“Bunt Double” by Chad Robert Parker
I gripped the bat, took a few practice swings, then looked for the sign. My coach went through his routine dance of messages and shocked me with a bunt sign in between. I hadn’t even practiced bunting all year long. I was a fast runner but the context for this call didn’t make much sense to me and truth be known I didn’t trust nor like my coach one bit.
I ignored the sign and stepped into the batter’s box. I watched a pitch go by high. Seeing no indication that I was going to heed the sign my coach gave the same actions more emphatically. I shook my head. The coach yelled at me telling me that he was the coach and I will do what he asks. I fumed and then shook my head again. “Time out!” He yelled and then stomped his way down the third baseline. I don’t recall what he said in his rage, but he gave up the bunt sign to everyone on the field as he shouted out his demands.
I thought it was funny. I’m not normally a rebel. We hadn’t won many games all year. I just plain didn’t respect him. He couldn’t withhold more playing time as I was already riding the bench most of the time. But he knew he needed me for my hitting as I led the team with my .333 batting average.
I stepped up to the plate. The infielders all moved in anticipating my bunt. The catcher guffawed, “Man, you really don’t like your coach.” I smirked but my eye’s were narrowed in on the pitcher. “Nope,” I said. “And I’m not bunting.” The pitch followed shortly behind my statement and I cracked it to the fence–a stand up double. I stood on second base clapping toward my coach. He threw his hat down, stepped on it, and crushed it into the ground. I ran two miles during the next practice as punishment for the two bases I reached. Yeah, that didn’t make much sense to me either.