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Mira Belli was the star catcher of the Ocelots. The buxom Ragamuffin had come to the Ocelots as a free agent four seasons before, from her Pride’s namesake team. Most of the time, she presented herself as quite prissy, but really she was just a spoiled brat that never really grew up, despite being thirty-five by that point.
Her coat was a warm mix of autumn shades. She was a plus-size model, in fact, but she also happened to be able to swing a big bat, despite striking out in almost half of her plate appearances, and hit over thirty long balls a season with respectable times on base. But her inability to run the bases and the amount of times she struck out definitely hurt her value.
In her younger years, she moved pretty well behind the plate, throwing her body around. But she’d slowed up in the past couple of years. She still called a great game, especially when Clair was on the hill. She took a lot of pride in catching Clair, and looked forward to doing it yet again.
Clair was always the highlight of day one of Spring Training. But she was a no-show since she was late from returning from her long vacation. Mira took the spot light instead, despite not even being anywhere close to the best player on the team. That distinction belonged to Alexa, the Ocelots oft-injured but very talented shortstop. But Alexa liked to keep in the background. She always reported to training early, and rarely said a word as she prepared to hopefully keep herself fully fit this season.
On day two, Clair was known to be in town, and she had reported in for training, but she was nowhere near the press conference. Mira knew well why. She’d been assaulted by them at the airport. And she and Tekki were probably in the dressing room making out, she supposed. Those two were way too close for her liking. She was determined to embarrass them however she could.
It was on the third day that she made a major announcement:
“This year, I’m taking the rook Daubee under my wing. I gave her the standard rookie treatment last year, but this year, I’m going to work hard with her to prevent the dreaded sophomore slump!” She put great emphasis on those last two words, trying to spook out the assembled press. Some laughed, some stared, and others scribbled frantically on their notepads.
Then the question came, “What about the news that Clair’s taking on Emelie Tekki as her new personal catcher?”
“Excuse me, darling?” Belli asked. “Did I hear you correctly?”
Another reporter spoke up, “You haven’t been told by Jemina?”
“This is the first I’ve heard of it!” Belli laughed nervously. It really was news to her. She hadn’t gotten the memo yet that this year Emelie Tekki would be her personal catcher. Personal catchers certainly weren’t common, but they weren’t rare, either. But Mira’s mood, which was pretty ecstatic before, would greatly sour upon learning this news.
“Do you feel it’s because Manager Jemina wants to give you more days off to rest your ailing knees?”
Mira’s eyes widened and her expression grew quite fierce, “My knees are fine! I don’t know what you’re talking about. But if Manager Jemina feels I need my beauty rest, I understand.
“As for the ridiculous rumors of Clair no longer being my number one, humph!”
“They aren’t rumors,” the first reporter responded. “It was in the paper this morning.”
Mira never read the paper unless she was on the front page. “Well, you can be sure I was not part of this decision. Those two have had their honeymoon, and I assure you, I will be her number one catcher if I have anything to say about it. This conference is over!”
Mira stormed through the crowd. No one dared try and stop her, not with her huge frame and great strength. But quite a few reporters caught the slight limp that she’d gained over the winter. And every single one of them furiously scribbled on their notepads…