So if the Millar saga were written by someone else,
what would it look like?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
Years later, as he faced the firing squad, Kevin Millar recalled the time his
father took him to see raw fish at the sushi bar.
(or if it were a song, here's what it would sound
Is this the big leagues?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in Miami
No escape from reality
Open your eyes look up to the sky and see
I’m just a Marlin I need no sympathy
‘Cause it’s see it come, watch it go
Little high, little low
Any way they pitch me doesn’t really matter to me to me
Theo, just signed a deal
Put my Hancock on the line
But my agent says it’s fine
Theo, my career has just begun
And now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Theo, didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back in time for training
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my plane has come
Send shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time
Goodbye, ev’rybody, I’ve got to go,
Got to leave you all behind and play some ball
Theo, ooh, I don’t want to fly
I sometimes wish I’d never been drafted at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Kevin Millar, Kevin Millar will you play for the Dragons?
Theobolt and Lucky, very very fright’ning me
(Sons of Sam Horn) Sons of Sam Horn (Sons of Sam Horn) Sons of Sam Horn ProJo
Boston Globe I’m just a Marlin nobody likes me
He’s just a Marlin plays only parttime
Spare him his time from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go will you let me go
K. Millah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) K. Millah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) K. Millah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go (Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh, Chuinchi Dragons, Chuinchi Dragons) Chuinchi Dragons, let me go
Akihito has some sushi put aside for me, for me, for me
So you think you can sign me and spit in my eye
So you think you can sign me and leave me to die
Oh Dragons, can’t do this to me Dragons
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta this
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me
Anyway they pitch me
"This is the saddest story I have ever heard."
It was a hard winter while we waited to see if Kevin Millar would go to Japan.
The winter was cold and the icicles grew like spears from the eaves. In the
morning the newspaper came and you walked downstairs to meet it and in the
unheated hallway you saw your breath.
The night was
always cold and it was hard not knowing what Millar would do in the dark and the
cold. But in the morning when the newspaper came it felt good to see your
breath, as if you were not cold at all but were in the Louvre looking at a great
painting and knowing there were even greater paintings ahead. So you would walk
downstairs to meet the newspaper and the concierge would shake her head sadly.
"No news today,
Monsieur DirtDog," she would say and slip the ruffled newspaper underneath the
You tried to
keep a brave face. "Thank you," you said.
"I worry for
Monsieur Millar," the concierge said. "He is a good player but he is naive. Tres
you leave the pension, Monsieur DirtDog?"
You thanked the
concierge for the paper and headed upstairs. This happened every day that hard
cold winter. Back on the stairs you could see your breath but it was not a
painting anymore. Your breath was no longer a painting and you felt like the
rest of the day was wasted.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single general manager, in
possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a first baseman capable of
hitting left handed pitching."
Millar, the name, the man.
Millar, the never ending dream.
Late of Miami, Chunichi,
Man without a team.
masses yearn for you.
Millar, the ease of pain.
Five week delay for rain.
Old Fart Tree
Full Name Kevin Charles Millar
Reaching, Swinging, Standing
Mercurial, Meticulous, Meandering Many Miles cross seas, cross months, cross
teams cross continents,
Slurred in the Sysiphean Vernacular of Slip-slap-and-judy:
Batting 5th and playing FIRST! base
Unaccustomed to such courage-rich texture feel safe of the gestalt
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
struggles with balls up and in,
STATION TO STATION RUNNER with
above average power
To Catch Him.
Millar hit to Rising
But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Millar is the sun.
Wherefore art thou Millar-eo?
Millar to the
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to
know is whether I signed with Chunichi, what my lousy career was like, and how
my agents were occupied and all before they told me Boston was interested, and
all that Curt Flood kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you
want to know the truth. I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened
to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come
back here and take it easy. I mean that's all I told RSDD and he's a
dirt dog and all. . . ."
Call Me Ishmael-san.
