Bottom of the ninth. Runner on first. One out.
You’ve got your best baserunner on first. The Kid has wheels. He’s got 41 steals this year, only thrown out four times. Virtually a lock to nab second. Your #3 batter is up, cleanup guy on deck. Both hitting over .330 this year.
You peer from the dugout. Across the diamond, two hundred feet away, the third base coach locks his eyes to yours. You take a breath. You tune out the crowd. You make the decision, and swipe your hand over the brim of your cap.
Coach nods, pivots left, and runs through the signals. The runner nods receipt and shuffles into position.
The pitcher kicks up his front leg—The Kid explodes towards second. It’s a fastball, though. Outside. The catcher snags it, pops skyward, and fires a bullet to second base. Perfect throw, perfect tag.
Three pitches later, the game is over. You lost. You’re just gonna leave the radio off on the drive home; you lost this one for the guys—that’s what the whole city thinks, anyway.
You didn’t though. You did the right thing. You did the best you could in the situation you were given.