Home Run

June 30, 2011

I’m playing in a softball league with co-workers on Mondays. Bunch of out-of-shape guys too old to be playing a kids’ game. On Tuesdays, I’m so sore that I walk like an ambling wino. I was never good, but it’s frustrating because I’m better than this. I can’t throw – thanks to a shoulder injury acquired trying to catch Richie’s couch coming free-fall down the stairs during his last move – and after trying to, I can’t wash my hair with my right hand until Friday.

You might say “Well, why do you do this to yourself?” I’d say “because it’s fun.” But it hurts. A lot.

Except for one thing: In the second game, I sucked and had to pee the entire time. I led off the last inning and down like 14 runs, I decided to take out my frustration on the first pitch I saw, hoping to either hit it out (HAHAHA, I have no power) or a fly ball out so I can go to the bathroom.

I rip the first pitch, and it’s a deep fly ball to left. Not out, but over their heads. I didn’t see it, because I was sprinting head down as my team yelling “three, three, three.” I’m thinking “I’m going four, four, four, so I can go one, one, one.” I glanced up at the guy coaching third, just to see his reaction at me cutting third to know if there was going to be a play at the plate, but he was still looking to the outfield, I crossed home, slapped some fives and bounded up the stairs to the bathroom to take a giant whiz.

It felt great.

Sorry, that joke was tasteless. The home run felt great. Until my coworkers — four guys who have been paid to score baseball and softball games before – that it was a triple and an error, not a home run. Screw that. I was going all the way. If they made a play, it would have been at the plate. They were just getting to the ball after I had rounded second, so that’s a play at the plate, and since I made no hesitation, that’s gotta be scored an inside the park home run.

It was the first home run for me in an organized game since college. And that was just our spring softball tournament with no backstops. I don’t even remember the homer, I just remember telling my buddy Rich that “that’s my first homer since 1993.”

It felt even better when I went home and saw my childhood friend Tom online and told him “I just hit my first homer since…”

I consider Tom my brother. He was three years younger than me, and we played sports in the neighborhood every day. But we never were on the same team due to age. In 1993, I wasn’t good enough to make the 15-16 year old league, so was in the 13-15 year old league. But my team had players quit/get injured. Tom was one of the best players in the 11-12 year old league, and since both our teams wore orange, he got called up to our team.

I told our coach how good he was, but in his first game with us, he batted last and played outfield. In his second game, he hit second and pitched. Since the injury that led to his call up was to our catcher, I said “I’ll catch Tom.” Tom didn’t allow a hit in his four innings (the limit in our league). I pitched the last three innings, and we won on a one-hitter (I know, I blew it for him).

But that was also the game where Tom hit the ball a long way (no fences) and rounded the bases for a homer. And I followed by hitting a line drive six inches over the first baseman’s glove that rolled a long way and I rounded the bases for back-to-back homers (THAT one was probably a triple and an error, gotta love a mom keeping the book).

So when I sent Tom a message Monday night as he was up with his months-old second son, and said I hit my first real homer since we went back-to-back, he said: “Hahaha. I remember. That was awesome. On the orange team. You know, I played hundreds of baseball games, and that one is the only one I remember.”

As a proud ‘older brother’ for all those hundreds of games he did play, hearing that felt so unbelievably great, I could have gone back to the yard and played two.

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And the Seventh Seal Was Opened…

October 26, 2009

This is quite probably the worst season in the history of baseball.

The Mets have 24 of their 50 players spend time on the disabled list, $119 million worth of their $140 million payroll, and they finish in fourth place with a mere 70 wins.

The Phillies, after running their mouth all off-season, win the East and make the World Series again.

They face the Yankees, the team we’ve hated since the mid-90s because every time they win, we have to hear about it, and even won a World Series on our field in 2000.

Mets fans are divided in whom to root for and who’s the lesser of two evils.

For me, it’s simple: I’m rooting for the Yankees.

I’ve accepted the fact that the Mets aren’t catching the Yankees in terms of Championships (score thus far: 26 to 2), at least not in my lifetime. (although, iince I can remember, it’s only 4-to-1). And anytime the Yankee fans in my life throw “26 Championships” at me, I point out they’ve only won seven since my team existed, and only four in that fan’s lifetime. The difference between 26 and 27 is nothing.

Philly on the other hand, pissed and moaned in 2006 when we won the division, saying we “celebrated too much” and called us classless for enjoying winning (when they do the exact same thing). They beat us while we choked in 2007. Beat us again in 2008 and then won the World Series, and a 2009 Championship for the Phillies would really make the 2010 season miserable for me as well.

If the Phils win the World Series again, then if/when the Mets win the 2010 World Series, all their whiny players who talk trash will bust out things like “The Mets are halfway there. Now they have to win it again to match us.”

Picking whom to root for in a Phillies-Yankees World Series is like picking which inmate gets to rape you in the prison shower: You identify the biggest cock, and pick the other guy.

A vast number of Yankee fans can be dicks. Their players haven’t really ever been dicks to the Mets, except Roger Clemens, who’s steroid-riddled ass is now in retirement.

The Phillies on the other hand, are complete and total dicks.

I don’t say this often, so listen up: “Let’s Go Yan-kees”


Stream of Consciousness V

March 3, 2009

Probably last post of the week as we host the Conference tournament. I know its March when my stomach magically turns off. I was kinda hungry and then couldn’t finish 12 wings. My stomach knows when its tourney time and tells me “I know you won’t have time to eat. Just gimme one meal a day. That’s all I ask.”

Sunday was scary. I woke up at 4:30 am with the deadly feeling that the contents of my stomach wanted out. And I didn’t know which exit they wanted to take. I just had to pray I made it through my two plane connections home.
I thought I was coming down with the evil 24 hour flu. I had it once at it was devesatating. I was incapacitated for 2 days. Nothing stayed down. There were projectile ejections. My whole body, joints and muscles were in intense pain and I could not sleep or function. All I could do was lie on the floor and pray for death.
… and one of our players on the trip had it. This would be the WORST possible time to come down with that, and I felt it coming.
So far, I’ve been okay. I think it was just bad onions from dinner Saturday (stomach), my back was just killing me from the aforementioned Southwest flight, and my knee was hurting from climbing under the bus to grab luggage. My general feeling of sickness was dehydration from a few beers. My exhaustion was due to it being a 5 a.m. wakeup for our flight. And my cold shakes were really just having bare feet on the freezing bathroom floor in 20 degree Tulsa.
Needless to say, I took no chances. I did as much work as possible Sunday night (even thought I felt like doing none), went to bed early, and took a change of clothes to office in case of emergencies. (sorry. Graphic.) Let’s just say I’m eating nothing but crackers to be safe, and taking zero chances.

24 tonight was pretty awesome (subtle spoiling to follow. MASSIVE SPOILERS HERE). Some very unrealistic situations. No way Bauer opens the door, and no way Pierce just sits down on the rug. Also, they probably should have silent clocked Buchanan.

The SEC is a total joke, and it’s laughable that LSU suddenly jumped to #11 in the polls in two weeks after doing nothing but beating bad SEC teams. This is the team that lost by 30 to Utah, and lost at home by 10 to Xavier… and they are ranked ahead of both? The conference logo on the shorts is all that matters.

I love March, but I’m disappointed basketball is almost gone for the collegiate season. If there was another sport waiting in the wings to suck me in. Oh, hi baseball, didn’t see you standing there. The Mets are at Houston during a summer weekend. I’m going to have to trick someone with a David Wright crush into making a road trip to check another ballpark off our lists.