I will tell you
the tale of more winter nights than I care to recall and the great white whale
of a gaijin who haunts my sleepless midnights hours. His tale is one of gods and
demons and the boiling angry sea. A man should face his fate and cross the ocean
if he's given his word to do so, but this white whale knew no honor and I now
know that his words were woven with snakes and cold fishes that have never seen
the light of God's bright sun. I hunted him. I crossed the treacherous seas
searching the grey expanses for a sign of his hump like a snowhill. My harpoon
at the ready and a crew of trustworthy lawyers manning the skiff, I closed in on
the white demon. But alas, he stayed one fathom out of my grasp for so long that
my resolve faded and I cursed the day my worhtless head breached my mother's
me this time, Moby Millar. But God as my witness I shall not give up until a
dirty filthy dog visits my dreams to warn me of the wisdom of your final escape.
Whan that Aprille with his shoulders sote
The droghte of Millar hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every Grady in swich licour
Of which vertu engendered is the pennant;
When Ramirez eek with his swete swing
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender fannes, and the yonge Nomah
Hath in the park his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale Jeters maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye
(So priketh hem Jorge in hir corages):
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And Mainers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sundry londes,
And specially, from every shires ende
Of New Engelond, to Fen-a-way they wende,
The holy world series for to seke
That him hath holpen whan that they were seke.
Great Ft Myers glowed red before our eyes. We were suddenly on the access road
among throngs of retirees, some of them scattered thoughout the parking lot with
their feet on their walkers, hundreds of others milling in the doorways of
pharmacies and golf shops. "Wup! wup! look sharp for old Kevin Millar there, he
may be in Boston by accident this year." We let out the fogies on this street
and proceeded to downtown Ft Myers. Squealing rubber tires on the powered
wheelchairs, valet parking attendants, hairdressers cutting by, the smell of
salve and ointment in the air, MedAlert bracelets winking--"We're in the big
town, Theo! Lead Averages, Whooee!"
The incitement to cleanliness originates in an urge to get rid of Kevin Millar,
who has become disagreeable to the sense perceptions. We know that in the
nursery things are different. Millar arouses no disgust in children. He seems
valuable to them as being a part of their own roster which has come away from
it. Here upbringing insists with special energy on hastening the course of
development which lies ahead, and which should make Millar worthless,
disgusting, abhorrent and abominable.
I saw the best
minds of my red sox discussion board destroyed by madness, starving hysterical
naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for a right
handed first baseman, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
the starry dynamo Kevin Millar.
I know that I shall throw that pitch
Somewhere on the mound above.
Those I bean I do not hate,
Jason V. I do not love.
My country is the RSN,
My countrymen sons of sam horn.
Last season end really pissed them off,
Just like it did the year before.
Not Nip nor dirt dog bade me pitch,
Nor P&G with its loads of porn,
A lonely impulse of delight
Made me throw those cans of corn.
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The coming year is worth 6 mill,
6 mill for the year left just behind,
Just for pitching like a dil. do.
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
Chunchuri cannot hold the westerner;
Things fall apart; the contract cannot hold;
Vicious agents are loosed upon the japs,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and in Nippon
The hope of marlin power is drowned;
Faxed contracts lack all conviction, while Theo
Is full of passionate intensity.
Surely some transaction is at hand;
Surely Kevin Millar is at hand.
Kevin Millar! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Sons of Sam Horn
Gladdens my sight: somewhere in sands of Ft. Myers
A shape with lion body and the head of a Marlin,
With plate discipline blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant Boston press.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That eighty-odd years of no world series
Were vexed to nightmare by the RSN,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards the Fens to be born?
"Eeek! Ouch!" laughed Soshina, her feet gliding across the hot sand towards the
beckoning ocean, Millar running a half step behind her. The sizzling summer
afternoon temperature cooled as they reached the waters edge, and soft tendrils
of sea-spray reached up to greet them. The last receding wave scooted away to
meld with the cresting waves just offshore.
