PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN. Coffee is for closers.I realize that some quarters are probably expecting a post from me about Gentile Summit 2007. Many of the lads are handling this quite admirably without me (I was a bit slower getting back from Chicago than they were, both by choice and not by choice), so I'll just add this little nugget.
Saturday afternoon, after the debacle that was the Cubs game, found us at a watering hole in Wrigleyville known as the Houndstooth. While enjoying some of the local fare and many a fine brew, a small fracas broke out near the front of the bar. Stumbling away from it in what could only charitably be called a side-to-side stagger was a young lass in her mid 20s. She looked like she could go toe-to-toe with Hemingway, and that she *had* gone toe-to-toe with Tyson.
The Rooster was hooked. Like a shark in the water, he smelled blood. ABC. A-Always. B-Be. C-Closing. ABC. Always Be Closing. It almost seemed criminally easy. Someone at the table offered him a $5 prop bet on top of his natural instinct, that he couldn't get her number. Who could blame him when he popped out of his seat and started jogging down the street after the young lady?
From our vantage, we were able to watch the proceedings. At first she seemed to want nothing to do with the Rooster, but he's wise to that game and kept at her with sisyphean tenacity. Soon he was holding her hair back as she puked into someone's front yard. Then her arms were around his neck, hugging him. A second round of puking, followed by more hugging. At that point, they disappeared down an alley.
Now, none of us know what went on in that alley. We did eventually decide to take off down the street after him, to "make sure he was ok". All we found when we got to the alley was the girl stalking out angrily, telling Joaquin "you're yelling at me!" He followed her down a second alley, disappearing from sight a second time.
We waited a bit, leaving him to his pursuit, before giving up and heading on to our next neighborhood without him. He would have wanted it that way. One of his last emails to the Boys of Summer prior to the summit read:
"Remember... we aren't the Rangers. If someone is puking it up on the curb, corner or fire hydrant (even if it is me), I don't want someone to say, 'no man left behind.' The troops must move on."
We never saw the Shuttlecock again.
Ok, that's not true. He did eventually rejoin us. It just took a while. And who should text him later that night but the very lass from the Houndstooth. A-Always. B-Be. C-Closing.