Home Run (The Boys of Summer 2) - Page 53

“You heard me, rookie. You’re starting.”

“And we’re actually here so you don’t hurt yourself. Diamond doesn’t want you overdoing it and pulling a muscle.” Kidd slaps me on the back, pulling me back into reality. I’m starting tonight.

“I have to impress him,” I say out loud for my benefit. It’s my constant reminder that I’m always being watched, and now I’m being given the opportunity to show them what I can do.

Both Davenport and Kidd’s expressions change from jovial to serious. They nod in agreement with me. “You’re getting a chance to prove to him and Stone that you can play at this level. Don’t blow it.”

Davenport’s parting words hit home. This is my chance, and I can’t fuck it up. I stand there while they put their weights away and wait for me to join them on the cardio circuit. It’s going to be an easy day and not one where I can take my aggression out on the dumbbells.

I slip my headphones on and join the guys on the indoor track. My pace is steady, staying behind Davenport and Kidd. After the second lap around, Singleton and Bennett have joined in. By the fifth lap, the starting lineup is running on the track, and most of the guys are surrounding me. I don’t know if this is an attempt to keep me safe or a show of camaraderie. Either way, I’ll take it.

After the workout, which consisted of every kind of “up” we could think of—push, pull, and sit—we’re sitting down together for lunch.

“Do you guys do this every day?” I ask.

“Nah. I usually eat at home,” Singleton says. His response is echoed by most of the players.

“So why are you all here?”

Hawk Sinclair, our starting pitcher tonight, sets his fork down and looks over at me. “Because we’re a team, and sometimes one of us needs to feel like they’re a part of the team.”

Preston Meyers slaps me on the back. “Just make sure you’re there to back me up tonight, right?”

I nod, appreciating that the guys are welcoming me…at least for this game.

He’s arrived…finally!

Cooper Bailey showed us tonight what he’s made off. With Bainbridge out for the week to attend a family funeral, the rookie got the call to fill the veteran’s shoes, and boy, did he fill them by going three-for-three at the plate including a walk-off grand slam and throwing a sprinting Nick Markakis out at home on a tag-up.

Renegade fans—THIS—is what we’ve been waiting for!

With tonight’s win and the O’s losing, that puts the Renegades two games back from first place at twelve and nine.

This could be our year, fans. This could be it.

Special note to Cal Diamond: Find a way to keep Bailey in the lineup.


As stated above, Bainbridge has taken some time off to attend a funeral. It’s unknown who passed away, but Lisa did travel with her soon-to-be-former husband, adding some speculation that the couple could be headed toward a reconciliation…or it was her family member.

General Manager Ryan Stone and his wife, Hadley Carter, have announced that they’re expecting their first child together. No timeline was given on when we can expect the newest member of the Stone family or if Ms. Carter will put touring aside to raise a family. Everyone at the BoRe Blogger wishes them many congratulations.

Cal Diamond was once again seen leaving the cancer clinic. A call to the front office confirms that Diamond is not sick but doing volunteer work. At this time, we’re unable to confirm what work he’s doing and why it wouldn’t be done as a BoRe representative. Inquiring minds want to know!

Chapter 24


There comes a moment when you realize that your world is about to shift, and for me that moment is now.

“I left you,” my mom says in a voice that is barely above a whisper. All week we’ve been talking about the end because we both know it’s near. Any moments of lucidity that she has are spent going over details. From the day she entered the hospital, almost twelve weeks ago, we’ve been trying to nail down the specifics of her estate. Luckily, she has a will but there are a few odds and ends that we haven’t discussed, like where she wants to be buried and the fact that she wants to be cremated.

“I’m right here, Mom.” I don’t correct her because there’s no use. I’m in the same room I have been since she was admitted. I rarely leave, sleep in an uncomfortable bed, and eat nothing but fast food. Even when Stella comes to visit, I never actually leave the hospital. I end up in the cafeteria or in the recreation room watching baseball.

People watch baseball for entertainment. I watch it for torture. Cooper has been doing very well for himself, and the Renegades are at the top of the division, leaving teams in their dust. I know he struggled for a long time to find his place on the team, and it seems like it’s finally happened. I can’t even begin to count how many times I picked up my phone to text or call him, to congratulate him on his success, but I never can seem to pull the trigger. That wound has since closed, and I’m not looking to open it up again. Even though there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him, it’s better that we’re each doing our own thing. Besides, the last thing I want to hear is how happy he is when I’m wallowing in self-pity while my mother dies a slow, painful death.

I’m surrounded by death. It’s everywhere I look. I know it’s part of being in hospice care, but for once, I’d love to see some happiness in my life. A couple of times, I’ve wandered down the hall only to find myself staring at the newborns through the large glass window. It’s the only time I have faith in the world. Hearing a new baby cry brings a little bit of life back into me until I realize that, if and when I have children, they will never know their grandmother.

Tags: Heidi McLaughlin The Boys of Summer Romance
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