It wasn’t the ball that hurt so much, it was the smacking of this ball into the side of my neck. I now have a very fashionable indent of the seams of a softball that I wear like a prison tattoo. I’ve been there man, I’m hood.
Team Beer was fighting for it’s playoff life this last weekend. The softball Gods had decided to throw some adversity our way by giving us a double header day to make it into the playoffs. We only had to win one of these.
The fans showed up, the Laker Girls sent their regrets and Balco reps were everywhere. It was time to play ball.
That’s when I got hit in the side of the neck by a softball. Honestly, how does this happen? It happens because I am a coward that likes to protect my face. Everyone has done this dance at one time or another, so don’t judge.
The ball was hit hard towards second base. This shocked me because how many people can hit a hard ball that way? It’s not natural and I’m pretty sure that the guy that hit it was juiced. The ball took a bad bounce and up it went, straight for the money maker. I’m a handsome man and I do not relish breaking my nose for Men’s Sunday Night D League Softball. My wife stays with me only because of my pretty mug, I’m sure of it.
But there is something in me that will not let me dodge out of the way of a ball. This comes from when I was a kid when the most constant advice you get is to “Stay in front and Knock it down!” It’s a matter of honor. To jump out of the way likes it’s a runaway 18 wheeler would no doubt cause my father to come out of the stands and call me a sissy. I do not want to be a sissy.
So I stayed infront when it took that physics defying bounce. I did not want to. I wanted to curl into the fetal position and cry for mamma. But as I said, I had no choice. At the last minute I realized that my glove was not infront of the ball as I had envisioned in my head. Instead, my glove was playing jacks on the dirt infront of me. I turned my face to the side and Whammo, I have a new birthmark.
And this is the way the day would go for Team Beer.
We tried everything in our collective brains to stop the bleeding, but sadly it was a gusher that no tourniquet could hope to abate. The doctor just looked at us like a dying patient and then went to tell our wives, that I’m so sorry for your loss but I don’t see them making it.
Errors began happening like it was a B-movie production. There were several missed balls in the outfield that normally we catch with no problem. This was usually followed by a faint “Fuck” that could be heard from centerfield. If there were puppies out there, they would have been kicked.
Bad throws were everywhere. Even when we made a play at the plate, which our very nature demands that we do, we were not even close.
Ok, so defense was not our strong suit this day. Let’s try the bats. We even had a cheerleader going, yelling at the top of his lungs at first base. Yes, it was one of our own guys and he sounded mighty gay, but we appreciated the effort.
The bats did us no better as once again we were plagued with pop outs. There is nothing worse than the pop out in softball. It lets you know that, no Delores, you can’t hit a homerun because you are an old bastard. In fact, it’s not even going to come close and barely go over second base. Hang you head in shame, you have received the Scarlet Letter.
Injuries once again gave it’s ugly head as our first baseman is out with a messed up ankle and one of outfielders is out with a knee injury. It’s always a knee injury with this team. We should be sponsored by Johnny’s Knee Brace Supply. They were hurt doing other activities other than softball. This sends our manger into a rage as he clearly states in our contract that we are not allowed to do anything on the outside that would jeopardize our softball playing abilities. So this loss is squarely on their shoulders.
I live for the Sportscenter moment when I’m in the field. I have daydreams about it. I dream that I will make a great play that will land on the top 10 plays of Sportscenter and then, god willing, be nominated for an ESPY. This may be a long shot as our games are not broadcast nor are they even taped to my knowledge, but the dream lives on.
Another shot came to second, toward my backhand. This is it, this is my Sportscenter moment. Could I have moved fast enough to actually get infront of the ball and make a normal play? It’s possible, but I am fat, so I try not to push myself. My deadeye focused on the ball and I stretched out. I watched that thing all the way and had no doubt that I was going to make this play and then gun the man out from my knees. I should have my shoe contract by the end of the week.
But it was not to be. Down I went, a look of determination on my face, and stretched out my glove. The ball hit the heel of my glove and rolled away. The only thing I would be doing from my knees today is laying tile. I know everyone was waiting for a perverted joke there, but sorry, just to obvious.
I got up and dusted the failure off me. I got back to my disgraced position and waited for this nightmare to be over. Sadly, the very next hit was another chopper toward me. However this time instead of my face, it was aiming for my sack of groceries. I make no apologies for what I did next. Anyone who has had a bad hop coming toward their nuts will understand this. I know that I have already procreated, but there is still life in those old boys yet.
I squeezed my legs together like I was 2 year old waiting in line for the bathroom. My head jerked up, my eyes went closed, and I made a whimper. It was disgusting. But I once again stayed infront of the ball. I jerked my arm infront of my jumblies. I will sacrifice any body part to save that one. The general must survive. The ricocheted off my arm, into the outfield but I was just relieved that I wouldn’t need any surgery. I now have a very big bruise on my forearm to go with the one on my neck. I am a god dam human piñata.
And that’s how Teem Bears season ended, with 2 losses and 2 chokes. There will be no Beer in the playoffs, which is another way of saying there is no Santa in Christmas. The children weep and I weep with them.
Maybe our next season, which starts in 2 weeks, will have a different outcome. We probably need to go ahead and talk to that Balco Rep though before he leaves the field.