. I have written the finish to the drug scandal and I'm editing it now. I'm working on transitioning the story from the meaty middle to the beginning of the end. Some of the greater themes (ones I have only hinted at) will begin to emerge soon.

It's going to be good; I just have to somehow find the time... Thanks to everyone who is patiently waiting.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:50 PM   #716
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I just got done reading this entire thread over the last few weeks in between work and life and I have to say this is absolutely incredible. It's a shame I have reached the end as I now along with so many others have to wait until the next chapter is published. Absolutely Incredible Tib
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:58 AM   #717
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This should be published.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:37 PM   #718
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This should be published.
It really can't be until it is finished.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:07 AM   #719
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Good news. I am off on vacation this week and through the holiday. That means I am writing.

I'll make one prediction for the coming year: Short Hop will resume with new chapters starting January 13th.

You may even see a very topical chapter appearing very soon.

I have not forgotten Dave. I'm glad many of you have not, either.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:32 AM   #720
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Oooh, that should mean it's not long away

Short Hop is one of the reasons I come back to OOTP Forums, tbh.
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