The New Season | Teen Ink

The New Season

November 1, 2013
By Carter_A, Oviedo, Florida
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Carter_A, Oviedo, Florida
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Favorite Quote:
I Want To Be The Greatest Step On The Diamond

Author's note: I love baseball and I hope people will get a baseball feel from it.

It was humid out down here in Florida. Home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunny as usual but today was a big day. In which a big day it was for #69 Dante Carter. 3rd batter and shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first Rays Game of spring season. Dante lives just 10 minutes away from the stadium in a little private neighborhood call River’s Creek. The big 40 inch plasma T.V. was blaring with sports news by ESPN. As Dante was getting dressed for baseball he heard,
“This is the first game for the Rays, will past MVP Dante Carter do as good as last season, or will he just completely be worthless to his team?”
Dante became infused with rage when he heard this. Dante quickly shut off his plasma screen from outside and went back into his house. And he knew that this would be stay on his mind for the rest of the day.

As Dante was driving to the stadium he thought of the news announcers report. Dante was fully dressed and ready for the first game. As he reached his destiny Dante parked in the player reserved parking spot. Dante opened the car door, and could already sense that the baseball season had started. He just stopped and smelled the fresh popcorn and peanuts, he could taste the sweet, juicy bubblegum, he heard the children playing franticly, he could feel the warm sun shining down on Dante’s skin, and he saw the big stadium that he calls home.

Dante walked into the stadium when he saw many fans, some wanted a picture, autograph, and some just wanted to wish him good luck for the game. Dante knew that he was playing a pretty good team, the New York Yankees. Dante walks past the crowds of people waiting anxiously to see the game, and into the dugout, where he rests for a minute, places his stuff, and gets on the field to warm up. Dante decides to warm up with a star player named Evan Longoria. Evan is a 3rd baseman so he and Dante work together a lot. Evan also bats after Dante too.

After they warm up on the field they decide to just wait for the game to start. They are deciding who goes in what position, the batting order, and what pitcher they want to pitch. Both teams are done making their decisions, and they hear the umps yell,
“Play Ball!”
Since we are home team we field first. It was the first inning, no outs. The pitcher throws the ball and… the hitter swings and makes contact. It’s a line-drive coming right in between Dante and Evan.
Yells Dante, and does a full body dive to stop the ball. Dante pops up quickly and throws the ball to 1st base. It was a hard play to determine.
“It was a close call but after the review, Dante got the runner out at first, 1 out.” The umpire announced.

The pitcher throws 3 balls and 2 strikes.
“3-2, 2 Outs”
Said the umpire. The pitcher throws the ball; the batter hits a pop-up to Dante. Dante yells,
Dante does his best to get under the ball; he gets under in time and makes the 3rd out.

It is the Rays time to bat, both hitters get onto the base and now it is Dante’s turn to bat.
The Yankees pitcher throws a slurve and Dante swings and misses.

“Strike One!” yells the umpire.
Dante steps out of the box and keeps on hearing in his head the news reporter saying,

“This is the first game for the Rays, will past MVP Dante Carter do as good as last season, or will he just completely be worthless to his team?”
Dante once again becomes infused with rage and thinks,
“If I strike out then will never eat at my favorite restaurant Bojangles again!”
Dante comes back in the box with 1 strike on him. The pitcher throws a fastball and “BOOM” the crack of the bat sounded like lightning from a hurricane.

“Dante Carter hit a 468 feet homerun! I don’t believe it, it just continues! The score is now 3-0 Tampa Bay is in the lead, but will the Yankees catch up?”
Dante runs across the base-path while hearing fans screaming,

“Dante!’, ‘Dante!’ Dante!”
Dante walks across home with everyone cheering his name, and shortly goes into the dugout. Waiting for the inning to be over Dante eats some chicken from Bojangles, and drinks Gatorade to refuel himself for the next inning to come.

Finally, they are back on the field for inning 2. Dante is playing his best and favorite position, shortstop. The pitcher throws the ball, and then the swings and nails it right in between Dante and Evan. It’s a hard play and Evan does not know if he will be able to get it or call it off to Dante. But it was too late, Dante had already called off the ball.

