Everyone was excited to get Gil back. His first game off the bereavement list was in Seattle, where the only people that come on non-Felix days anymore are the dedicated fans who follow the sport as a whole because their own team is crap and has been crap ever since Griffey and A-Rod left town. Morner walked up to the plate, and the ten thousand-plus there gave him not an ovation exactly but a swelling of applause. Gil Morner plays the game the way fans appreciate, a free-swinging, hard-charging second baseman, but his wife died recently and that is a cold shame. Scotty Person had him hitting sixth, even though he’d been in the five slot for a year and a half. Top of the second, the first pitch he sees he cuts loose, swings with his very soul, he can’t wait, he’s got to flip that tarot card and find out his future already, whether he’s going to be able to do this thing, or if it’s all going to hell. The pitch was a splitter, and he rolled over it, bouncing out to short, which is to say a double-play to end the inning.

After the game, he disappears.


Excerpt from novel in progress, Never Get Back