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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.
NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.
I had lived in Rehoboth Beach all my life without ever visiting Poodle Beach; not really. I mean, I had been there once or twice by myself in the winter, but there wasn’t much to see at that time of year. Without people around it looked pretty much like everywhere else down by the shore; cold and deserted. I had never been to Poodle Beach in the summer, however.
When you were little, I guess all the moms and dads in town knew enough about its reputation to keep you away from the place. And then later on, if you were a boy of a certain age growing up in the community, one of your friends would tell you about it. He would snicker a lot while doing that; and because he snickered, you would feel compelled to snicker as well.
To me that’s what Poodle Beach was for most of my life, a place to snicker about; and after you had been told and snickered, you would know enough to stay away from it. If someone saw you at Poodle Beach, you knew the word would get around quickly; and if that happened, it would be bad, really bad. You would be walking by a group of boys in school one day and hear them snickering behind your back. That would be devastating.
I had never even discussed the place with Ethan growing up. From the beginning, he had always been emphatic that you didn’t judge people by things like skin color. He didn’t like it when some of the kids picked on the brown skinned boys he loved playing baseball with. He saw them as baseball players and judged them as such. The color of their skin never mattered. It was how well they played the game.
And while it began with skin color, Ethan added others things as we grew older together. It didn’t surprise me when he spoke up against discrimination based on sexual orientation; and since Ethan was my best friend and I wanted to be like him so much, I agreed with him on that and just about everything else. So it wasn’t like I had anything against anyone who went to Poodle Beach.
But back then I was a ladies man after all; everybody at school knew that. Going to Poodle Beach would have ruined the reputation I was trying to cultivate. Not that I wasn’t curious about the place at times. How could you not be? But it just seemed safer somehow to stay away from it. I mean, I was getting enough snickers back then about being thin. I didn’t need any more.
The point is, I was as much a stranger to Poodle Beach that day as Cameron. I knew where it was and different ways to get there; some that would draw more attention to you, some less. Unlike my previous visits when I followed an indirect route, one that wouldn’t call attention to me, I had taken us there today by the most direct route from where we were located; south down the boardwalk and then beyond.
Today was different. I was out and proud to be out. I didn’t want anyone to think I was ashamed of being gay and I knew Cameron would feel the same way.
Of course, it wasn’t like the southern end of the boardwalk was heavily populated in any event. Once you got past a certain point, the shops disappeared. After that, the point of being on the boardwalk seemed to disappear as well, at least for most of the tourists. In the end, most people huddled around the portions of the boardwalk where the shops were located so we didn’t have a lot of company walking to Poodle Beach that afternoon.
When Cameron and I finally got to the place I remember being surprised. It was more crowded than I expected for one thing and you could sense the people were different for another. Probably the biggest thing was the absence of children playing in the sand with their buckets and shovels. There weren’t very many children around; nor were there many teenage boys or girls.
I mean, there were a few teenage boys and they were attracting a lot of attention in their gravity defying Speedos, ones that were even tighter and skimpier than those Cameron and I were wearing. How that was even possible was beyond me. But while there weren’t very many of them, the ones who were there seemed to be enjoying all the attention they attracted from the men on the beach.
Why not? I remember thinking. They’re definitely easy on the eyes.
There were fewer women as well and they were sitting together, just like most of the guys were sitting together. That was different as well I suppose. At the beach further north you saw more men and women sitting together, often with a bunch of children in tow. But here it was different. It was men with men and women with women and not many children or young people at all.
Just like the regular beach further north, there were people of all different ages. But like the regular beach again, it seemed the crowd tilted toward those in their twenties and thirties, at least this afternoon. Whether the men were in better shape than those at the regular beaches was hard to say. Men in their twenties and thirties tend to be in better shape generally.
If there was a difference, it was that these men seemed more interested in displaying their bodies. They wanted to show them off and I was glad about that because I wanted to look and be looked at.
