Sparky Anderson was born this way

At birth, Sparky Anderson was 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. Those dimensions would not change. The delivery was almost too much even for his prairie-stock mother, who frowned while sleeping. “I counted the seconds,” she told him years later. “Thought about each number going by, and that each second brought me closer to the end of this pain.” He was also born with a full shock of hair, as white as fresh baseballs. His face was already engraved with furrows. Years later, his wife would recognize the pattern they made as the byways and rural routes of McCook County, South Dakota. His … Continue reading Sparky Anderson was born this way

Minimalist short fiction starring Adrian Beltre, II

  Adrian Beltre crested the hill in front of Rucker. He scanned the tree-line for the white throat of the buck. That, or the eyes, was what you usually saw first. Nothing moved except the leaves, which seemed to rustle themselves. There was no wind. His next step was on a mossy stone which slid underfoot. He fell on his hip. He dropped his rifle and rolled on his back. “Goddammit,” he muttered. “You OK, old man?” grinned Rucker as he clasped his forearm to pull him up. “Better let me blaze the trail.” After Adrian Beltre got on his … Continue reading Minimalist short fiction starring Adrian Beltre, II

It’s been a good day for Banknotes Harper

Author’s note: If you haven’t already, you are invited to partake of the Banknotes Harper origin story. It’s been a good day at the High-Rise Business Building of Banknotes Harper … At first, it appeared as though the leveraged buyout of the pharmaceutical concern he’d been eyeballing would fall through, but then, as negotiations frayed, Banknotes Harper locked eyes with Larry Ellison, his minority partner, and thundered, “Get your purse.” Sensing the seriousness of the moment and suspecting no contrivance, the Business Victims and toothless regulators across the conference table — splintered from an unappeasable pounding — promptly surrendered. Seized … Continue reading It’s been a good day for Banknotes Harper

Some Thoughts on the Current Standings

Friends: Courtesy of the morning paper, the current standings … I think it’s obvious at this point that it’s going to come down to Junior A.C. and Davis Shell and the private-school kids with their high-end bikes who populate those two teams. Were this a cinematic flight, then the relentlessly middle-class kids from, say, Naas Candy, would rise up and bring low their economic betters. But this isn’t a movie, so Junior A.C. and Davis Shell, what with their superior breeding, boutique equipment, and precocious and unreachable girlfriends will surely hold sway. Just as sure is that this will mark … Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Current Standings

Banknotes Harper honored at Chicago Merchandise Mart

Author’s note: If you haven’t already, you are invited to partake of the Banknotes Harper origin story. In 1953, American hero Joseph P. Kennedy commissioned the busts of eight captains of industry to be constructed outside the Chicago Merchandise Mart and worshiped as dollar-gods. On this day, a ninth marble bust was added — the bust of Banknotes Harper … Banknotes agreed to be honored only if his bust faced a different direction from the others. “That’s because I see arbitrage opportunities that other motherfuckers don’t. Those butt-smell losers are reading the financial pages, while I’m looking up skirts.” Since his wishes … Continue reading Banknotes Harper honored at Chicago Merchandise Mart

Claude Raymond is ready for love

English rock-and-or-roll supergroup Bad Company, who combined with Foreigner to encourage sex in hallways and public spaces all across Christendom, once queried: “Are you ready for love?” The aria is a tale — a necessary tale — of the everyman who is rendered urgent, turgid, and veiny for want of immediate and driving coitus. As it turns out, “Ready for Love” was inspired by right-hander Claude Raymond, who pitched to middling effect in the major leagues from 1959-1971. Bear nubile witness: As implied by his 1966 and 1967 baseball cards, Mr. Raymond walked around for two full years in a … Continue reading Claude Raymond is ready for love