The Boys of Summer

I made some discoveries today.

1. Major league baseball players have romantic liaisons with each other all the time.

2. These liaisons are often extremely sensual, and can be surprisingly sweet and tender as well.

3. They are documented in persuasive detail (under the delicate guise of “slashfiction”) on hard-nosed sites like this one.

4. They make for better reading than you might think.

I hesitate to publicize this only because I know full well that once MLB is made aware of the issue, the ensuing investigation and its fallout will change the face of the sport forever. Hearts will be broken; lives will be shattered; roommates will be torn asunder. Think of Jeter and A-Rod alone! Think of their amply chronicled trials and joys, their entanglements and disentanglements, their stormy love that dared not speak its name — completely unknown to me before this morning — and the shock waves its inevitable death will send not only through these two exceptional careers, but through the very culture of baseball. It cannot be long before we remember these days as through a mist — before the heroes of the slash ball era, with all their passions and exploits, become nothing more than a gleam in a grandfather’s eye.

But it is my duty to honor the truth at all costs, and I think you’ll agree that the stories told by these intrepid reporters are simply too startling and poignant not to tell. So I’ll be taking it upon myself to monitor the latest dispatches and share discreetly chosen excerpts.

‘It seemed like one of those things that was always there, like the Acropolis or Larry King’s craggy visage. It had to have started somewhere, but damned if Aubrey Huff could recall. He just knew that at some point, a message clicked on in his head, clear as day: I’m in love with Pat Burrell.’ – from Home Runs and Western Suns by 2theletter

‘Derek is looking at him, searching for some sort of reaction on his face, but Alex is giving away nothing. So Alex smiles, the one he’s perfected over the years when he is with the media, when he has his pictures taken knowing the camera is on him. “Let’s just finish our food and go to bed. I’m exhausted,” he says. He wants to spit out a scathing remark, something to hurt Derek, and he has one too.’ – from Infatuations and Fantasies by solookup

‘Sitting a top the mound of clean clothes in the middle of his bed, [Ryan] Perry sighs. It’s been almost a week since he last spoke to Rick [Porcello] and he’s starting to go crazy. It’s like the bottom of his world has dropped away and he’s falling. He can never quite scramble back up, because the moment he grabs hold of something to climb his way to the top, the support is yanked away from him. It hurts to think about him, and yet, he can’t stop himself. He can’t quite bring himself to give Rick that orange and navy hoodie back, the one that’s on the very top of his pile of laundry.’ – from What a Tangled Web We Weave by emeh

‘The air in the car feels a touch warmer and Tim realizes he’s blushing. He clears his throat. “Whatever, you asshole. Let’s go pick up your kid.” The expression that washes over Zito’s face is one Tim only sees when he’s thinking about Zachariah. At once smitten, proud, baffled, and excited, this Zito is Tim’s favorite one. Despite his reservations, Tim feels like he’s on the verge of something big. Maybe the rest of his life.

Here we go.’ – from Options by soupypictures

‘AJ knocks on the door and Robertson opens it instantly. He’s in a t-shirt and shorts and his hair’s somewhere in between wet and dry. “Come in,” he says, voice a little dry.

AJ steps inside and Robertson locks the door behind him.

“Have a seat,” Robertson says, and points at the couch. He seems just a little shaky, maybe a bit sweatier than what a properly air-conditioned apartment warrants, but AJ doesn’t think too much of it. Season’s going to start soon, of course the kid’s nervous.’ – from Anythin’ by achromedisguise

We hoped you liked reading The Boys of Summer by Mississippi Matt Smith!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs

newest oldest most voted

Oh gawd yes.