Cameron and I made our way among the crowd looking for a place we could stake out as our own. Once we found it, I left him there to hold on to it while I made my way to the station where I could rent a beach umbrella and a couple of chairs for the two of us. To be honest, it was a luxury, not something I would be able to do all that often. But for our first entrance on to Poodle Beach, I didn’t want us to be seen lugging around a lot of stuff.
I wanted the focus to be on our bodies and our semi-nakedness. I thought we would draw some stares and I was right about that and that made me smile. Just a year ago I would have been totally out of place here. Now I felt like I belonged, that somehow this was my beach. Eventually Cameron and I managed to get the umbrella tilted just right and the chairs positioned beneath it. We sat down, relaxed and took in the scene.
Soon enough I noticed some young men around the same age as us walking by. To say they weren’t shy about staring at the two of us would be an understatement. They were excellent looking young men, dressed like us, in shape like us, and presumably as horny as us that afternoon. It took one or two passes before I realized what was happening and finally had enough sense to motion them over.
We would spend our brief time together introducing ourselves to one another, talking about the weather and the beach conditions, what was happening in town, where the best parties that evening might be, and what not. It was all part of an elaborate charade, one in which everyone was sizing everyone else up and trying to determine whether those that drew their attention the most shared their interest as well.
It was fun and I enjoyed playing the game; and while I was reluctant to hand out my parents’ telephone number, I accepted a couple of phone numbers that were volunteered. Cameron did the same and it was obvious he was more the center of attention than me. But it didn’t bother me. I remember thinking I should probably follow up with one or two of those who had given me their numbers if I was ever going to have any hope of becoming better friends with someone.
At some point the novelty of the thing wore off and the two of us ended up doing what everyone else does when they go to the beach. We walked down to the edge of the water and dipped our feet in. Having exhausted the possibilities associated with that, I reached down at some point and splashed a little water on Cameron, only to have him return the favor.
We were fooling around at the edge of the water, jostling one another; and eventually, totally soaked, I tackled Cameron and dragged him beneath the water, frustrating his efforts to remain dry. Later, after emerging from the ocean and drying ourselves off, we walked back and forth along the beach.
We acknowledged a few catcalls and one or two whistles; stopped and chatted when someone motioned us over. We had only been there an hour or two and already we had become familiar with the routines of the place. And then, finally bored, Cameron and I stretched out on the beach face down and let the sun do its work on our bodies; bodies much too white from a long winter spent confined inside back at school.
I’m not really sure how long the two of us lay there, but eventually our little reverie was broken by a voice that sounded vaguely familiar.
“Well, well, well; who do we have here?” the voice said and somehow I knew the words were being directed at us.
Rolling over on to my back, I looked up and there was Zachary towering above the two of us, smirking at me. I was surprised; not that he was gay so much. He hadn’t denied being gay at practice that morning. But for some reason I hadn’t expected to see someone as young as him at a place like Poodle Beach.
From my position on the ground, I had a different view than one usually gets and my eyes knew immediately they liked what they saw. They could have looked at his face longer and eventually they would, but after an initial quick glance at his face they drifted lower, drawn to his crotch and the swimsuit he was wearing.
To my surprise it wasn’t a Speedo. It was more like a pair of shorts, fire-engine red and kind of modest although cut very short for a boy. It reminded me of those short shorts teen girls like to wear in the summer. I remember thinking this was a suit he was probably wearing because it had met with his mother’s approval, but only after some others had been rejected.
And yet modest as it was, at least by the standards of Poodle Beach, I could feel myself becoming aroused just by looking at it and what it concealed. The suit may have been modest, but the boy wearing it was hot.
There wasn’t a swimsuit in the world that could conceal that.
Jesus, this is one incredibly cute boy. How the hell am I ever going to be able to coach someone like him without driving myself crazy?
He stared back at me for a couple of moments before I realized what he was doing. He was undressing me with his eyes, which made me even more self-conscious than I already was; and then, having stripped me naked, his eyes moved on to Cameron and did the same thing, this time lingering longer. He liked the suit Cameron was wearing, but I sensed he liked a lot more than the suit.
By now Cameron had roused himself as well. Like me, he had rolled over and just sat there staring up at Zachary. Caught by surprise, neither of us said anything.
