[b]9 SQUEEZE BEES After baseball practice, Sean takes Jeff home with him because Rachel is working. "Sean, you're the best," as Jeff jumps up on him for a full bear hug. "And you're a special kid," one arm wrapped around Jeff's back, the other around his bottom. As he leans to put him down, Jeff quickly holds on tighter.
"I'm too happy up here." "How about we cuddle in the living room instead, so I can relax?" "That's even better," climbing down as he speaks. Sean sits back in his large recliner as Jeff climbs up on his lap, resting his chest on Sean's chest and arms on his shoulders. Sean gently squeezes his buns, holding his head with his other hand. In a matter of minutes he falls asleep. Jeff thinks he can enjoy this cuddling forever, but soon quietly slips out of the recliner and heads for the pool.
When he's stripped down to his underwear, he thinks, "No need to get these wet," and jumps naked into the shallow end. After an hour nap, Sean wonders where Jeff went. Finding him in the pool, "What are you doing?" "Duh. Swimming!" "You can't be in the pool without me knowing." With head down, "Oh," and quickly gets out." "You're naked!" "Yeah, you know I love being in the buff.
Don't go bromzilla on me." "But what if someone walks in and sees you stark naked?" "No biggie." "Well, it's a big thing to me." "You've seen me naked." "Yes, but… how do I say this?
If someone sees you naked at my place, they're gonna get crazy ideas in their head about me." Puzzled, "Why?" "Well, they may think I'm after you, like Alex is." Laughing hysterically, "That's insane!" "Jeff, my friends and family aren't nudists." "Naturists." "Right. So protect me and cover up." Dejected, "OK.
I guess I had enough swimming for the day, anyway." Seeing how sad he is, Sean gets down on one knee to give Jeff a hug. When he squeezes Jeff's tush this time, he quickly pulls his hand away. Almost in tears, "Sean, what's wrong?" "I didn't mean to squeeze you naked." "Don't be silly. That only makes it more special." Sean feels stuck between his own personal discomfort and Jeff's wishes. Finally, he knows he won't let Jeff down.
Holding his breath, he gently squeezes Jeff's soft buns. "Please relax. Now I'm getting uptight." He looks into Jeff's bright brown eyes, tears now forming in his own. "I never did this before. I'm scared." Full of compassion, "I understand.
I'm OK now." Relieved that he's off the hook, he also senses that Jeff still needs nurturing. Now he decides the squeezing is no big deal—he had just made it one.
He looks Jeff in the eyes again, smiling. He reaches for another hug, to Jeff's delight. Now with a sense of freedom and empathy, he wholeheartedly squeezes each of Jeff's buttocks.
"Wow! I think you got the hang of it! Thanks!" Softly, "But get some clothes on. I can't have you running around the house in your birthday suit." Smiling, "I do at home." Lovingly, "I got no problem with that." Elated over the thought, "Hope this will be my home soon." Raising an eyebrow, "Yeah, in another five or ten years." Mixed emotions fill a silent Jeff. Sean thinks it's amazing he got the last word in, yet feels bad he had to squelch Jeff's hope.
10 BUNT RUNT Opening game is the talk of the school.
Players get psyched for the game and brag about their own team. Many of the Cubs decide to defend their name against any insult. They're becoming proud to be Cubbies.
One Dodger called them the Chubbies.
Fred gets in his face, "And you're the Dorks! Dave, that makes you the biggest dork. You got somethin' else to say, jockstrap?…I didn't think so, brave Dave." Most players are nervous during pre-game warm-ups. When the Cubs return to the dugout, Sean says, Here's our starting lineup. The first six normally will play all game and leave only the outfield positions for the remaining six players, who usually will play half of the game. Clyde, you're first backup at catcher and third base.
Jamie, your first backup at the other infield positions. Everyone should have understood this already. Jeff 2b Jose ss Michael p Karim 1b Fred c Ricky 3b Jamie cf Alex lf Jerry rf Roy mutters, "Jizzz, Alex bats first because the coach is dating his mother." Sean hears the comment. Firmly, but kindly he says, "No. Jeff bats first because he's good at getting on base and good at running the bases. Roy didn't want anyone to hear his remark, especially Sean, so he feels quite embarrassed.
He wishes he could dig a hole and disappear in it. Sean put his hand on his shoulder lovingly, until he sees that Roy feels better again.
Jose puts his hand around Sean's back because he appreciates how kind he has been. With the game about to begin, Sean calls the team into a huddle. He gets down on one knee and reaches out one hand. The players instinctively reach a hand in, touching Sean's. With all quiet and looking at him, Sean says, "I don't care about how many pitches you miss or balls you drop. I do care about keeping your head in the game. Focus on what you have to do. Most of all, give each other encouragement. Encouragement.
We're a team. Are you ready Cubbies?" "Yeah." "At the count of three, shout, 'Let's go!' One. Two. Three." "Let's go!" "I can't hear you!" "Let's go!!" "Louder!" "Let's go!!!" "Let's take the field. Hustle!" Sean's happy to see how calm Michael has become as he tosses his warm-up pitches. He's even happier hearing Fred giving his pitcher encouragement. The Dodgers go down one, two, three, thanks to a dazzling play by Rick The Quick at third base on a hard one-hop grounder.
The guys each give him a high five as they run to the bench. Sean instructs the captains to make sure there's a player coaching at first and third base always and the next two hitters always ready to bat. On the first pitch Jeff lays a fine bunt down the third base line. He reaches first without a throw, as their pitcher and third baseman blame each other for sleeping. The next pitch is in the dirt, as Jeff scampers to second base.
Jose draws a walk. With one out, Karim bloops a base hit to left center, with both runners scoring, as the throw gets away. The Cubs flip out.
When Alex sits out after three innings, he follows Sean around, talking sexy when it feels safe. After gentle rebukes fail, Sean orders Alex to stay on the bench and not talk to him at all. The first inning set the tone for the game as the Cubs win 10-2 against a talented team.
Jeff scores three times without hitting the ball more than 50 feet.