Team Beer, Sunday Night D League fat old man Softball, has been on a little losing streak.
It all began with us getting absolutely crushed by one of the Church teams. I can’t remember which one because I have attempted to block it out. The final score was 28 to 3. The crowd was chanting “Mercy, please Mercy” as we were on the sacrificial block. Mother’s were covering their child’s eyes as the onslaught continued. It was the inquisition of Softball and Team Beer did not end well.
There were some team members that have stated, quite publicly, that it was this blog that caused us to lose. Some felt that by blogging our general complaints about Fort God may have brought down the wrath. They claim that should I shut up, perhaps we could win our games. I point out that we were missing some players and that it is not the blogs fault. They point out that we lost the next game. I say nay brothers, nay, we are not forsaken.
This week we had the opportunity to play another church team. Actually, another team from the same church. It was not the one that slammed us like a Southern Baptist Organ, but they have some very good players. We know them very well because we have played them often. We have nicknames for some of them: Redhead, Goofy guy, Place hitter, and That guy.
The rest of the team changes from week to week. I believe, very sincerely, that they are recruiting players from the outside. I base this on the fact that every time the playoffs come around, they are filled with guys we have never seen before. Once, I swear to god I saw Jose Conseco in right field.
But today was a special game because my daughter had come to root on her dad. I have dreamed of this day, of me hitting the game winning home run while my daughter cheers wildly in the stands. I would cross home plate and my daughter would run out onto the field to hug her hero.
As it turns out, my daughter was more interested in the dog poo in the parking lot. She’s one so has no interest in this at all. What she sees is an open field that was made for her running through it and picking up everything and trying to eat it.
She started with an acorn, which Hossmom quickly stole as it went for her mouth. Then a leaf that met the same fate. And then, I swear, out of pure spite my daughter grabbed a handful of dirt and shoved it in her mouth before my wife could move. It was lightning quick which I find odd for when she has a piece of carrot in front of her it takes her a good 2 days to get it into her mouth. When we are at a restaurant, she palms food and has to shove handfuls of it in. Some make it in, many do not. It’s like a bulldozer, it’s not made for precise movements. Get her out in the field though and her little hands move with the speed and precision of a surgeon. But she was having a good time, which is fine with me. One day she will come to the realization that her father is greatness incarnate and will worship me.
Team Beer had our full lineup this time around. Which means we were only missing three players due to injury or whatnot. Our two starting pitchers are still out but we here that the are rehabbing well from the knee and ankle injuries. We are only one broken hip away from joining the senior tour.
Our manager however is the king of recruiting and once again got us replacement players to join us. These “scabs” don’t get paid as much and they have to buy us beer, but at least they get to wear the jersey, which should be enough.
The game did not start well. Not only is my daughter eating dirt like it’s caviar, but we gave up 5 runs in the first inning. This was mostly good hitting but some bad decisions on our part.
We live for the “play at the plate”. We can’t help it, our competitive nature just demands it. It’s our honor, and we must give it a shot. Two of our outfielders actually have Peyton Manning like laser, rocket arms. Our catcher is a 250+ x-lineman. We like our odds when it comes to the play at the plate. We figure that they will hit the brick wall that is our brick salesman catcher, or get beaned in the back of the head by one of our outfielders. Either way, they’ll stop just a few feet short of the plate. The downside to this is that it usually advances the runners on the base, which is not good. We are addicted to the play at the plate like it was Disney world, we gotta go. Even we have no shot, we still make the throw. Thus the five runs.
But Team Beer was not down and out. We are a scrappy bunch. Underneath the smoking and drinking on the bench lies a fierce competitive spirit although subdued by the flabbiness. We got back a couple of runs and went back to our defense, one of our strong suits.
We were all a bit nervous this day because our normal first baseman was out. That left our manager to take the position. He’s a miler, not a catcher, god love him. We don’t know sometimes if he is going to catch it or if it’s going to hit him in the head. Our first play at first came with the drama. It hit his glove, then plopped out and started to roll. He was stretching, grabbing for it like it was the antidote to his poison. Imagine a man hanging off a cliff and desperately reaching for that last vine that won’t snap and send him to his death. That was our first baseman. He laid his fingers on it and picked it up, the out was made, the fan went wild, my child ate more dirt.
We are up to bat again when one of the scabs comes in. He strikes out. He strikes out looking. We are merciless. Why? Because it is just damn funny that’s why. We have all struck out and we have all been ripped for it. He was just new, so he got the double dose. He has to buy a keg now rather than a round. Filthy scab. I hope he plays again with us.
But we battle on. Scoring one here, one there, play at the plate, yelling at the umpire, one guy threw a bat. A pretty normal game. But we would just not go away. We were like a virus, immune from penicillin. We were the turf toe, you just can’t get rid of it. We were monkey aids.
The last inning comes up. There are 6 minutes left and we are down 10 to 7. And I have to ask this question to my teammates: Does God love Team Beer?
We get a couple of good hits, a walk and bam, the bases are loaded. The next hit is a beauty and our boys are off to the races. The faster ones are catching up on the slower ones which makes us chubbies hustle. No one wants to be caught on the base path, that’s just embarrassing. One of our men stutters at third but is waived home anyway. I would like to say it was close, but it wasn’t. It was an easy call. Of course we argued it, we are Team Beer.
We have one out and the next series goes out to Kasey Casem. The hits just keep coming. We turned that last six minutes into a full dose of Team Beer. I got up with about a minute and half to go. They played me short in the outfield. For some reason, I decided to hit a long one and got an easy double. And then, in typical Beer fashion, our next hitter swings at the first pitch. He could have just lazied up to the plate, taken a couple of pitches and the game would be over. But that’s just not how we roll.
It’s a great base hit and the question is answered: God does, in fact, love Team Beer. We scored 6 runs in that last inning for a great comeback. We are ecstatic. We shake hands and are told God Bless You. We point to the scoreboard and let them know he already has.
The wives are not so ecstatic and are eager to go home and watch “The Amazing Race.” I run up to my daughter, who by now smiles with grit in her teeth. Her face resembles a mud clown as she jumps into my arms smelling of sweat and poo.
That’s my girl, a honary member of Team Beer.