Sunday, June 23, 2013
Without any delay, here's the apology. Many of you have been coming here for years, reading me faithfully, and I sure do appreciate that loyalty. Your comments make my day. I know I wouldn't be in the position I currently find myself in, actually making some sort of living as a writer, without your encouragement through the years. Thank you.
The apology is this: I'm sorry I haven't been as faithful a friend lately. I know my visits to your places have been less than usual. I may not be commenting as much as I once did. It's not because I don't like you. It's not because I don't appreciate all of your love. Oddly enough, it's because I find myself on the internet more than ever before. In my capacity as a freelance - both writer and fact-checker - I spend much of my day doing actual work on the internet. And by the time my work is done, I need to get the hell off of the internet before I destroy my eyesight, my sanity, and my back (I have a crummy chair/desk set-up, so the more hours I'm on the 'net, the worse the arthritis in my neck becomes. I'll get a decent chair and desk someday soon, and that will take care of part of it.)
So, I just wanted to let you know that I do think of you, and I feel a fairly large amount of guilt for not being around your places as much as I once was.
Another apology, to some of you: I know there are quite a few of you who start snoring when I write about sports. So, not only am I writing less and visiting you less, when you come here, I put you to sleep. I won't say that I'm completely sorry about it; if I was, I wouldn't be doing it. But I understand. Feel free to drop down to the end of my softball posts and make some nice generic comment. I'll return the favor when you write about something I hate (if I visit you at all, which, as I explained above, has been getting rare.)
OK, so I'm a crummy friend and a boring writer. If it's any consolation, I'm also becoming a crappy softball player...
BOMBERS - 5 Mayhem - 3
BOMBERS - 19 Mayhem - 5
First, an explanation for some of my newer teammates. If you were wondering about my socks today...
... I wore them specifically for a great friend of mine. She was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and had surgery this past week to have her thyroid removed. Her name is Lime. Here's my favorite photo of her (from when she posed for a project of mine, a recording session.)
Anyway, I wore the socks in her honor. I would have promised to hit a home run for her, like some cheesy character from a 1940's sports movie, but the last dinger I hit was in 2004, so I didn't want to be responsible for making her feel worse when I failed.
Fortunately, while I'm turning into the ghost of softball past, my team is winning. Hell, I'm willing to fade away entirely if we can finally take the championship.
These two wins bring the Bombers record to 8 and 2, firmly in first-place in our division. It will remain that way at least until July 21st. That's because we lead by 3 games at the moment. Even if we lose two next week (which we won't) we'll still be in first. Then we have July 7th off. Then we also have July 14th off, even though we have games scheduled. The team we were supposed to play then has disbanded, so we already know we'll have two forfeit wins that week. So we can't possibly drop out of first until we play on July 21st, and, truly, I don't expect us to drop out of first at all this season. The team is too good.
While I have been sucking air running to first base trying to beat out weak grounders back to the pitcher, the rest of the guys have been hitting great, fielding well, scoring runs, pitching in ways to limit the other team from scoring as many runs, and otherwise making life easy for an old geezer like me. It's great to know I can go 1 for 4, like I did this week, and not have it make a difference.
I always try to throw some love to the guys who had outstanding days. Best of the lot this week goes to Mark Preziosi. He was perfect at the plate (5 hits in 5 at-bats, plus 2 walks) and he was almost as good in the field. What a shortstop this guy is! We've had some very decent shortstops through my 19 years with the Bombers - Phil Stavrinos Jr., in 2000, 2001, and 2002 comes to mind immediately, as does Joel Kershner from last year, and Danny Espinosa, who was outstanding during our 2010 just-missed-the-title season - but Mark impresses me as maybe the best of the lot. It's a small sample so far, but I love playing first base with this guy at short. Great glove, great arm. Also one hell of a good batter. In that regard, he impressed me more this week than any week so far. It wasn't just that he had a perfect day, but it was how he did it. In some of the past games, he's hit moonshots to left field all day. Sometimes they went for home runs, but sometimes they were long outs. They went for hits often enough to be impressive, but this week he varied his game by going opposite field and by driving the ball hard on the ground. He also hit one awesome shot to left when he saw that the left fielder was playing him too shallow. His day was not only perfect statistically, it was extremely intelligent. And I love to see guys who care that much, who put thought into what they do.
The pitching was very good. That's been the case for us all season. Big Jay Atton took a shutout into the 6th inning of game one (and only lost it because of an error.) His ERA is sick. Jack Atton threw game two and (outside of one small stretch where he walked a few) he was mighty impressive as well.
We're getting clutch hits from all sorts of people, mostly good fielding, strong pitching, and everybody seems to like everybody else. It all adds up to some fun Sundays, even for a guy hitting as lousy as I am. I'm at least playing a decent first base, so I know I'm bringing a little value by that. I'm hoping I can fix the hole in my bat before next week. My niece and nephew may be coming to see me play (they're 7 and 8, and they think their Uncle Jimmy is some sort of big deal, so I'd hate to look like a bum in front of them.)
Finally, the Bruins. If it's Monday when you read this, then it's game six and they're facing elimination on their home ice. I'd really like to see a game seven. This has been one hell of a good Stanley Cup Final. I think it deserves to go to seven. We'll see. Whatever happens, I'll be proud of them. They've played their asses off in this run for The Cup.
So there you have it. I apologized, then I went ahead and did what I wanted to do anyway. That's just the kind of guy I am. As Ric Flair was fond of saying, "Whether you like it or hate it, learn to love it, because it's the best thing going baby, WOOOO!"
Soon, with more better stuff.