I forgot to say...
The story was first published in a little journal of sports fiction called Aethlon. It came out in the tail end of 2001, but I didn't actually get my copies until Spring of 2002, a few days after I got my copies of my first novel. So I count it as my second publication overall. Strange that I should get a novel published before I published anything else in my life. Strange to me anyway.
The writing of the story was pretty straight forward at first, then got complicated. Here's the genesis - Tim McCarver used to be the announcer for the New York Mets (before becoming the announcer for FOX baseball). I loved his commentary and he's one of the few players to have played in four different decades (1959-1980). As a catcher for the Cardinals, he caught for some of the greats of the game including Bob Gibson during his mystical 1968 campaign. More importantly for this story, however, he used to talk about catching for Steve Carlton. And when Carlton went to the Phillies, McCarver went with him and caught him there as well. Carlton was a 300 game winner and McCarver, not Hall of Fame material himself, was a large part of that. He spoke admiringly of the man, but I figured it would be good to see what would happen if the admiration withered. That's what we get here. The story almost wrote itself.
But then, the editor at Aethlon wanted a story that wasn't as dark. The original ending has the catcher intentionally going out of his way to sabotage the pitcher. I toned that down and made things a bit more ambiguous (I think). When the Aethlon editor finally accepted the story, he made some note to me about still thinking it was darker than he normally liked. Don't know what he would make of THE CONCRETE MAZE.