“Mine, Mine, Mine!” yells Dante.
Dante backhands it with his golden brown Rawlings glove. But he stumbles, and thinks,

“This is an easy out I can do this if I stay calm, and don’t focus on the fact that I just bobbled it, I can do this.”
Dante throws it to 1st just in time for the 1st out.

“Yeah! Another win here we go!” yells Dante

Bases Loaded, 2 Outs. The Tampa Bay Rays are getting a little scared about this opportunity for the Yankees. They could come back from Dante’s 468 foot marvelously far homerun. Coach Robert was getting nervous. His hands were sweating like a nasty storm. He was hoping that this would turn out the way he is expecting; the batter hits the ball and performs the out on the easiest bag possible. All the players on the Tampa Bay Rays were feeling nervously scared. They were getting to side tracked of being nervous then they were thinking about playing the game correctly. Seconds felt like years, feelings became horrible emotions, and it would all come down to the batter and pitcher, if the outcome turns out good or bad…

The pitcher wants to get the out so none of the players are worked up about this and possibly provoke the out from happening. The pitcher and catcher decide what pitch to throw. The pitcher knows these pitches; a fastball, a curveball, a knuckleball, a slider, and a changeup. The catcher is trying his best to find out what pitch would be the best for this pitcher, and for the batter to chase at. The catcher and pitcher finally choose which pitch, a curveball high so it drops down back into the strike zone. The pitcher winds up, and then throws the ball. The batter swings. BOOM! The batter nailed the ball foul.

“Strike One!” yells the ump.

The Tampa Bay Rays get back in their position.

“Time!” Yells the pitcher.

The pitcher and catcher are talking.

“Ok, I think if you throw your greatest fastball then you might be able to get him swinging.”

“No”, said the pitcher. “If I do that he will hit a homerun off of me if I am not careful with that pitch. I am having a gut feeling right now that I should throw a changeup. I don’t know why I just am having a feeling that I should so I’m sticking with that right now, Ok.”

“Ok, let’s just hope we get this guy out.” Said the catcher.

The pitcher winds up, and then throws the ball with as much force as possible.

“Strike Two!” yells the umpire.

“Infield In!” yells Dante.

The pitcher throws a slider low and inside, hoping to get the man out on a ground ball. “BAM!” A grounder coming right into Dante’s glove! Dante fields the ball, he throws the ball with all his power and Dante gets the man it first!

“YES!” yells Dante, everyone is relieved.

Last time they left off in the batting order Dante was on deck. So now he is up to bat with no outs and nobody on base. Last time Dante came up he hit a 468 feet homerun. Now he is up to bat with no pressure on him. The pitcher is a slow pitcher, who has just started his carrier as a pitcher. He only knows about a few pitches. Dante has a good feeling that he will be able to get at-least on base or shag a homerun. If Dante gets on base he knows it will be easy to steal since this pitcher is new and Dante is ranked No. 1 in speed for the MLB for this year. The pitcher is done thinking of what to do and winds up. He throws the ball and Dante swing, Dante hit a hard, powerful, line-drive right into the gap of the shortstop and 2nd baseman. Dante is running as fast as he can and he gets in a pickle! Dante is running back and forth between 2 and 1st will he get safe, or will he be out? First, second, first, second, he’s running! When…oh no! The 2nd baseman drops the ball when Dante slides into 2nd!

“SAFE!” yelled the umpire!

Evan is up to bat. Dante starts to lead off as the pitcher winds up. The pitcher steps and… throws the ball to 2nd and tries to pick off Dante! But Dante dives straight back into 2nd base before they could pick him off. Once again Dante was safe. Dante stars to lead off again but this time he is leading off a little more than usual and then going to try to steal 3rd base. The pitcher winds up and throws the ball. The second the pitcher released the firm grip of the ball, Dante bolted off to 3rd base. The pitch was a ball and the count was 1-0. Because it was a ball the catcher missed he pitch so Dante easily made it to the bag before the catcher could throw him out. Dante wanted to do something legendary. Steal home base. Only few players have been able to pull this off and Dante thinks he might be able to. Dante starts to lead off at 3rd.The pitcher winds up, and the split second he pitcher throws the ball Dante bolts to home plate. Evan swings and misses but that doesn’t stop Dante full full-blast charging to home plate. The ball pitched to the catcher was a ball outside so that will buy Dante a second or two. Dante is sliding in to the plate and the catcher tags him and the call is…

“SAFE! Dante was on the bag before he catcher tagged him!” said the umpire.

