One of my former professors once wrote in the preface to a book, "My debts are many, my thanks inadequate." We all made fun of this at the time, but really, I couldn't have said it better myself.
My thanks, of course, to gottalovev and smiledrawinglie, who were incredibly gracious and generous throughout this whole process. I'm very lucky that they chose me.
Thanks also to all the friends who listened to me complain about this story, especially jesshelga, kirbyfest, aj, and the rest of our posse, who very literally helped me stay sane this summer.
This story would not exist if it weren't for rosekay, who should really be listed as a coauthor (although all mistakes are, of course, my own). I've been grateful for her help every single day I worked on this story, and am even more grateful to have her as a friend at all. Thanks, R, and happy birthday - I hope your good guys sweep 'em this weekend.
Except for the obvious, no one in this story is real or intended to be based on a real player. A lot of lines and situations, however, are based on real baseball events, so if you think you recognize something, you're probably right. All credit goes to the hilarious idiocy and occasional sweetness of real baseball players, not to me. Also, the review of the Cougars bar is stolen from a hilarious review of the Captain Morgan Club in Time Out Chicago.
Thanks for reading, and go Cubs.