[Phone rings at the Millar residence, 2:23am]

Bellhorn: Kevin?

Millar: Who’s this?

Bellhorn: It’s Mark. What’s up?

Millar: What the–? Dude, it’s two thirty in the morning. Why you callin’ so late? You know Monday is spatula night.

Bellhorn: I was just wonderin’. I didn’t see the game tonight. How’d it go?

Millar: It went good, it went good. We won. Hell, I got two hits so that’s almost a career night for me.

Bellhorn: What about… you know? The new guy.

Millar: El Graffanino? Dude turned it out last night. Three hits and a three run homer. Hell, they even walked him intentionally.

Bellhorn: [silence]

Millar: Hello? Yo, Mark.

Bellhorn: I’m here.

Millar: Anyway, Graff was the sparkplug for us last night. Really got things rolling. Plus, guy’s got some killer jokes. Listen to this one, this had Ortizzle pissin’ himself. A guy walks into a bar carrying two melons and a copy of the National Review. All of a sudden a pirate…

Bellhorn: Jokes, huh? Funnier than mine?

Millar: Yeah. I mean no. No, not at all. Or kinda like the same, you know? He’s got your locker, so it’s kinda like you’re still here.

Bellhorn: Eep! He’s got… my locker?

Millar: Well, yeah. It just made the most sense. We hang out before the game and play Boggle, and…

Bellhorn: Boggle? My Boggle? Tell me you guys aren’t using my Boggle.

Millar: It’s your Boggle, but Graff’s real careful with it. Puts all the pieces away nicely. Even replaced that little hourglass timer when it broke last week.

Bellhorn: Someone broke my Boggle timer? Christ, I’m gonna die in my own vomit.

Millar: Take it easy, Mark. It’s all taken care of. We’re being very, very careful. Why don’t you tell me how things are going with the Paw Sox.

Bellhorn: I really don’t have the time. I’m on a pay phone. I just wanted to say that… well, I’m feeling good, and I think I’m gonna come back. So tell Terry that I’ll be there tomorrow afternoon, and–

Millar: Huh? Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? You can’t rush this stuff. Take a few more days. Or a week. Or… you know, Tony’s only here for the rest of the year. You could always–

Bellhorn: Naw, screw that. I’m fine. Listen, hear that? [Pause] That’s my feet dancing around. I’m well, I’m fit, I’m ready to start tearing it up. Wanna meet tomorrow for some early BP?

Millar: Well, I was supposed to hit Cheaters with the Graffster…

Bellhorn: Cheaters, huh? That was our place.

Millar: Aw, it still is. Heck, guy’s from out of town. He ain’t seen a night out since U.L. Washington took him for barbecue. This is like freshman orientation, chief.

Bellhorn: [Sound of silence. Or weeping.]

Millar: Mark?

Bellhorn: I’m alright. [Sniffs] I’m fine. Okay. Well. I guess I’ll just… see you around?

Millar: You sure you’re alright?

Bellhorn: Like you should care. Think I didn’t see it? Oh, it was quite a show. The high fives. The grabass. “Oh, let me sit next to Tony. He just hit that big f–king home run.”

Millar: Dude. Relax. It’s temporary. You’re our second baseman.

Bellhorn: Right. Just like Nomar’s our shortstop. And we just love Mo Vaughn. And when Carney Lansford gets better, we’ll just have to ask Mr. Boggs to take a seat on the bench.

Millar: Are–are you drunk?

Bellhorn: What if I am? Or what if I’ve spent the last six hours snorting lines of Tang? What if I have enough Vitamin C coursing through my skull to render me incapable of perceiving the delicate line between right and wrong. And what if, in that weakened state, I happened to buy a sh-tload of guns and made plans for smuggling them into the ballpark tomorrow? How you like ‘dese nuts?

Millar: I’m not so sure I know you anymore, guy.

Bellhorn: Oh, you’ll know me. You’ll all know me. [Laughs maniacally, hangs up.]

Millar: [Rubs neck, stares at phone, then hangs it up.]

[Phone rings again]

Millar: Hello?

Bellhorn: And I’ll expect that Boggle at my house within 24 hours, Nipplehead.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Fun Facts # 321-6-B:

When you do a Google photo search for “Alex Cora,” this comes up:

So that’s one good thing I can say about Alex Cora.

SurvivingGrady.com… where it’s fun to find out!