Polo shirt, yes. Dark sunglasses that are definitively not my prescription: a thousand times yes (added benefit of these: they turn you into Elana Berkowitz whenever a fly ball is hit to you). But expensive jeans: nah, B. The only thing valuable about those pants -- other than an authentic, league-approved bright yellow paint stain on the crotch -- is the fact that they were given to me by Jonathan Kaminsky. Anyway, after Sunday, I call these my clutch hittin' pants. I will never wear them to softball again.
There's been a lot of talk about Steven The Picked-Up Kid (and a bit of talk about his Metallica t-shirt) and this has led me to do two things. First, I Dub Thee Unforgiven. All of you. Deal with that: you label me, I label you.
Secondly, I have given some thought to our best picked-up Prospect Park randoms and one-off performers. This list does not include Brad -- a stalwart B-Milker who missed all of last season with an injury/starting-to-feel-weird issues, and who will hopefully be back. I have limited it to people I remember. Drop some comments in there if I forgot anyone. Now:
MGR: Old Sparky Anderson Guy who showed up last year and coached third base for one game. I want to say his name was John, but I am pretty sure it was actually Leo Durocher -- possibly his ghost, or possibly his dessicated corpse, armed with all sorts of witty beyond-the-grave barbs about how bad the '04 Mets were. He wore shorts, was old, and had lots of crusty old baseball sayings. I'm fairly certain this man adopted Jeff Ciprioni after the game.
Trainer: Mustachioed Yankees Fan Guy Who Tended To Injured Steven. This guy was wearing gym teacher shorts that revealed just a hint o' balls, and was so authoratative in dealing with Steven's dislocated shoulder that I almost forgot how nauseous said dislocated shoulder made me. I am glad this man arrived, but I am doubly glad that he did not get McGyver on Injured Steven's shoulder. You can't just pop that shit back, no matter how freshly pressed your Yanks t-shirt is. You just can't.
C: Big-Swingin' Q-Train Sam Horn from last year, who came to a game with another pickup whose name I forget. He was a distractable sort who managed to become the only gentleman ever to receive a strikeout in Buttermilk Softball League Play. Eleven slow, meatbally Joel Meyer "circle changes" crossed the plate, and eleven errant Glenn Braggs-y swings followed each about a second after it had crossed the plate. He didn't come back, BUT he did bring a really good bat the one day he was there. I hit well that day. Incidentally, this guy is at catcher because he was so tuned-out in the outfield that he was honestly a risk to his fellow players. Which is important when you look to...
1B: I'm putting Injured Steven here. Good pop at this spot is a necessity, especially when... no, a socket-related "pop" punchline is stupid and also puts me at explicit and grievous karmic risk of dislocating my own shoulder.
2B: Some Random Visiting Boyfriend. There's always one. I can't think of anyone, and anybody can play second base. I do it every week.
3B: Steven. Enough has been said about this kid, I think. He's not Scott Rolen just because he wore skate shoes and outplayed a bunch of rusty MFs in their upper-twenties. And not to be a hater or anything, but there's no way he would've been that good if he had been forced to wear sunglasses he couldn't see through.
SS: Francisco Dinosaurio. This homophobic gadfly showed up during a rain-shortened game last year and promptly made everyone feel really weird. I wasn't there for his elaborate monologue behind the backstop -- I was hitting infield practice to an ten year old who was playing with us while Francisquito was tying in homosexuals, dinosaurs, Freemasons, Anthony Mason and Newsday with some elaborate conspiracy to deprive him of his purity of essence. I was there, though, for his few moments of field generalship in between downpours. I can't say I liked him, but he was more like Carlos Baerga than anyone else who has played with our group. I'd bet any amount of money homeboy wasn't wearing underpants, either.
OF: Three rightfielders? You're goddamn right: all the better for chasing down Scott Snelling's controversial "homers." Playing in foul territory and directly on the foul line are Elana Berkowitz and Kate Reilly, two strikeout victims (I personally shut down Elana, I think) who brought the free-swingin' fuss with no coming-back-for-another-go-round muss. The ladies is champs, seen? Our third and fourth outfield spots are filled by some spunky prospects. Rocking at rover is the really young kid from last year who confessed to Ben that he was really afraid of the ball; holding it down in left (i.e. right-center) is Yung Wun, who was so impressed with my friendliness during the game that he asked me for $5 immediately after the last pitch. That's some hardball, right thurr. You'll notice that Kyle Stirrup-Cleats -- who showed up last season in full hardball regalia (right down to the green stirrups and metal spikes), misplayed a few balls in the outfield like me wearing shades, and then managed to get in a meaty cleating of Joel before fading into the sunset -- is not on the team. Two words on that f-cake: clubhouse poison.