The pain is not great, but the symbolism is disagreeable

July 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm | Posted in lee, softball | 5 Comments
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I can’t sleep tonight.  I’ve just been laying in bed.  I thought that I would fall asleep easy because I went exercise swimming tonight, and any kind of physical exertion has been exhausting me lately.  By “lately”, I could me the last four years or maybe the last two.  I don’t know for sure, though, because I haven’t been very physically active.

Anyway, I can’t sleep tonight.  I have been wanting to write something for a few weeks now, and since I hate my own blog, I will write here, another blog that I hate.

Something has happened to me lately.  Maybe it has been a gradual thing, maybe it isn’t.  But, I can no longer do athletic things.  Back when I tried out for little league, my coach/neighbor called my mom and told me that I made his team, mainly because I ha(d)ve good hand-eye coordination.  As soon as i found out what that was, I was pretty excited about myself, even though I knew that I mainly made the team because he was my neighbor and a lot of the neighbor kids were on the team.  I don’t really like where this is going, so I will go in another direction.

I can’t catch anymore.  Fielding is my favorite part of baseball, but have become a horrible fielder.  I like to be one of the reliable people on a sports team, but I am starting to realize that I no longer am.  Take last night.  I was at first base for most of the game for the Beekeepers.  I have grown to like first base because it isn’t third base where the balls come at me faster than I have been able handle.  I used to love third base for this reason and because so many balls were hit there.  My stints at third base have yielded no plays made.  Another great thing about 1B is that it isn’t the outfield where I have yet to judge the balls correctly.  A firstbasemen gets to make a lot plays, and most of them aren’t to hard.

Probably my favorite plays to make are easy infield pop-ups.  I don’t know why, they just seem so cool to make.  During yesterday’s game, an easy pop-up was hit to the first base side.  I ran up about 15 feet and called off the pitcher.  I kept my eye on the ball, and put my glove and bare hand up to make the play.  The ball bounced in-then-out of my glove.  Luckily, the baserunner overated me, and didn’t run to the base and we got an easy out.

A few weeks ago, Brian wrote about a catch I made.  I was chasing another fly, this time while I was playing second base.  I read the ball perfectly, and again put both hands up.  The ball completely missed my glove, but landed right in my bare hand.  I was pretty proud of my instincts.  Now I am not so sure.  I also dropped a nice throw from Aaron on what would have been a third out.  Yesterday’s game got me to finally admit that I am not a good fielder anymore.

Actually, I am still not ready to admit it.  I might suck, yes, but I have to other potential excuses:

1) My glove still might not be completely broken in.  I bought it new this year, and though I have molded it into shape, I think it is still too stiff to close properly.  It also probably doesn’t help that I secretly think it is funny to refer to my glove as Mitt Romney.  Stuff like that cracks me up a lot more than I should.  I should probably stop.  (I think I found my solution here: http://www.baseballgloves.com/breakingin/index.html

2) My fielding has digressed as the season has progressed.  About the time fielding seemed to be getting harder, I got new contact lenses that are worse than my previous lenses.  This excuse doesn’t work for yesterday, but for my time in the outfield and third base, it does. 

Or, I suck.

More things:

I like Boozer and I hope he never leaves the Jazz.

I hate that whenever the Jazz draft/sign a white player, Jazz fans are pissed because they think the Jazz are so unathletic.  What about Miles, Brewer, Price, Kirilenko, Millsap, Williams, and Boozer? 

I wouldn’t care if football season never started.