“Who do we have here?” Zachary repeated, breaking the silence.
“Coach Hot,” he said, answering his question while nodding at me. “And Coach Hotter Still,” he added, turning his attention to Cameron and leering at him.
“Which one, Zachary?” he asked, placing his hand on his chin as if he was pondering a difficult dilemma.
“Coach Hot or Coach Hotter Still?”
The jig was up, no doubt about it. There wasn’t going to be any explaining our presence away as some accident. He knew why we were there; and because I knew that, I quickly decided there was nothing to do except to push back with the same kind of banter he was dishing on us.
“Zachary,” I said; “my, my, my. What a pleasant surprise to see you here at Poodle Beach this afternoon. What brings you here, Zachary?”
“I was just about to ask you guys the same thing,” he replied.
“Ah, but you see, I asked first,” I responded. “The rules of social etiquette require you to answer first.”
“If you say so, Coach,” he replied. “Well, if you have to know, I’m looking for my boyfriend.”
“I see,” I said. “So young and you already have a boyfriend. That’s terrific, Zachary. Congratulations.”
“I didn’t say I have a boyfriend,” he responded immediately, grinning at me. “I said I was looking for my boyfriend.”
“And I think I may have just found him,” he added, winking at Cameron.
“Uh-oh,” I said, looking at Cameron and grinning. “It looks like someone’s in big trouble now.”
“What makes you think I don’t already have a boyfriend, Zachary?” Cameron piped up.
He said it nonchalantly enough, but I had a feeling the whole thing had flustered him.
“I don’t know,” Zachary responded. “Do you, Coach? Are you and Coach Hot here — oops, sorry, I mean Coach Hunter — are the two of you boyfriends?”
“We’re friends,” Cameron responded, parrying the question. “And we’re boys. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.”
“I don’t know,” he responded. “You could be, I suppose, but I don’t think so. Something tells me the two of you are just very good friends and that’s cool; but boyfriends? No; I don’t think so.”
“So what brings you here this afternoon, Zachary,” I repeated, trying to get Cameron off the hook by changing the subject. “You seem kind of, oh, I don’t know, kind of young to be hanging around Poodle Beach. When I was your age, I would never have been caught dead here. You know what I mean?”
“Maybe I’m more, um, more mature for my age than you were back then,” he said, rubbing his groin suggestively.
I could see the thing twitch ever so briefly and silently gulped. He was hot and he knew he was hot. Not just hot, to be honest; incredibly hot.
“Or maybe not,” he continued. “Who knows? I just happened to be over in the vicinity of the Municipal Building not too long ago and saw where I made the team. Not having that many friends my own age, I decided to come over here. Unlike most of the boys I go to school with, the men here at Poodle Beach seem to like me a lot better for some reason.”
“Why do you think that is, Coach? Why do you think they like me so much?”
And with that he gave his ass a little shake, one that elicited a long whistle from someone in the crowd behind us. Turning around momentarily, he made the same elaborate little bow he had made that morning to me. That caused a bunch of people to laugh. You could tell he was popular with the crowd.
Later I would recall the saying that you’re supposed to stop digging when you’re already in over your head. But the kid had me flustered and, foolishly, I plunged on.
“I think it must be your delightful personality, Zachary,” I responded. “You’re, you’re . . . . Jeez, I just don’t know the word I’m looking for.”
“Sui generis,” Cameron interjected.
“Huh?” Zachary responded, baffled by the phrase.
“One of a kind,” Cameron continued, smiling; “in a good sense.”
“Oh, yeah, I knew that,” Zachary responded.
“Um, really; you really think I’m one of a kind, Coach?” he asked, directing his words to Cameron.
It was the first sign of vulnerability he had shown all day and it surprised me. It was nice.
“Really,” Cameron said.
“Um, well, can I join you guys or would I be messing things up if I do?” Zachary asked.
“Sure,” I responded. “We could use some company, especially someone who knows about Poodle Beach. This really is the first time we’ve been here.”
