Extras - Timely Persuasion


Deleted Scenes > Baseball > Marty Barrett

When the tremors subsided I started to put my apartment back together.  Walking over to retrieve the baseball I stopped when I saw the signature on it.  Marty Barrett.  I had this ball since 1986, the year of my inauguration into the pain of Red Sox nation.  The bruise on my neck started to burn, I rubbed it, and it happened again.  I wasn't in my apartment anymore.

It technically was still my apartment, just minus the "my" part.  Definitely the same shape as the apartment I called my home, with the same carpeting and floor plan.  But the furniture and decor had instantaneously changed around me.  The walls were mostly bare, my feeble attempts at decorating completely eliminated by a light shade of green paint.  The furniture actually matched and was part of a full set rather than the assortment of hand-me-downs, discontinued Ikea sale items, and dumpster discoveries that made up my place.  My do-it-yourself fifteen-dollar Target bookcase was now an ornately handcrafted piece.  The wall that was once blocked by my beat up futon was now bare, with a grandma-style couch in the center of the room facing a small TV with rabbit ears on a wheeled cart.  And on that grandma-style couch was a grandma-style old woman.

I crept up to her slowly, trying not to be seen.  Her eyes were closed, as she must have dozed off watching the late night newscast.  Still holding the baseball, I tentatively lobbed it towards the opposite end of the couch as an experiment.  It passed right through as if the couch wasn't even there, continuing through the wall on the other side.  Still moving slowly, I reached down to touch the couch.  My hand passed through it.  I tried to gently touch the woman on the arm.  Went right through her as well.  More comfortable that I wouldn't be seen, I waved my arm back and forth through the sleeping woman's head several times.  She didn't even flinch.

The newscast caught my attention as it switched to the sports report.  The Red Sox and Mets were tied in Game 6 of the World Series and heading for extra innings.  Game 6!  Was I really in 1986?  Had the ball brought me here?  Tripping was one thing, but this was just surreal.  I ran to the TV and tried to change the channel to the game, but like everything else my hand passed right through the knob.  I had to get out of here.

On the way out I saw the Marty Barrett ball on the front lawn and picked it up.  Just like the bowling ball, I could throw the baseball at anything and it would just keep traveling through solid objects until it lost all of its momentum on its own.  And I could still walk through any object as needed in order to retrieve it. 

Watching the game would present its own interesting problem.  Normally I'd drive down to the Promenade and find some sort of sports bar.  But I couldn't even sit in a car let alone drive one.  I decided my best bet was to go up and down the street, peeking into houses until I found one with the game on.  I remembered that this game got a fairly high TV rating as far as the World Series went, so it wouldn't be too hard.

After two empty houses and a set of amorous neighbors that I was a bit too embarrassed to watch go at it, I finally found a World Series party on the fourth try.  A World Series party with a group of displaced Bostonians at that.  On the TV it was the middle of the tenth inning.  The Sox had scored a pair of runs to take the lead and were three outs away from glory.  A big guy wearing a "Squish the Fish" t-shirt entered the room with a bottle of champagne.  Bad move, pal.  Knowing the outcome of this game, I probably didn't want to be among this group who were about to be so close before having their hearts ripped out and stomped on. 

I felt sorry for what was about to happen to these fans, not just tonight but in the years to come.  Granted, the Red Sox past was filled with heartache, but the last few seasons before '86 were more or less uneventful.  We were nearing the age of the perennial contender, always this close but never close enough.  Next year would be mostly forgettable, then the ups and downs would continue with the elation of Morgan's Miracle in '88, some decent contenders through '91 and a surprisingly dominant ringer after the '95 strike.  Playoff sweeps would dampen the joy, but hope would always spring eternal.  Their emotions would be toyed with some more, but the next true heartbreaker would be Flash's blown save in '98.  Hell, these guys were still a decade away from Nomar being something more than a nonsense word.

If you don't know how the game played out, you shouldn't hear it from me.  From behind me I heard a loud popping noise and saw the champagne had been opened, either accidentally or on purpose.  Was this the jinx?  I couldn't stand to see the rest.  I reached back and fingered my neck bruise, and was back in front of my Target bookcase again.

Was it all real?  It certainly seemed to be.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of everything yet, but had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to try next.