The night before a scheduled start, Todd Stottlemyre I begins to ignore his wife.
Honey, can you pass the Doritos?
Honey, you have a crumb on your chin.
Honey, I think there's a nitric acid leak in the kitchen.
The next morning Sheri Stottlemyre ceases to exist. She is invisible—like the H.G. Wells character but without the emotional quirks. "I don't disturb him, I don't bother him, I don't ask him what he wants for breakfast, and I don't ask how he's feeling," she says. "I understand."
So do his teammates. As Stottlemyre walks through the Arizona Diamondbacks' clubhouse, they avoid him like the Ebola virus. You do not speak to Todd Stottlemyre on game day. You do not smile at Todd Stottlemyre on game day. If you are a reporter, you do not ask him questions. In the four hours before his first pitch Todd Stottlemyre is at work. He is thinking of every reason to hate the opposing team. Player by player, position by position, peeve by peeve.
Rickey Henderson: five years ago, stole a base off me in a blowout. Jerk.