The stadium was full of cheering fans. Screaming Dante’s name. Dante just pulled one of the hardest moves in baseball.

Every great player needs to be benched at-least every once in a while. There is no shame in losing or getting benched as long as you did your best at what you did. And of course this was Dante’s turn. Dante was benched for 3 innings so he can rest, cheer on his teammates, and wait for the next few innings to go by. Of course Dante knew that he will be benched no matter how well he is doing or how he was doing.

Dante has been sitting for 3 innings now and is ready to get back onto the field but no one is expecting it.

“TIME!” yells Coach Robert as he pulls out the previous shortstop and puts Dante back in.

Dante is ready for anything now since he is well rested from the last 3 innings and he is here again for inning 6. The situation is that there is a man on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. The pitcher winds up and is about to throw a curveball. The pitcher throws the ball and “BANG” the crack of the back hit it right to Dante who was by the 2nd base bag. Dante throws the ball to Evan and quickly gets the out so his team can go into the dugout and bat.

Since 3, 3-batter hitting have gone by Dante is up since he was in the hole, last time when he was sitting. As the new pitcher for the Yankees is warming up, Dante is practicing swinging against the pitcher. The pitcher looks like he is throwing nice strikes not to fast but not to slow, just right. Dante is pretty confident now that he is going to get on base. The umpires let Dante get in the box and start hitting. The pitcher throws the first pitch, Dante doesn’t swing, Ball 1. Dante comes back in the box, and the pitcher throws the ball as hard as he can, and the pitch is a knuckle curve to Dante. Dante swings and misses, for a count of Strike 1 and Ball 1. Dante knows that no matter what on this pitch he will hit a line drive; he just has a gut feeling. Dante walks back into the box; the pitcher thinks he can get Dante out by a simple fastball that’s high. Dante swings and nails the ball as a line drive. He isn’t stopping at firs though he is going to second. No one knows that he will make it in safe, the suspense is high and some confidence is low. Dante is running faster than he ever has before, the centerfielder throws it in, Dante slides in and gets tagged but the call is… SAFE! The second baseman throws it back to the pitcher mumbling to him about how they made a bad call. Dante though is resting for a play and doesn’t bother to try sealing. Evan is up with 1 Strike on him. Evan swings and pounds a line drive right to the third baseman, he tags Dante and he is safe! But Evan is still working his way to round 1st, they throw the ball to second and he turns back, but that doesn’t stop Dante from going to go to home! Dante bolts to home as they try to throw him out from second base. Dante slides in and he’s safe! But as he scored in Evan ran to third and was safe. Evan rounded third and they threw the ball back to third so Evan ran into home, but they threw the ball back to home, Evan slides into home and he is safe too! What a play for the Rays.

When you last saw Dante it was in the 6th inning. It is now the 10; the game is tied 8-8, with 2 outs. You don’t know if you are going to hit the ball to score the runner on 2nd Base home or not. The pressure is on you now. You don’t know if you will hit the ball and score in the runner on 2nd or if you will get caught out and the game will end if the opposing team gets a run in the next inning. If you get this win your team will be 1-0 for Win/Lose count rate. If you lose it will set a bad tone for the season and you will be 0-1 for the Win/Lose count rate. Which of course, you do not that to happen. Both teams are nervous for themselves. The pitcher throws the first pitch coming at Dante 93 MPH, Dante swings, and… misses! Strike one. The pitcher winds up as the base runner is leading off and about to steal. The pitcher throws the ball 96 MPH while the runner is bulleting to 3rd, he slides down and the call is… SAFE! But Dante swung and got strike 2. Dante is feeling very nervous because if he messes up, there are thousands of fans out there watching him. The batter should be easy to hit in since he is now on 3rd base. The pitcher winds up as the batter leads off, the pitcher throws a 102 MPH pitch and Dante swings, BOOM the crack of the bat was so loud everyone within 40 feet outside of the stadium could hear it. The bat had snapped in half and flung into the bleachers. Dante had just hit a homerun that was so far it went out of the stadium itself, and he had just won the game for the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-10. The fans were cheering and Dante had clutched the game. Everyone knew that this would go down in baseball history.

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