Rhonda Anderson wakes up at 4 am and notices her husband Rick has gotten out of bed. She gets up, puts on her sea-blue robe with a little sailboat embroidered on the left side, slips on her fuzzy purple slippers, and shuffles downstairs to check on him.
Rick, who happens to be the pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins, is sitting at the dining-room table in the dark. He has made himself a bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal, but he's playing with it more than eating it. "What's the matter, hon?" Rhonda asks with as much compassion as she can muster at such an early hour, "Can't sleep?"
"No," he grumbles, "I just can't figure it out."
"Figure what out?" she says sleepily as she shuffles to the kitchen counter to start a pot of coffee.
"The pitchers. I can't figure out how to get through to them. They've always been so good before -- they've always listened to me. They always used to do exactly what I asked of them. They always took my advice and treated me with respect.
"Now...well, now they seem to be intentionally defying me. I tell them to pound the strike zone, and they throw right down the middle. I tell them if they have to miss, miss low, and they leave pitches up. I tell them to throw strikes, and they walk guys. Oh, and whenever I try talking to them, they just sigh and say 'I know,' or worse, they roll their eyes and walk away. I don't know what to do anymore -- they just won't listen. It's as if they've turned into a bunch of surly teenagers that are getting bad grades. You know what I mean?...Rhonda?"
Rhonda looks up from her bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee grounds, and looks at Rick. After a pause, she says, "Oh, I'm sorry honey, what were you saying? I wasn't paying attention."