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At the Reynosa ball park it is dusk, but the stadium lights aren't on yet, and from a distance the baseball looks like an aspirin tablet. A smattering of fans watch the Indios take batting practice.
Diego Segui is warming up on the sideline. His fastball is popping. The weather is tropical and he's sweating heavily. Segui is a veteran of 24 seasons in professional baseball, 15 of them in the bigs. His record with Reynosa last season was 14-6. He is 45 and very strong. He shakes hands as though he were pulling you out of shark-infested waters.
We move to the runway at the back of the Reynosa dugout. A dark tunnel leads up to the locker room. I ask him about his arm. Can he still throw?
"My arm still strong," Segui says. "Sometimes, I feel better now than when I start pitching."
"Could you still pitch in the big leagues?"
"Easy." He isn't bragging. He believes he can. "Pittsburgh say they give me tryout. But I no try out. I say, 'You want me, you know what I can do.' "
He went to the mound, struck out the first four Indio batters, had a no-hitter through six innings and gave up only six hits in a 15-4 complete-game victory.
The only thing
I've always wanted since I've been here is to start a game and get one decision
in the big leagues. That's all I want.
It is getting close to midnight. We are in the kitchen of Garcia's El Paso home. A few hours earlier he had pitched a three-hit shutout against Aguascalientes.
Garcia is leaning against the sink, his arms folded across his chest. Get Smart is on TV, but we're paying no attention. His two kids have been put to bed. Terri, his wife, is almost asleep on the couch.