Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Testing the Right Fielder

I play on a church fast-pitch softball team. I'm not all that good, but my teammates have really warmed up since last year, and they seem to like me even if I'm not a team asset. This is a competitive league, so it matters who wins and who loses a game. So it's not wise for me to say or do anything that the opposing team might recognize as a weakness, or else they will try to take advantage of my team's Achilles' heel: me. Nevertheless, it is fairly obvious that I'm a weakness. My teammates give me instructions that more seasoned members of a team would not need; like where to stand, how to swing, and what to do if there is 1 out and a runner on third base. Well, some combination of clues caused the opposing team to figure out, that if possible, they should hit the ball to right field where I may or may not be able to field the ball successfully. The first hit bounced in front of me and I was unable to judge the bounce and so it got behind me. I then grabbed the ball and tripped before throwing it to the cutoff man. Error. I then struck out twice.
My teammates ready themselves for next at bat.

Despite my teammate's patience with me (I was about to call it "eternal patience" but it does run out sometimes), I got angry. That last strikeout was not my fault; the umpire called it a strike when the ball was clearly inside the plate. How dare him!

So I refused to make any further mistakes that game, and I succeeded. The opposing team hit lots of balls my way, and I caught most of them, making several outs. I even fielded a ball and threw it home in time to stop a runner from scoring. I didn't get any hits at the plate but I didn't strike out. Instead, I hit a couple good hits that were caught on the fly by a fast shortstop. My team noticed. TZ said I was in the running for "Most Improved Player" this year. That's somewhat embarrassing but I appreciate the sentiment. Scotty's wife said I was the game MVP. That's pretty cool.

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