Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth and Softball!

Metallica kicks fucking ass!

I know, I know, I said I would update the Pirates vs. Ninjas thing yesterday or today, but I stayed at work from 8am to 8pm today. I could have tried to update from work, but what I've already written out is here on my laptop, not on the internet.

So, I guess there was a pretty big concert on 7/7/07 that I didn't read much about called Live Earth. Youtube has quite a few videos of the shows in London, Tokyo, and New York (those are the only three places I know of). London had some stellar, blockbuster names play, including Metallica, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Beastie Boys to name a few. I think Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, Alicia Keys and U2 played in New York. The premise of the concert I think was just being smart about the Earth we live on, recycling and using less fuel and whatnot--great cause and great music.

Balls, checked just now and it looks like the videos have already been removed. Awwwwwwwwww, Peaches!

So yeah, I worked from 8am to 6:30pm today with a half-hour break for lunch. Then I stayed until 8pm watching the Home Run Derby on ESPN. I got invited to go play softball with Gina's softball team, which also included Marty, Michelle, and Tara from Tahoe Fracture. I could have left work at 6:30pm and chilled at home for an hour or so, but I had to be at the softball field at 8:30pm, and it was just a mile from work, so I stuck around late. The derby pumped me up for softball, anyways!

Softball was a blast, and it was the first time I've played since Junior or Senior year of college intramurals. I think softball was the only championship I ever won in intramurals, playing on literally dozens of different basketball teams (we must have finished 2nd ten times in basketball). I even lost the ultimate frisbee championship game (because we couldn't field a team for the final game--we would have schooled them).

I was a bit rusty, and we had 12 people, so Coach Gina and I sat out the first two innings while we were out in the field. Sitting out, and the Tecate beer Gina gave me as a consolation for sitting out, helped ease my nerves a bit. Gina put me batting 2nd in the order to compensate for my sitting out, which I was a bit nervous about.

Back when I played baseball, I was a pretty good fielder, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn door. Our team was in the field first, and Marty was pitching. I could tell from his attire that he plays a bit of softball away from work. He had the baseball bag with bats and softballs. He was wearing baseball pants with a batting glove hanging out of the butt-pocket. And I'm pretty sure he had stirrups on. To make a long story short, he walked in four runs in the top-half of the 1st inning, then yanked himself as pitcher. Mark came in to relieve Marty, and I felt like there should be music blaring (like they do at all the Major League games when the relief pitcher trots in from the outfield). On Mark's first pitch, the guy lines it right back to him, and he tosses the dude out at first to end the inning--nice!

We're down a quick 0-4, and Allyson, a very big newbie to the game of softball, is leading off. She whiffs a few times, then trickles a grounder back to the pitcher for the first out of the inning. I'm up next, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same thing Allyson did, or hit a little dink pop-fly to the infield. I take the first few pitches and then swing at an eye-high pitch--my wheel-house! I zip a grounder right up the middle, for a pretty nice base-hit. It was far enough away from the pitcher that he couldn't take a stab at it, but it was hit hard enough that the shortstop, who was shading towards 3rd base, couldn't even make a play on it.

I couldn't believe it, I got a hit! Gina was up next, and grounded it to 2nd base, who threw it to the short-stop for the force-out on me--while Gina prevented the double-play by making it to 1st just in the nick of time. Marty launched one as the next batter, and Gina scored all the way from first base to get us on the board!

Not much eventful happened until the top of the third inning, when I got to go in on defense. I chose left-left field (we had four out-fielders). That inning, two balls were hit to me, and I ended up catching both of them! The third out was a line-drive to Tara at 2nd base, and she made a leaping grab to end the inning. It was a great inning, because the two fly-outs to me I completely mis-read, but I was close enough to stretch waaaay above my head and to the right to make the catch both times. I looked like a complete doofus, but I got the outs! The fact that Tara had to make a big stretch for hers made the inning complete :)

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, we made a little run, and I got up to bat with men on 2nd and 3rd, and only one out. I waited for my pitch, and on the fourth or fifth pitch of the at-bat, I grooved a shot into shallow-right field and made it to 2nd base for the stand-up double--driving in two runs! 2-for-2 with 2 RBI's??? If you had told me that before the game, I would have laughed you out of sight. We were still down 7-4, but the game was within reach.

With two outs and nobody on in the top of the 4th, a big guy on their team hit a sort of soft line drive right down the line towards me, and I raced to grab it in the air--I got to the ball in time, but it bounced off my glove and onto the ground. Instead of kicking myself over the error, I picked it up quick and fired it into 2nd base, where Tara grabbed it out of the air, spun around, and tagged the guy out trying to stretch my error into a double! No more error for me!! Woot!

My next at-bat came in the bottom of the 5th, and again I had two people on, but this time on first and second, with two outs--a much more difficult situation. I had found gaps my last two times up, while waiting for a good pitch... but this time the first pitch looked extra-juicy, so I wailed at it. I crushed the ball pretty good--easily my longest, prettiest hit of the night, but it went straight at their left-fielder, who caught the ball and our little rally died out. The score was still 7-4 bad guys.

The game was pretty uneventful from there on. I got a few grounders that made it through the infield, but no heroic plays or anymore at-bats. I ended the game with 3 put-outs, and I went 2-3 with 2 RBIs. Not too shabby! Hopefully, I'll get to play a few more games with them. They were a really fun team to play with, and there was talk of a hot-tub party at Tara's place after the game. She's actually house-sitting for Dr. Bannar this week--so that would have been freaking awesome, but ah well--hopefully he's out of town for two weeks! :)

I promise the Pirates vs. Ninja update tomorrow by early afternoon. Schaubs, Willy, Tyler and Marc have all responded, so everything is a go!

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