Monday, April 27, 2009
I have other things to write about – a couple of blog awards I’ve received; my impending dental surgery; the Celtics or Bruins or Red Sox – but I’m tired. I just played the second fast-pitch softball scrimmage of the year.
(After my Earth Day rant, this will seem mighty tame. Don't worry. If you want obscenity, just give me a few days to build my steam back up. I've never been able to completely keep my cool for more than a couple of weeks.)
I played seven or eight innings in the field. It was 73 or 75 degrees, and I broke a good sweat for the first time. It felt good, but I’m tired. So, I’ll tell you a little about the scrimmage and then I’m going to have some lunch and enjoy the Celtics game.
I met some of my new teammates this week, and a few more of the old good ones showed up for the first time. I think we’ve got a 17-man roster, so I won’t expect to play more than one game a week (out of the two we play each Sunday) unless we’re extremely shorthanded.
I felt pretty good playing first base, so maybe I can add some value to the team as another possible body to throw out in the field rather than just being a DH all year. I’ve lost a step, but I’m smarter than a lot of guys. What I mean is I’ve had a whole bunch of experience, so I can sometimes help to pull off a play I’ve got no business pulling off.
Example: There was a situation where the other team had first and third, two outs. Joey Baszkiewicz, our catcher, made a snap throw down to Big Jay Atton at third, in an attempt to pick off a runner. He didn’t get him, but I saw my guy on first taking a big lead when Joey made that throw. I figure he’s not going to expect a snap to first immediately after the unsuccessful one to third. He’s ripe for the picking. Problem is, I hadn’t worked out any signs with Joey to alert him for an attempted pick off. So, here’s what I did.
Joey Baszkiewicz, as I say, was the catcher. Jack Atton was our pitcher. You know how infield chatter goes, with guys saying, "Come on, so-and-so, here we go" and stuff like that? Usually, it’s directed at the pitcher. Well, I figure the guys on the other team aren’t so familiar with us that they’ll know I’m NOT talking to the pitcher if I say, "Here we go, Joey!" And I figure if I say his name, Joey will perk up and get the idea to snap it to me. So, I yell out, "Here we go, Joey!" and Joey did pick up on it, snapped it to me, and we got the pickoff, end of inning. A less-cerebral first baseman – not to mention catcher - does not get that job done, so that was satisfying.
I fielded my position well, as I said, but my hitting wasn’t great. I wasn’t too far off, though. I found myself lunging for a couple of pitches and got too much air under them. I was just overanxious. If I stay in my stance, don’t lean to reach those pitches, I either have a couple of vicious shots into right center or at least another ball in the count each time (we had no umpires for the scrimmage, so...) I’ll correct that easily enough.
Good to see guys like Joey and Big Jason. Jason is the guy I gave my glove to after my "retirement", and I like to remind him of that fact every time I see him. He still has the glove, still with my signature on it, and I keep telling him to protect that signature because he’ll be able to get three dollars and twenty-seven cents for it someday on E-Bay.
In reality, it’s kind of cool to know my glove will still be playing after I’m really and truly retired following this year.
Yeah, that’s the plan. I’m feeling good enough to give it one more shot this year and then call it a day. One more shot at a championship, which I’ve never gotten at any level in my 45 years of ball. One more shot.
It feels good.
Some of the guys were saying I only show up in order to have material for my blog. I told them I wasn’t sure if I would publish softball stuff every Monday this year. That brought about general moans and groans, since they like to read about themselves. I should qualify that. They like to read about themselves if they DO WELL. Hey, so do I. I don’t blame them.
I’ll write about it as the spirit hits me. I expect it will be most Mondays following our games, but maybe not all of them.
Well, the Celtics are coming on. I’ll be back tomorrow with something about those blog awards I got, then Wednesday with something about my bottom teeth. I’m having all of my bottom teeth, except two, out on Thursday, and I’ll be fitted for a temporary denture at that time. We’re supposed to start the season next Sunday, three days after my teeth are out. I'll be ready to play.
No other blog entries, following Wednesday, until next Monday. If you’re the type, I’d appreciate a prayer concerning the dental stuff. If you’re not the type, I’d STILL appreciate a prayer, you heathen. What the hell! It’s for me! I’m a nice guy, so get down on your knees!
Soon, with more better stuff.