The Sportswriter by Richard Ford:
Some days I drive over in my Datsun and roam around the Grapefruit League parks, where not a lot is going on now. The Tigers have clinched at least a magic number, and seem to me unstoppable. Around the player complex there is a strange, anxious merriment. A few prospects are beginning in the fall instructional leagues, Latin boys plus a few older players on their way down the ladder, some of whom I even know from years ago. Hanging around on their own, they’re hoping to motivate some kid to hit or shake a bad attitude and to impress someone as being a good coach or a scout, maybe with a farm club out in Iowa, and in that way live a life of their choosing. It is a poignant life here, and play is haphazard at best, listless in its pleasures, and everyone waits for victory. A good human-interest article could be worked up from this small world. An old catcher actually came up to me and confessed he had diabetes and was going blind, and thought it might make a good story for younger readers. But I’ll never write it, just as I never properly wrote about Herb Wallagher and had to accept defeat there. Some life is only life, and unconjugatable, just as to some questions there are no answers. Just nothing to say. I have passed the catcher’s story and my thoughts on to Catherine Flaherty, in the event her current plans do not work out.