April 30, 2004
He's got the swagger
Quinton moves like a snake in the infield. He's a hell of a shortstop and his body language shows that he knows it. He's comfortable out there. I see a lot of boys on that field who are all oversized feet and clumsy hands. Quinton looks smooth and coordinated. He's got a fucking cannon for an arm, too. Where the hell did THAT come from? He damn sure didn't inherit that arm from me.
Quinton's Mighty Marlins played the Madd Dogs last night. The Madd Dogs are the best team in the league and Quinton told me before the game that his team stunk and they expected to be beaten royally. "That's no attitude to take into a game," I told him. "Your team can beat these guys. Look at 'em. They belch and fart and wear skidmarks in their drawers the same as you do. They're not super-heroes. If you guys hit and catch and play smart on the bases, you can win. Don't EVER give up before the game even starts."
Quinton played well. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and was robbed of a nice hit by some lucky little shit who happened to be as coordinated as Quinton is, with a similar cannon arm. The enemy shortstop knocked down a hard grounder and threw Quinton out FROM HIS KNEES and beat my boy by a step to first base with the throw. If that shortstop wasn't as good as Quinton is, that drive could have gone for extra bases.
Quinton made an unassisted double play by catching a line drive and tagging a greedy runner trying to make it from second base to third. He was proud of that one, and so was I.
But the moment of the night, for me anyway, was when somebody on the Madd Dogs hit a line drive into the outfield. They had a runner on first at the time and that boy was booking for home plate with the third base coach waving him on. The hitter took second while the relay throw from the outfield came to Quinton. He was right next to second base.
Quinton stretched back and appeared to be trying to gun the runner rounding third out at the plate. I knew that the throw would be too late, even with Quinton's arm, and I was thinking, "Just hold the ball and walk it back to the pitcher. You can't get that guy."
Quinton did one of the greatest fakes I've ever seen in my life. He put every piece of muscle, bone and sinew he had into a FAKE throw at the plate. The hitter stepped off second base and Quinton, who still held the ball, turned around and tagged him out. I almost fell out of the bleachers. Got-Dam! WE PRACTICED THAT MOVE!!!!
Quinton looked up into the stands at me and grinned like a dog eating cat-shit out of a litter box. I could see what he was thinking. "Just like you said, Dad. You gotta FOOL 'EM sometimes."
They lost the game. But I am proud of my boy.
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