Wild Pitch

By Mike Lupica

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This is what happens when a washed-up one-time pitching phenom and all-around jerk gets a second chance-and discovers that none of it is exactly what he expected it to be.

Showtime Charlie Stoddard now occupies himself at card shows, one-night stands, and nearby watering holes. His ex-wife still talks to him, but keeps her distance (about 3,000 miles); his son won't even do that--all in all, a life filled with peaches and cream. And then a decidedly unorthodox therapist starts working on his arm, and Charlie begins to dream again . . . especially now that the Boston Red Sox have lost two starting pitchers and seen their lead over the Yankees sliced in half. Can Charlie make it back to the bigs? Will he ever convince his ex-wife to take him seriously again? Will his son (the . . . well, never mind who he is-we've got to save something) even acknowledge his existence? Can the Red Sox--dare we say it?--shake off the collective curses of the Bambino, the Buckner, and Bucky-expletive-Dent?
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