Slowly, out of
breath, they turned to look at each other.
In the next
second a gigantic sea plume came crashing down with thunderous effect, sweeping
them off their feet. Soshina screamed in delight as she swam to Millar to seek
the warm refuge of his body in the frigid waters. Tanned, chest muscles rippling
from years of infield practice and pushups, Millar squeezed her hard in his
massive arms. Tenderly, they kissed. She felt the sign of his arousal against
"What are you
thinking about?" she asked sweetly.
"You, just you lover."
"What about Chuinichi? Have you thought about our conversation?"
"You know I can't leave her sweetie, you know the power of kai-garoshi."
In a rush of emotions, suddenly she was fighting back tears. "But you only
signed a letter of intent, and there is that whole war thing going on, surely
she will understand that your heart is no longer with her." Pleadingly, she
stared at him.
"I'm no Jack Cust lover ... let's just see what Beezlebud can work out."
Contreras, after his unsettling wait, was low with the first pitch. He put the
second one over, and Millar swung mightily and missed. The crowd grunted, seeing
that classic swing, so long and smooth and quick, exposed.
Contreras threw the third time, Millar swung again, and there it was. The ball
climbed on a diagonal line into the vast volume of air over center field. From
my angle, behind third base, the ball seemed less an object in flight than the
tip of a towering, motionless construct, like the Eiffel Tower or the Tappan Zee
Bridge. It was in the books while it was still in the sky. Williams ran back to
the deepest corner of the outfield grass, the ball descended beyond his reach
and struck in the crotch where the bullpen met the wall, bounced chunkily, and
No Guru No
Millar was a viscious bastard. One has to respect that. We had just spent 3 days
on a cocaine and mescaline crazed marlin fishing trip off the coast of Miami and
now Millar was jabbering at me about guns and lawyers.
Our fishing guide was getting nervous and I knew cool heads had to prevail if
any of us were going to get out of the state withoug getting arrested.
"Fuck off", I hissed at Millar. "You're going insane you coke junkie. Hold it
together until we get back to shore".
Millars eyes rolled back in his head and he lunged at me with his Ted Williams
model Louisville Slugger.
Tucked in a bellowing lie, the team that once shared a City with the Braves,
seethes to obtain Millar. Once as a Trinity lad, aspirations consumed me. But I
would rather discuss Camden Yards because I am involved.
Millar will not get on a plane
That Dragon contract is just insane
Millar will not get on a boat
His wife will crush his fucking throat!
Millar most definitely will not swim
To Chunichi this is very grim
A train looks like the only option
That's all that's left that goes to Boston!
An ashen weapon and a man I sing, fated to come to Boston
from the shores of Florida, but nearly exiled to the far winds,
through he trembled to be abroad at time of war,
when an angry prince nourished hatred for the ills done his sire,
and the man was much discussed by the bards of rumor,
and much discussed by the list-makers of the ether,
outstanding for patience, and power too, though slow of foot,
who might through his labors bring victory to the long-suffering.
Such a struggle it was to find right-handed power.
As he traveled
across the empty landscape, from one portion of tarmac-streaked nowhere to
another, like the relationship of one grain of sand to another merely a foot
away, but for the millions and millions of like grains between, all reduced to
an empty nothingness so that all that there is left is the grain, the
indivisible totality of the grain, he considered the gesture found in the grain
of sand. It was all the grain: Chunichi, Boston, patriotism, MLB, his wife --
all were little indivisible totalities of his own indivisible totality, and they
were all grains of sand impossibly connected but utterly separated. It was at
the moment he raised his own personal alter the Grain, and the Grain was all,
except it was nothing, and he was traveling, just an ordinary guy, and the Grain
slipped back into its innocuous existence and he was restored.
Millar Hurried through the the causeway at LAX. Word of this had to be sent.