“Wow,” Zachary responded. “That’s hard to believe. If I had a body like you two, my ass would be parked here 24 hours a day.”
“Not that there’s anything wrong with my body,” he quickly added. “It’s okay, but I’m only sixteen. I’m still filling in; still growing in certain places if you catch my drift. How old are you guys?”
“I’m 21,” I responded. “And Cameron here is 18. And I can’t speak for Cameron, but I think you have a very nice body for your age. You’re coming along just fine; certainly a lot better than me at the same age. I was much too thin back then.”
“Really?” he said, looking at me intently. “You really think I’m okay, body wise?”
“Definitely,” Cameron responded. “You’re definitely totally hot, Zachary; too young to be here, of course, but definitely hot.”
Puffed up by the backhanded compliment, Zachary just grinned at Cameron.
“I’ll be seventeen this fall,” he said. “I’ll be a senior in high school. I’m going to be applying to college and then I’ll be just like you dudes. I don’t know if I can afford it, but my mom, my step-mom actually, she says everything will work out okay. You guys must be in college, right?”
“Cameron’s going to be a sophomore this fall at the University of Delaware,” I responded. “I just graduated from there and I’m going to be teaching at Cape Henlopen this fall.”
“Wow,” he responded, leering at me. “That’s my high school. Maybe we’ll get to hang out together in the teacher’s lounge or something.”
“Oh, Zachary, Zachary, Zachary,” I responded. “I’m so disappointed. Here I thought you had the hots for Cameron and now you’re already plotting how to cheat on him with me. You’re being a very naughty boy. I may have to spank you.”
That caused him to blush momentarily, but it didn’t stifle his tongue.
“I would never cheat on Coach Cameron if he was my boyfriend. But I’m sure he must already have a boyfriend, don’t you Coach?” he said.
“That would be a no,” Cameron responded, having finally decided to reveal the truth. Then he changed the subject.
“So where are you planning to apply to college, Zachary?”
“I’m not sure. My mom, my step-mom, is encouraging me to apply to Delaware, just like you guys. But I’m thinking it would be a lot cheaper to go to one of the regional branches, like the one up in Lewes. That way I could live at home and save some of the cost.”
“Maybe,” Cameron responded, “but you really wouldn’t get the full college experience living at home like that; and it’s not like the main campus is that much more expensive. I’m working down here this summer to pay my way through my sophomore year. You could too.”
“Oh, sure,” Zachary responded. “I already have a couple of jobs and I’m saving money for college. I don’t want to be a burden on my mom. She’s done so much for me already.”
“Of course, since you don’t have a boyfriend, Coach, maybe we could be roommates or something,” he added, leering at Cameron. “That would save me a ton of money and you would definitely like being my roommate.”
It made me laugh, at least silently. The kid was horny, incredibly horny; and being horny and sixteen, he was cute when he was in heat.
But I decided I needed to cool things down once again.
“Um, well, not to interrupt all this witty banter,” I said, “but I have a question. Do you plan to out us, Zachary? Not that either of us are really in the closet, but the other guys on the team don’t know about us right now and it might complicate things if they did.”
“They’ll probably find out soon enough, but it won’t be from me, Coach,” Zachary responded immediately. “You can count on it. I know what it’s like; besides, I may be gay, but baseball isn’t about gay or straight, is it?”
“No, it isn’t,” I responded. “And speaking of baseball, let me just say you had a terrific tryout today, Zachary. I can already tell you’re one of the better players on the team, maybe even the best. You’re certainly a terrific shortstop, that’s for sure. You fielded everything that came your way easily.”
“Yeah, right,” he said, and suddenly he was frowning.
But it was only for a moment; then the smile returned and he seemed to be himself again.
“Thanks,” he continued, staring at me. “I play on some of the different teams at school, including the high school baseball team. But mostly I end up riding the bench. I spend most of my time practicing somewhere else, throwing a tennis ball against some backstop to help improve my fielding skills. That’s helped a lot, I think.”
“It does,” I said. “I had a friend who used to do that a lot and it definitely shows in your case. Kind of hard to believe you’re not starting at school. But, then again, I don’t know who plays on the school team.”
