Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lock Your Doors, Bolt Your Windows - It's Softball Time
I swear this isn’t another blog strictly about animals … but can we talk about animals for a second? Have you noticed them acting in a peculiar fashion lately? I’m talking about geese flying south despite the heat? Cats incessantly scratching at their right ear? Dogs leaving their place at your side only to turn up hours later, whimpering softly to themselves in a dark and empty room? Squirrels putting on tiny fedoras, gathering their possessions into a bindle and thumbing it out of town?
                Of course you have. I feel silly even asking. Well, all of these ominous signs can only mean one thing – I’ve returned to softball. See? And you were worried this was going to be about animals. Nope, it’s about softball. 
            Me, the world’s worst softball player, the person who managed to injure himself in an adult league softball pick-up game so badly that it required surgery. The person who once played an entire season of baseball and only got on base twice, once via getting hit by a pitch and once via walk.
Yup, nothing left to do now but board up your windows, check that you’ve got spare batteries for all of your radios and flashlights, put on a pot of coffee and wait out the reminder of the season. Luckily for the Southeastern Pennsylvania region, the season is already halfway over. I missed the first part recovering from the surgery I got as a result of my previous softball odyssey.
My first game was actually not this past Monday but the one before it. My write up of that – and my warning to all of civilization – was preempted by my need to review “Terminator: Genisys.” So, sorry about that. Here’s what went down in handy bulleted form. To get yourself into the proper frame of mind while reading this, it is important to picture all of what follows in the Chiller text style.

Game One

  • I was wisely placed at the very bottom of the order. If you’ve never played adult league softball, this means you’re usually somewhere around 12th in the order. Having that many people batting in front you really minimizes the damage that can be done
  • I played most of the game in left field. Since we were short a girl, we were only permitted to have three outfielders. Centerfield got most of the work, so I lucked out
  • During my time in the field, I learned from my fiancée, who actually knows what she’s doing, that your first step on a fly ball should always be backwards. Sadly, I learned this after a fly ball soared majestically over my head because I misplayed it
  • We had an extra guy so I rotated out of the game at one point to give him a chance to play the field. Everyone, myself included, just seemed so much more relaxed with this arrangement
  •  At the plate I went 0-1 with a walk and a groundout. I scored a run
  • There were no injuries or major disasters

Game Two

  • I jogged out to my place in left, but was called back before the first pitch. I figured this meant everyone had wised up and I would be starting the game on the bench. Nope, I was needed behind the plate. This seemed like the safest spot on the field for me as even though I’m involved in almost every pitch, it’s next to impossible for me to hurt the team in any way. Thankfully this theory wasn’t put to the test with any plays at the plate.
  • There was a close call where I almost had to make a play, but the ball sailed over my head, relieving me of having to do anything about the runner speeding towards home.
  • At the plate I went 1-2 with an infield single, a walk, a line out to short and two runs scored.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that if I make good contact, I will almost always get out. The only way I can ever hope to reach base is by hitting the ball into someone’s feet, hoping they bobble it and then out-running the throw.
            There you have it. There’s a good chance I’ll be back out there again next Monday, so you may want to stock up on milk, eggs and bread, just in case. Consider yourself warned.

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