Somehow someway the plans of "The Chunichi" had to be sent to the Sosh.
SoSh had had
agents canvassing the world in hopes of discovering then stopping Chunichis
plans of global domination for months. Only now as Millar turned left at the
security gates and headed for the exit could he be sure what they had planned.
His thoughts drifted back to his Agent Seth. "How could he have turned on Me, on
us, on the world" Millar sadly thought. Suddenly from behind he heard the
monsyllibic ramblings of TopJob. He had to move quickly grabbing his canvas
garmet bag he headed for the glass doors. The sunlight outside was blinding.
Looking up and down the block he realized that a taxi was his only choice.
"Taxi!" he bellowed. TopJob moving toward him slowed. An evil smile creased his
lips. He moved out onto the sidewalk. "MISTAH MILLAHSAN TIME TO COME WITH ME
PREASE." Millars old knee injury throbbed as he contemplated running. All he
could do was fight.
squealed from behind. At just that moment the passenger door flew open. "get
in!" Millar dove as the car sped away leaving Top Job clutching at the now
vacant air. "Who are you?" Millar stammered looking back as Top Job became
smaller and smaller.
"You can call me
Mr. Cust." the mysterious man replied.
Upon the land of the rising sun
Lay the deceit raged against our favorite one
From the beaches of Okinawa to Mt Fuji on high
Young Theo’s pursuit for an aquamarine samurai
Millar would claim with war winds blowing
That to play for Chunichi would be too tough a going
In Japan they seethe, “Millar will die like a mutt”
Bud says, “We not involved” while off to Super Cuts.
Horners are left to fret, quarrel, and boast
For now the thread is packed with a 1000 irrelevant posts
Topics that range from Yankee front office treachery
To Maalox’s lust for ER’s Maura Tierney
For now it is nearly over the subject almost moot
Carmines are off to Ft Myers hopefully to blast Shit In A Suit.
Now I don’t won’t to sound Jolmy and certainly not glib
But this is way too much ink for guy who’ll drive in 80 ribs.
Miami used to be my kind of town, now I can care less. I remember when they all
dragged us into the clubhouse to meet the new honcho, Loria. Poor Derek Lee, not
the brightest guy, thought the same man who did those orange juice commercials
bought the team. “That’s Loggia.” I said, smiling but not laughing. Derek could
use the change of scenery but needs to learn to breath without using his mouth.
With Loria you could tell the party was over, the man spelled fun with a q and
I walked out of that place with my buddy Kevin Lowell. It was hot that day,
sticky, real sticky so sticky that you couldn’t come up with the right metaphor.
We stopped inside our favorite strip club Alley Cats for their all you can eat
buffet, 12 to 2. A young Brazilian dancer was spinning around the pole and
chewing gum with the enthusiasm of a Jose Offerman bunt attempt. Kevin leaned
over to me, “You know they’re going to sell off the team.” While playing with
the Coors-Light label I thought about it, where would I go, I wasn’t liked, they
called me a scab, well at least not to my face if they knew what was good for
My attorney Sam Levinson called me and gave me the lowdown. Sam wasn’t the most
moral man in world. His idea of decency was to never hit a woman unless the
bitch couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Sam said the Marlins couldn’t find me a
suitor and that they were selling me off to Japan. “Well, what do you think?”
said Sam. “The Japs?” I replied, “I don’t know clean, efficient, occasionally
ruthless, kinky as hell.” “It’s two million a year, you can buy a whole lot
sushi with that yen,” he said smiling with that twitchy Semitic look. Before he
opened his mouth again I pulled out my sub nose 38 and whipped him right across
the face. With blood spurting from his nose Levinson tried to make his way to
his desk whimpering, “Why? What you want? I tried, this will work out for both
of us.” I stood over him brimming with the confidence of a teenager after his
first conquest, “You call up those nips and tell them to forget about it, and
we’re at war for Christ’s sake.” Levinson finally made it to his feet, “Forget
it. I signed you name off on a agreement and faxed it off to Tokyo.” A slight
smile came across my face, “I know you’ll do the right thing Sam, after all it’s
only your life.”
