Sunday, June 16, 2013
Fast Freddie Goodman shows us where the Bombers are in the standings
The Bombers got healthy this week (except for Joey Baszkiewicz and me.)
BOMBERS - 9 Flush - 3
BOMBERS - 11 Flush - 1
With two victories, and the Renegades splitting their doubleheader with the Reds, we now have sole possession of first place in our division.
It was a good day for the team. Coming off of the two close losses last week, we needed to get our mojo back. Flush hasn't been a great club in past years (and they go to 0 - 8 with these two losses) but they were game opposition. We had to come from behind in the first contest. They made us work for it, which was a good thing.
(They might give somebody a surprise this season if they keep at it. I hope that happens. The guys who are the core of their team - who have shown up every week for a few years, while knowing it wasn't going to be pretty most weeks - deserve a reward for being good guys and not giving up. I've been on a team or two like that over the course of my more-or-less forty seasons, so I definitely empathize.)
The stars for us this week were our pitchers. Big Jay Atton gave up ZERO earned runs in game one. After that, Jack Atton (who makes a habit of coming up big on Fathers Day) tossed a five-hit one-run gem. Our team ERA now sits at 3.57, a very impressive number for this brand of modified fast-pitch softball. Of course, you have to have some good fielding behind you, and we were fairly solid. The left side of the infield, especially, looks really sharp. Most impressive is Mark Preziosi at SS. He's as good as I've seen at that position during my 19 years with this club. Vacuum cleaner glove and excellent arm. He also has the big stick when he goes up to bat. He belted his third home run of the year.
(Odd thing about this league is that all games are played on diamonds that basically have no outfield fences. Yeah, there are fences out there somewhere, but they're so far off it really doesn't matter for most of us. There are also four outfielders in these games, so even shots that might have hit a gap can be corralled. Mark hits the sort of shots that would clear fences in many parks, but most of those have been long outs in this league. For instance, I know for a fact that if our games in this league were played at, say, M Street in South Boston, he'd have about 8 or 9 home runs instead of 3. He's a scary hitter, though, and I do love to see him up with men on base. I wouldn't be so surprised that I'd drop dead on the spot if he clears one of the long fences before the season is over.)
The first sentence said Joey Baszkiewicz and I didn't get healthy. Joey, catching game one, took a hard shot off his left knee. Even as late as the end of game two, I looked at his knee and saw the imprint of the stitches.
(Some of you, unfamiliar with ball, might think I'm joking. I'm not. An hour after being hit, the dents were still there in his skin. Most catchers in this league - and that includes me and Joey - don't wear the usual protective gear you expect a catcher to wear. Sure, we wear masks and a cup, because we're not total idiots, but chest protectors and shin guards are rarely seen. So the ball got through to Joey's knee and hit bare flesh. He immediately left the game, while I moved from First Base to behind the plate. He iced it, and will probably be OK aside from some swelling and soreness for the next couple of days. I guarantee he'll be back behind the plate next week because Joey is a tough bastard. Most catchers are.)
My unhealthiness is more in my head. The way I'm hitting, I could be taking a salami up to the plate, instead of a bat, and get pretty much the same result. Of the guys with double-digit plate appearances, I have been the weakest by a large margin. Since the team is doing so well, I won't slash my wrists. As long as we keep winning, I'm happy overall. I wish I was contributing more, though. My 1 for 5 today was seriously anemic.
OK, let me tell you about the best laugh I had.
After the game, I'm dragging the equipment bag to my car. The field we played on is about a quarter-mile from where I park. I've caught in two games and I'm tired. The bag is heavy. Even though it has wheels, pulling it through the outfield grass is a chore. I also have my own equipment bag slung over one shoulder, adding another burden. I get to my car and I'm beat from a combination of the bags, the games, the heat, and my advanced age. After loading the bags into the trunk and back seat (that's how big the equipment bag is, OK? It doesn't fit in my trunk.) I get in the car and go to start it up. That's when I notice something tucked under my windshield wiper.
I see it and start talking to myself.
"What in the FUCK is that? Shit."
I get out of the car, grab the piece of paper, and throw it on the passenger seat. I start the car. Then I decide I'd better see what in hell it is. I unfold it. And I start laughing like a loon.
It was the photo of Fast Freddie Goodman you saw at the top of this post. FFG had left it there for me, to give me a laugh. He succeeded. Honest to God, it was just what I needed. A laugh like that is worth years onto your life (even if you're hitting .286 on the season.)
Thanks, FFG! And thanks for being a good sport when I called you, telling me, when I asked, that I could scan it and use it here. It's not everybody who would be willing to appear in public in a johnny.
Soon, with more better stuff.