Daniel Murphy sensed some nervousness in the Port St. Lucie clubhouse. He understood why. Today was one of the biggest and most important days of the year. And the pressure cooker of the day had just had the stakes go higher.
It was the annual team bowling night. Terry Collins also promised to donate a car to any player who bowled over a 230.
“What if I make a fool of myself?” Ike Davis said. “What if I throw a gutter ball? I don’t want everyone to laugh at me.”
Daniel knew he had to spring into action. “My teammate needs me!”
So Daniel reached into his gym bag, and under his glove that he was breaking in that would be used for a gold-glove caliber performance at second base in 2013, he found his orange and blue Superhero costume. He quickly changed and ran to Ike’s aid, his cape with the large number 28 trailing behind.
“What seems to be the problem, Ike?” Daniel asked.
“It’s the Superhero! Thank the heavens! I don’t know what to do! I had Valley Fever last year during the bowling outing and I kept on throwing gutter balls! Everybody laughed at me and it hurt my feelings. What if I throw another gutter ball again tonight?”
“It will be okay, Ike.” Daniel said. “Everyone throws gutter balls from time to time. Did David Wright throw a gutter ball last year?”
“Well, yes.” Ike Davis said.
“And did Johan Santana throw a gutter ball last year?” Daniel asked.
“Yes,” Ike said.
“And did that Doubles Hitting Machine Daniel Murphy throw any gutter balls last year?”
“No, he didn’t.” Ike said.
“While that may be true,” Daniel said. “and while Daniel Murphy did not throw any gutter balls, did a tremendously gifted athlete such as him laugh at you for throwing any gutter balls?”
“No. He didn’t laugh,” Ike said.
“So there is nothing to worry about,” Daniel said. “If you throw a gutter ball, it’s okay. You’re among friends. And let’s not forget, you don’t have Valley Fever this season. Just remember to go out and have some fun. Let the pins fall where they may.”
Ike’s face brightened up. “Thank you, Superhero! You always know the right thing to say! I’m feeling much better now!”
“No need to thank me,” Daniel said. “I’m just glad to be able to help.” Before Ike could get a good look at his face, Daniel Murphy ran off.
“The world is a better place knowing there are Superheros like him here to protect us,” Ike said to himself. “A better place, indeed.”