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Scenes from an off-season, volume the next

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2021 Supercars: Darwin Triple Crown Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Time to revive an old tradition

★ ★ ★

Byron Buxton stepped out into the cold, bright December sun, and looked over his shoulder. As the anonymous black suburban pulled up next to him, Buxton thought “damnit man, they finally found me.” The driver rolled down his window, leaned out and said “Nice contract kid, but didn’t I tell you to wait to until after they pay ya to start getting injured all the time??” A slight smile spread between the driver’s sideburns, as the big Chevy pulled away, the only hint of customization the vanity plate “S3X DRGN” surrounded by a frame reading “Mauer Chevrolet.”

★ ★ ★

As Dylan Bundy stepped out of the jetway at LAX, wearing only a T-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops, he picked up his phone and dialed his agent. Two rings later, and Bundy didn’t even give the other end a chance to finish the word “hello,” before cutting in with “What the hell did you get me into, man? I shoulda listened to Ricky Nolasco about that place.” and curtly hanging up, leaving his agent to wonder “Exactly what did Thad Levine and Rocco Baldelli do to him”

★ ★ ★

Rocco Baldelli sat on the end of a small pier, off a small, nearly-frozen-over lake. The voice of Paul Allen came softly over an old radio, as the Vikings suffered yet another embarassment. Rocco cracked open another IPA, and smiled—it felt nice to finally not be the most hated coach in Minnesota again.

★ ★ ★

As his Aston-Martin carved through the mountains at 130 mph, Josh Donaldson looked over at the bikini-clad blonde in the seat next to him, and slowly realized that he was dreaming. The grey pre-dawn sky slowly came into focus out the window, he saw it was snowing again, and once again questioned his decision of where to spend the lockout. He had the money for Monte Carlo, the looks for San Diego, and the taste for Florida’s finest trailer parks, yet he chose to stay in Minnesota.

★ ★ ★

Ron Gardenhire tucked the grandbabies in for the night. He kissed each on the head, and told to sleep tight. Then he went downstairs, and took a big swig of the cold PBR on the table beside the fireplace—that was a stroke of genius—telling the grandkids that Santa really preferred beer and beef jerky to milk and cookies. Of course, he was happy to call up Nicky and get him an Elf costume, when Toby asked them to dress up for the family party. He wasn’t so sure that elves usually slid down a chimney head-first though.

★ ★ ★

fin, for now.