Monday, May 17, 2010
There are three types of people who read this blog.
The first are those who can’t stand it when I write about sports. They tune out immediately when I rave about my beloved Celtics, and they take a nap when I write about my own adventures in fast-pitch softball. As a matter of fact, they already left upon the first mention of the word ‘sports’, and are now visiting some other place on the internet; probably some blog concerned with organic gardening, or perhaps knitting. Fair enough. I generally beat a hasty retreat when I encounter those things, so why should I expect them to enjoy my odd passions?
The second group probably comprises the great majority of readers. They aren’t clamoring for me to write about sports more often, but they are willing to read on when I write about softball. They know that I sometimes throw in a tidbit or two NOT about softball, and they’re willing to gnaw on the statistics and other hardcore stuff in order to get to the small pieces of meat that may be attached to the bone. They seem to like me, personally, and are willing to indulge my penchant for heroicizing softball bums, much in the same way many of us put up with an eccentric uncle who sometimes yammers on about the glories of 3/16” hex bolts during a family reunion. We know that sooner or later he’ll shut up, and he’s harmless otherwise, so we just let him run out of steam rather than clock him over the head with a 2x4.
The third group – possibly insane, but I love them - actually look forward to me doing one of my softball posts. For the most part, these are teammates of mine. The allure for them is understandable. Don’t you like it when you see your name in print? Of course you do, unless it’s in connection with an ongoing murder investigation. However, within this group of nuts, there is a sub-group of one, and his name is Knucklehead.
(Well, OK, that’s not really his name. That’s the name he writes under. His real name is somewhat of a secret. The reason for that is because, when he was writing under his own name, one of the people with whom he had to interact on a professional basis complained about him making fun of people like her in a public place. He didn’t want to risk losing his job or having people like her come to his door with an ice pick in hand. MY WIFE thinks that I should worry about the same thing happening, so she hates it when I say that we live in Watertown, so I don’t.)
Knucklehead is such a fan of my softball posts that he requested an autographed softball, signed by all my Sunday softball team, the Bombers.
Oh, OK, to be honest – and aren’t I always? – he didn’t request one signed by the whole team. He requested one signed by Cam Zirpolo.
(Here, lest any of you get the wrong impression, I hasten to point out that Knucklehead is neither gay nor a pedophile. He is, in fact, rather lustily heterosexual, currently in an ongoing relationship with a lovely grown woman named Theresa, and father of at least one daughter and one son. No, the reason for the odd fixation on my left fielder is because Knucklehead thinks that Cam Zirpolo is the best name, ever, for a ballplayer. I don’t agree. I’ve always been sort of partial to Vinegar Bend Mizell.)
Be that as it may – and we’ll pretend it is, even if it isn’t - with this being the opening week of my Sunday softball season, and with the entire roster being present for the first doubleheader, it seemed like an appropriate time to fulfill Knucklehead’s request. So, a ball was presented to the team for them to sign. Most did so. Here’s the ball, which will be winging its way to Knucklehead any moment now.
Those that didn’t sign did not refuse to do so. It’s just that, as is the wont in such loosely organized activities as Sunday softball, they just sort of drifted off towards home following the games. We don’t have a clubhouse, like in the major leagues, wherein our lockers might ring a centrally located table with a box of balls on it needing autographing. The ball was in Jack Atton’s equipment bag, and thus not highly visible. I told folks about it, and requested they sign it for an actual real fan of ours, but the first order of business was playing softball and trying to get off to a good start in this new season.
And, as I’m sure Knucklehead (and a few other of you) will be happy to hear, we did.
BOMBERS – White’s -
BOMBERS – White’s -
And here, I must make a confession and let you in on a little secret. You may be wondering why there are no scores (and, perhaps more curiously, why it says [photo] where there was supposed to be one.) That’s because we didn’t play.
"But... but...," you say, "How could this be? You wrote about your teammates signing the softball, and... I’m so confused, Sully. Please explain?"
You have a right to be confused, and I’ll try to explain. See, here’s what I sometimes do. On the night before our games, I sometimes write up the part of the softball blog that doesn’t have any actual game information in it. Then, after we’ve played, I fill in the rest; the statistics and individual heroics (or my blunders, as the case may be.) And I had every intention of doing so this time around. However, we didn’t actually play. As a matter of fact, we never even got down to the field.
At about 7:30 this morning (Sunday) the phone rang. I was busy putting on my equipment, so MY WIFE answered it. When you get a call at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, it’s not usually good news. I stood there in my jockstrap and two knee braces waiting to hear what it could be. She handed me the phone. It was Jack Atton, my manager. The games were cancelled. The team we were supposed to play had, at the last minute, decided to drop out of the league. I have no idea why they waited until just an hour-and-a-half before game time to tell anyone, but that’s the way it was, so no games for us. And, as a consequence, no autographed softball for Knucklehead, either.
I could have just erased everything I had already written, and then written something entirely new and truthful, but that would have been far too much work for a sluggard like me.
(MY WIFE, in her usual brilliant fashion, suggested that I pretend that this blog was a tape recording and then pretend to rewind the whole thing, typing the entirety of it backwards from the point at which I left off, thusly:
s’etihW - SREBMOB
s’etihW - SREBMOB
.did ew, raeh ot yppah eb lliw (uoy fo rehto wef a dna) daehelkcunK erus m’I sa, dnA
And so forth. But, since it took me about five minutes to figure out how to write that little bit of it, no way was I going to do the whole 950 words that followed. It would have been impressive, no doubt, but it also would have been more insane than even I’m willing to admit to being.)
So, those of you who wanted a softball post didn’t quite get one, and those who left early, because they thought this was going to be about softball, left too early. The vast majority of you, from the second group, probably aren’t thrilled either. It’s not like this was vastly entertaining. Oh, well. If it’s any consolation, imagine how I feel. Instead of getting grimy and sweaty and tearing up my knees catching and having my 53-year-old thighs yelping at me all day tomorrow for having done three hours worth of squats, I had to settle for a nice hot cup of coffee, some peanut butter toast, and a leisurely read of the sports section.
Believe it or not, for me that sucks.
.ffuts retteb erom htiw, nooS
P.S. Since I didn’t talk about softball as much as I had planned, how about those Celtics? Up 1 – 0 on Orlando, and, well, Woo-Hoo!
P.P.S. For those of you folks particularly fond of horses, I may as well mention that the softballs we use in our league aren’t really made using horsehide. They might have been, back in the 20th century, but now it’s some sort of synthetic material (which is no doubt poisonous if ingested, and every time one of them gets hit by a bat, a little bit of murderous powder is probably released into the atmosphere and we’re all going to die, but the horses won’t, so after we’re gone it will be just them and the cockroaches.)
P.P.P.S. I should just shut up now, huh? OK.