A Slice of Fried Gold

Beer League

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pretty much our teams uniform, minus the ridiculous yellow pants

I've played baseball pretty much my entire life. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but not only have I always played it, but I also have always been good at it. It just came natural to me, especially pitching and fielding. Later on, after my arm started hurting too bad to pitch anymore, I suddenly learned how to hit and developed big power to go with my slick fielding. I think for those reasons (you know, that I was good), it ended up being my favorite sport growing up.

However, after only intermittently playing softball over the previous 8 years with no baseball attached to it, my skills have regressed greatly, and its been reflected quite a bit this year in the beer league softball team I play on. My buddy Jason recruited me onto it, and while we're 5-2 (we just beat the last undefeated team in our league tonight! yes!) I've been pretty abysmal. I rarely play in the field, I keep popping out, and I have the yips so bad while throwing, you would think someone stretched out Yankees era Chuck Knoblauch and threw him out into the field. I'm a complete wreck.

The weird thing is, I'm convinced the reason why I can't hit and just generally don't play as well anymore is because I just don't care as much anymore. When I was younger, I was well known for yelling at teammates, for getting extremely riled up, and frankly, kind of being a pain to be around while playing baseball. But I kept my intensity up, and that helped me become a better player. Now? I'm mellow, I rarely get excited, and I don't think I've said a negative word to anyone at all. That's got to be it. I just need to start getting in people's faces and being a total ass, and then my skills will return.

Never mind. I actually figured out hitting tonight - it turns out when you are hitting, not only is it important to have a good swing on the ball, but it is also important to swing at good pitches. What a novel idea! This entire season I've been psyching myself out because of the new "start the count at one ball and one strike" rule (it is to speed up games) and swinging at bad pitches for fear of never getting a good one. That's led to a flurry of terrible swings on the ball. However, in my last at bat tonight I took the first pitch (very high) and swung at the second one which was at a lower point while crossing the plate. I drove it deep and it was caught, but it was a great swing on the ball with a lot of power.

I've figured it out!

Don't swing at bad pitches!

Wow. It took me 7 games to figure that out. Twelve year old me would be terribly embarassed of 25 year old me, that's for sure. I guess my theory of needing to be mean may have been a little less sound than I originally imagined.

Hopefully this turns around my season, and I'll keep everyone up to date. I'm really enjoying the season at the very least, but I hate being perceived as the bad player. I'm really good. I swear.


Sam said...

Reminds me of your fantasy team...go c.j. wilson!

David Harper said...

No matter how many name changes my team goes through, I really don't think I will ever escape that first round loss to you where literally the last pitch decided who won that matchup. I hate CJ Wilson so much. I hope he stays on your roster all season and we meet in the playoffs and Wilson causes you to lose to me.

That is the only way we become even.

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