Early that day the weather turned and the sun was shining over the tarp-covered infield. Streaks of it ran down from the little shoulder-high window that faced the outfield. Cars rushed by on I-70, where it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too.
Mike Groopman was in the office compiling data when Yost came to the door. "I'm glad we're going on a road trip! I'm glad we're leaving!" he said. "Do you hear?"
He kept on typing along the cascading spreadsheets of his computer.
"Son of a bitch! I'm so glad we're leaving!" Yost began to cry. "You can't even look me in the face, can you?"
Then he noticed the lineup card on the desk and picked it up.
Mike looked at him and he wiped his eyes and stared at him before turning and going back to his office.
"Bring that back," Mike said.
"I'm just getting my things and I'm leaving," Yost said.
Mike did not answer. He saved what he was working on, put on his coat, looked around the office before turning off the light. Then he went to Ned's office. Yost stood in the doorway, holding the lineup card.
"I want the card," Groopman said.
"Are you crazy?"
"No, but I want the card. I'll get someone to come by for it before you leave."
"You're not touching this lineup," Yost said. In his mind, the card had begun to cry like a baby. He cradled it in his arms.
"Oh, oh," he said, looking at the lineup card. Mike moved toward him.
"For God's sake!" Yost said. He took a step back into the office.
"I want the lineup card."
"Get out of here!"
Yost turned and tried to hold the card over in a corner behind his desk. But Mike came up. He reached across the desk and tightened his hands on the card.
"Let go of him," Groopman said.
"Get away, get away!" Ned cried.
The lineup card was stretched and twisting. In the scuffle they knocked down a flowerpot that hung behind the desk. Mike crowded Ned into the wall then, trying to break his grip. He held on to the lineup card and pushed with all his weight.
"Let go of him," he said.
"Don't," Yost said. "You're hurting the lineup card," He said.
"I'm not hurting the lineup card."
The office window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on Yost's fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the lineup card tighter.
Ned felt his fingers being forced open. He felt his baby going from him.
"No!" he screamed just as his hands came loose.
Yost would have it; his baby. He grabbed for the card's other corner. He caught it around the periphery and leaned back. But Mike would not let go. He felt the card slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard.
In this manner, the issue was decided.