“Yeah, you don’t,” he said, and there it was again, that momentary frown. “Um, well, if I didn’t say so already, I want to thank you for putting me on the team.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” I said. “You’re a very talented player.”
“Yeah, well, you know,” he responded, sighing. “Being talented only takes you so far.”
“Um, nothing really,” he said. “It’s just that, you know, being gay, sometimes the coaches don’t want someone like me on their teams. If my mom, my step-mom, wasn’t such a tiger, none of them would want me on their teams to be honest. But she gets after the school something fierce and they don’t have much choice except to put me on the team. But I end up riding the bench and she can’t do much about that because the coaches decide who to play.”
“I’m sorry about hitting Kevin,” he continued “My mom, well, she’s taught me I have to do my part by keeping my mouth shut and my fists to myself when the other guys call me names; and mostly I do.”
“But Kev shouldn’t have pushed me. I don’t like it when somebody pushes me.”
“He shouldn’t have,” I agreed.
“And he shouldn’t have called you those words either. You know, Zachary, you’re a lot more courageous than I was at your age. I was gay too then, but I guess I didn’t want to put up with the taunting and the shit that goes on in schools. So, if no one’s ever told you before, you’re a very impressive young man. You’ve got game.”
“And kind of sexy, too,” Cameron interjected, trying to lighten a mood that had suddenly turned more serious than I had planned.
“Really?” he said, smiling at Cameron. “You think I’m sexy, Coach?”
“Um, well, I’m thinking maybe the two of us should slip away to wherever you live then and discuss this further. I could show you, um, I dunno; I could show you some of my moves,” Zachary added, grinning. “Like Coach Hot said, I’ve got game.”
He was slipping back into leering mode and by now I was worried it might not just be an act, a show of bravado. I could see his groin bulging up even more as it tried to escape the embrace of the jock that was still holding it so tightly in place.
“I think you’re right about that, Zachary,” Cameron responded. “I think we should do exactly what you said; find someplace private and let you show me some of your moves.”
“Huh,” Zachary replied, suddenly confused, as was I.
Whoa, Cameron, what the hell are you thinking? This kid is only sixteen years old. He’s someone you’re going to be coaching. The last thing this kid needs is that kind of coaching.
“I mean, I’m really getting all hot and bothered just sitting here looking at you, Zachary,” Cameron continued. “I think we should go back to my place, but I’d like to bring Hunter along to video the two of us having sex. You know, so we could put it up on the internet and let others watch the two of us getting it on? And, hell, we could even make it a threesome after he finishes videoing the two of us doing it.”
By now I could see Zachary was getting nervous, just like I was, although it was beginning to dawn on me what Cameron was doing. He was fighting fire with fire, so to speak, but I wondered what would happen if Zachary took Cameron up on his offer.
“Um well, yeah, sure, that would be, um, interesting, I suppose,” Zachary stammered. “I mean, that sounds good, but I’m thinking it’s getting kind of late and my mom, my step-mom actually, she’s probably wondering where I am and everything right about now; so I’m thinking maybe I should go home first and maybe we could think about doing all that stuff later sometime. You know what I mean? Think about it some?”
“I mean, I have a friend and he told me once it was best to be friends with someone first before, you know, messing around and doing stuff; I think he was probably right about that. I suppose that might be a little disappointing, but I’m thinking maybe we should become better friends first, Coach. You know? If that would be okay with you, I mean?”
I remember breathing a sigh of relief.
“That makes a lot of sense, Zachary,” Cameron responded. “I dunno; I guess I just kind of got carried away there for a moment. But you’re right. Being friends first would make a lot of sense. I apologize for coming on so strong. It’s just that, you know, a hot dude like you? It’s tough to keep my hormones under control. But I want to earn your friendship, Zachary. Can you give me another chance to do that?”
“Oh, yeah, sure,” he responded. “I mean, sometimes I get real horny like that so I know what it’s like. But having you as a friend? That would be special I think. I don’t have a lot. Right now Ethan’s my best friend.”