Just because most of the world thinks soccer is the greatest sport doesn’t mean they are right.  I like watching soccer, but basketball, baseball, hockey, and football are more interesting to watch.

those mountains sure look pretty

June 18, 2008 at 6:24 am | Posted in brian, softball | 4 Comments

it’s the hottest day of the year so far. and we’re playing softball. i’m most worried about heat-stroke. or dehydration. the field we play at has only a broken water-fountain. what are they spending our registration fees on? obviously not any kind of park maintenance. but i guess i’ll survive. i just have to bring some water to take to the game. they’re always trying to screw you.

paranoia: i wonder if the broken drinking-fountains have anything to do with the walmart that’s right across the street? that’s were most will end up buying their fluids since you cant even get some water at the park.

our game starts at eight. for the first couple innings, we’ll be looking right into the sun. not all the time, just when we’re batting. all we can do is swing and trust that god will let our contacts be good or great. my problem: i dont believe in god. or i dont believe that god could or would do anything in this circumstance.

this game led to strained relationships

it was a sunny which gave me a headache.
the field was green except for the infield.
the cops came; they’re always hassling everyone.

my sister attended the game. before the game she visited my grandmother who lives in a retirement community. my grandma tried to give my sister all the dirt about which senior citizen is having sex with which senior citizen. how this one lady trades sex for food. how this other guy is having sex with at least three different ladies. that kind of stuff. for some reason, my sister asked my grandma not to tell her about all the old folk’s home gossip. it looks like i’m going to have to visit my grandma if i want the details.

i am slated to bat first and i am nervous. the first game of the season a had a medium-sized panic attack. i’m not sure why. like, worst case scenario: i strike out and/or drop flyballs. big deal, right? i only know 5 people at the game and none of their opinions of me are going to significantly change based on how well i play softball. also, i’m barely competitive and could care less if we ever win a game. so why do i get unbelievably self-conscious playing softball?

so i’m batting lead-off. and we’re batting first. like i mentioned earlier, this makes me nervous. i try breathing techniques and meditation. actually i didnt try that. instead i ask my brothers, who are on the team, what they think about when they’re up to bat:

sam: “i think about hitting the ball and nothing else.”
aaron: “i wonder what the other team thinks of me and what they think i’m going to do during the at bat.”

sports, in general, are like 97% muscle-memory. i made that up, but it seems true. and if it’s true, then the key to sports is not letting your brain get in the way (which may also be the key to life). both my brothers responses seem to speak to this. sam’s “nothing else” is like a negation of thought, while aaron’s focus on the other team’s thought probably works as a distraction. with both of them, they are trying to not think about the mechanics of hitting letting their muscles worry about that stuff. i also use the distraction approach. to calm my nerves while at the plate, i try and think about evolution. so life appeared on this planet a billion years ago or whatever and then through mutation and adaptation i ended up here at this softball field trying to swing this bat at this approaching ball. and that is weird.

the first pitch: the pitcher takes this strange step to his right and throws a kind of side-armed pitch with the hopes of putting the path of the ball directly in front of the sun. i take the pitch. inside, ball one.

second pitch: it’s drifting to the outside of the plate, just where i like it. i swing and put the ball into shallow left center. on my first step to first-base, i slip and fall.

game highlights

if we were the other team, i could talk about all the hits to or over the fence. our team only hits singles. but when we string some singles together, watch out. like in the first inning. single, single, pop out, single, run, single, run, pop out, ground out. we scored two runs our first at bat. and, since we batted first, we were in the lead going into the bottom of the first. 2-0.

this seems more like a play by play than a highlight section.

so highlights:

clint made this pretty awesome catch. a deep fly ball to left center. clint and josh are both racing to the ball. it’s back, back, near the fence. it’s just out of josh’s reach but clint swoops in to make a basket catch. josh, later, almost makes a great over his shoulder catch. unfortunately, he smashes into the fence a half-second after securing the ball and loses control. earlier josh was playing first-base. there’s a hard grounder up the middle. aaron, at shortstop, races to his left and scoops up the grounder, plants and rockets a throw to first. the throw is a little short and to the right. josh stretches and makes the grab. out.

headline: lee makes spectacular catch

not necessarily a barehanded catch, but he did trap the ball between his hand and the outside of his mitt to end the inning.

i think we lost 22 to 5.

check back later in the week to see pictures and video of the game.

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