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It's September Baseball, [Redacted]ers

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David Maxwell

With apologies to Colin Nissan.

I don't know about you but I can't wait to watch some more September Baseball. I am about to dig deep in my guest bedroom closet and pull out my 2004 Commemorative Ronnie Belliard All-Star Jersey (you capitalize the whole thing because it is a compound proper noun -- a unique person, place, or thing, unlike anything else anywhere in the world).

I will close my eyes and remember September baseball that involved Niuman Romero and Jordan Brown, and me being furious about Niuman Romero and Jordan Brown. Let that go -- cool as Ronnie B.

Then, confidently, I'll put it on and button only the bottom half of the buttons. The top will flap in my air-conditioning. I am gonna scream at no one "NOT THIS YEAR, JORDAN [REDACTED]ING ROMERO! NOT THIS YEAR!" A joyous scream, not an angry one. There is joy in Mudville today, condo neighbors!

No, yeah, sorry -- I won't yell again, condo neighbor. Yeah, I know -- kids have school tomorrow and all, yeah -- haha, sorry, you know, sports, sorry! Yeah, I'll definitely come to the board meeting, yeah, yeah, thanks, you too. Goodnight.

Fasten the clasp on my Phiten necklace. No hat -- scared it might make me bald. The final accoutrement -- my Jason Johnson solidarity replica insulin pump, the one I wore for every start of the 2006 season.

I'll pull out my special tupperware, the one that my wife labeled in sharpie: "YOU ARE A CHILD."  Open it up and cover the coffee table with a mess of bobbleheads. Make my living room look less like a Crate & Barrel and more like a Hargrove & Wedge. My kind of furniture store -- a place that would assign sales associate Ryan Garko to the kitchenwares department, even though he can't tell a blender from a spatula.

Arrange my bobble-boys in tight rows, on display just in case my friend Tom Hamilton stops over. Maybe he wants to hear a tinny recording of his voice pour out from a hunk of plastic? On display because sometimes Grady comes by to have that ouroboric conversation -- was I flying or falling? He and me, we'd crack a bottle of red, watch some September Baseball, and have a long, adult cry. No wailing, just quietly weeping, passing scented kleenex back and forth, every once in a while commenting on Kipnis and his weird bat thing.

I will be set up, ready to throw it down on my taupe couch. Don't worry, it's a heather pattern, so we can spill a little and not clean it. I am so close to watching some September Baseball: Belliard'd up, electrons aligned by my Phiten, bobble-buddies surrounding me, thinking about Grady enough to be ready to cry but not crying yet.

One more thing though -- time for the drinks. No drinking on weeknights any more, but that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun, right? Nespresso Pixie comes BANGING out of the top cabinet (lives up there because I like my surfaces clean, smooth, uncluttered). It's ready to rock, as soon as I plug it in and get that water warm. While I wait, I'll open the third drawer in my kitchen peninsula. That's where I keep my pods -- Decaffeinato Intenso all night tonight! It's September Baseball, [redacted]ers.

Finally time to watch. These games matter! Pop my throw blanket over my shoulders and fire up my Apple TV. Settle in for the game, or the first forty-five minutes if it's on the West Coast. It's cool -- I'll get the score through an app tomorrow morning.