I remember thinking Cameron had handled the whole thing just right. Zachary was used to being rejected so flirting was kind of the same as baseball for him, a game. He was pretty good at the flirting game, no doubt about it; but there was still a kid somewhere inside there, a kid who was nervous about sex in some ways. I was glad about that.
I remember thinking all of that, but my attention had been on something else Zachary had said.
“Ethan?” I said, piping up. “Um, well, I’m curious. You mentioned this friend of yours, Ethan. I have a friend named Ethan too. He plays minor league baseball. His name is Ethan Williams. Have you heard of him?”
“Absolutely,” Zachary responded. “Ethan and his mom rescued me from my dad. My dad used to beat me up a lot and then, well, one night he tried to do stuff with me knowing I was gay. I didn’t let him and that’s when I ran away. And Ethan and his mom took me in; and I’ve been living with her ever since.”
“Oh my god,” I said. “I don’t believe it.”
“Don’t believe what?” Zachary asked, confused.
Looking over, I could see Cameron was equally confused.
“You’re the boy Mrs. Williams called me about last night,” I said. “She said she was taking care of a boy who liked to play baseball and asked me whether you could try out for the team and I told her to send you over and I would take a look. I mean, I knew she had adopted a boy, but I had no idea it was you she was talking about.”
“Wow, that’s awesome, Coach,” Zachary responded, smiling. “You and Ethan are friends?”
“We sure are,” I said. “We used to be the very best friends, at least while we were growing up. But then he got drafted and moved away and we kind of drifted apart; although I still follow his career closely.”
“That’s just so incredible,” Zachary replied. “Now I have two awesome friends.”
“Maybe three,” he added, looking over at Cameron shyly.
“No maybe about it,” Cameron replied. “I’m all in on friendship.”
“And you know what’s even more awesome, Zachary?” I interjected.
“What?” he responded, looking at me.
“Cameron is going to be living with you and your step-mom this summer.”
“Holy shit,” he said. “You can’t be serious. I mean, Mom mentioned some dude was going to be staying with us. I thought she was talking about someone a lot older; but Coach Cameron? That’s hard to even contemplate. You know what, Coach?”
“What?” Cameron asked.
“I think living together in the same place is definitely going to help us become friends a lot quicker,” Zachary replied, and by then he was rubbing his thigh nervously and bulging up again without even being aware he was doing it in front of us.
“Uh-oh,” I said, looking over at Cameron and smiling. “Someone’s in trouble now.”
“Um, well, maybe,” Cameron stammered. “I haven’t even moved in yet and I don’t want to get in trouble with your mom. We’ll have to see what happens.”
“She’ll love you Coach,” Zachary said. “I just know it. You’re a cool dude. I know she’ll love you.”
“And she won’t be the only one I suspect,” I interjected, grinning.
Cameron didn’t say anything in response; and yet if looks could kill, I would have been dead immediately. I could see he was flustered by this latest revelation and knew it was time for me to shut up.
The three of us stayed on the beach together for another hour or so, playing in the water, talking about Poodle Beach and how Ethan was doing, and just becoming better acquainted with one another. Then we headed back north up the boardwalk.
When we reached Ethan’s place, we said our good-byes. Turning around, Cameron and I started to walk away.
“Hey, Coach Hunter,” Zachary shouted.
I turned around again and looked over at him.
“What?” I asked.
“Um, I was wondering; I mean, I don’t want to take advantage of our friendship or anything, but I was wondering whether I’ll really get a chance to play this summer; or, better still, to start?”
“Sure,” I responded. “As for playing, everyone is going to get a chance to play so you can count on that for sure. Starting? That’s harder to say right now, Zachary, but I can say this. The best shortstop will start, no matter who that turns out to be.”
“Coaching is real simple that way. You start the best players, Zachary; and right now I think you’ve got a real good chance of being the starter.”
“Really? You’re not just saying that?” he responded.
Staring at him, it seemed to me there was something different about his eyes at that moment.
I could sense a tone of skepticism in his voice, but his eyes were pleading with me.
“You can take it to the bank, Zachary,” I replied.