I walked out of Sam’s office that night thinking about my uncle and what he had
told about his experiences in a Japanese prison camp. How men died on the long
march from Battan, how the Japs laughed the whole way, how they grabbed my
uncle, grabbed his member, while another nip came over with a meat thermometer
and two bricks. Now I was going to play baseball with them. It was lot money but
there wasn’t enough soap in the world I could buy to keep myself clean.
What about Boston? Fucked up town, fucked up fans. Perfect.
Lucchino: Use your intelligence, can't you?
Lucchino uses his intelligence.
Theo: (finally). I remain in the dark.
Lucchino: This is how it is. (He reflects.) The bough . . . the bough . . .
(Angrily.) Use your head, can't you?
Theo: You're my only hope.
Lucchino: (with effort). Gogo light—bough not break—Gogo dead. Didi heavy—bough
break—Didi alone. Whereas—
Theo: I hadn't thought of that.
Lucchino: If it hangs you it'll hang anything.
Theo: But am I heavier than you?
Lucchino: So you
tell me. I don't know. There's an even chance. Or nearly.
Theo: Well? What do we do?
let's do anything. It's safer.
Theo: Let's wait and see what he says.
Lucchino: Good idea.
Theo: Let's wait till we know exactly how we stand.
Lucchino: On the other hand it might be better to strike the iron before it
Theo: I'm curious to hear what he has to offer. Then we'll take it or leave it.
Lucchino: What exactly did we ask him for?
Theo: Were you not there?
Lucchino: I can't have been listening.
Theo: Oh . . . Nothing very definite.
Lucchino: A kind of prayer.
Lucchino: A vague supplication.
Lucchino: And what did he reply?
Theo: That he'd see.
Lucchino: That he couldn't promise anything.
Theo: That he'd have to think it over.
Lucchino: In the quiet of his home.
Theo: Consult his family.
Lucchino: His friends.
Theo: His agents.
Lucchino: His correspondents.
Theo: His books.
Lucchino: His bank account.
Theo: Before taking a decision.
Lucchino: It's the normal thing.
Theo: Is it not?
Lucchino: I think it is.
Theo: I think so too. Silence.
Lucchino: (anxious). And we?
Theo: I beg your pardon?
Lucchino: I said, And we?
Theo: I don't understand.
Lucchino: Where do we come in?
Theo: Come in?
Lucchino: Take your time.
Theo: Come in? On our hands and knees.
Lucchino: As bad as that?
Theo: Your Worship wishes to assert his prerogatives?
Lucchino: We've no rights any more?
Laugh of Theo, stifled as before, less the smile.
Theo: You'd make me laugh if it wasn't prohibited.
Lucchino: We've lost our rights?
Theo: (distinctly). We got rid of them.
Silence. They remain motionless, arms dangling, heads sunk, sagging at the
Lucchino: (feebly). We're not tied? (Pause.) We're not—
Theo: Listen! They listen, grotesquely rigid. #
Submitted for your approval: Kevin Charles Millar, a ballplayer of some
considerable skill and modest renown. Wanting nothing more than to be an
everyday ballplayer, Kevin instead finds himself trapped in the baseball
purgatory known, innocently enough, as South Florida.
the hubris of talent collides with the stupidity of the very rich, life's twists
and turns can take on mythic proportions. Kevin's simple desire, fueled by greed
unknown in the life of the average man, propels him into an alternate universe,
where Dragons battle Ham Fighters amidst the maddening din of thunder sticks.
cautionary tale of a man caught between major leagues, Kevin will find himself
clear of waivers yet unable to be posted. He'll be caught in a limbo far worse
than South Florida, until he can steal the sign, and find a basepath that leads
out of -- The Chunichi Zone.