Monday, July 31, 2006
Our House, Baby, Our House: Buttermilk Softball Week Five
Longer and more time-wasting than Christopher Hitchens discoursing boozily on Mel Gibson's boozy discourse -- the Week Five recap is in the place.
Or maybe not longer. See, while it's nice that Captain Jeff saw my previous recap as "the Infinite Jest" of softball recaps, it's also worth mentioning that Infinite Jest is, by even the most charitable estimations, some hundred pages too long, and comprised in many parts of footnotes. I cannot do footnotes here -- hyperlinks to Scott Stahoviak's baseball reference page notwithstanding -- and I wouldn't if I could. My job is to tell you what happened, with as much extraneous profanity and unnecessary detail (and, if possible, alliteration) as possible. I (above) will, however, probably run long again, here. Even by our usual high standard of pulse pounding, smoking-in-the-outfield action, this Sunday was fairly interesting.
At first it was not interesting in a good way. It was interesting -- in an academic sense, mostly -- in more of a "how did all these random feisty Latin dudes (and one woman) wind up on our field, and how long are they going to keep playing for" way. I'll answer the second part of that question first: forever. Forever ever. They were playing when Jeff arrived at the field around 3:40pm, they were there when B-Milk season debuts Seth Nelson and Colleen Hooper arrived with me around 4. And they were still there -- talking junk, popping up, taking an extended, both-sides break to comb deep right field for either a softball or a contact lens -- when we left after 6. I checked back on Tuesday and they were still playing, slightly hoarser, perhaps a bit exhausted, but showing every indication of being there again this Sunday.
So the eight or so of us who were there by 4:15ish just warmed up. And kept on warming up. Finally our gaze shifted to the other field. You know the one -- it's in right field, got lots of trees, is sometimes home to profanity-laden boyfriend/girlfriend arguments? Yeah. So we went over there, only to find Jonathan -- a random no more and now officially a Buttermilk member in good stead -- along with his girlfriend and brother, taking BP alongside another lonely mini-team. The stage was set for the Buttermilk Softball annual extramural contest, and what Jesse correctly termed our first ever away game.
Luckily for us, we had a good squad -- balanced, deep, generally not-too-badly-hungover -- and were playing what amounted to a bizarro version of ourselves. The skill levels were comparable, but it was clear from the first pitch -- a piece of flaming cheese from your not-humble-when-comparing-pitches-to-fondue correspondent -- that Buttermilk was going to carry the day. Why? Talent, stupid. That's a stupid question. Seriously. Fucking embarrassing.
What kind of talent? Oh, good one, good question. Talent like an infield that read, at game's end: Ciprioni, J. at 3B, Ciprioni, G. at SS, Chehak, J. at 2B and Jonathan's brother Jason at 1B. Talent like a strong-armed OF featuring Seth, Colleen, Jonathan, former Oakland farmhand and resident baditude-farmer Carlos Salazar and ace flychaser/bartender Alex from Buttermilk. The pitching staff was a study in contrasting styles, with me eventually giving way to Jonathan for an inning, then to Anna (who also had a productive turn as my personal catcher, making the gutsy call for the slider that got the last out in an early inning), and then back to Jonathan for the save. In a comparatively low-scoring affair, Buttermilk prevailed 8-3. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the sterling defense in the last inning -- a Ciprioni to Ciprioni 6-5 putout that involved Jeff hanging in on a sliding player from the other team followed by a magnificent 6-4-3 Greg-to-Jesse-to-Jason double play that drew a totally unironic fist pump and "yes!" from your correspondent. Who has seen a few double plays in his day.
Not shown in this recap: the fact that the other team's best player was a girl, and probably as good as anyone who's ever played with us; me getting a line drive off my shin while pitching and not saying "ouch" (almost) until reaching the dugout; Carlos' shorts; unmotivated ragging of Jeff from his own bench on his batting stance and pale calves; me not running hard/well on another play and contributing to my personal blooper reel. Eh. I'll get 'em next week, when we take on D. Original Buttermilk Softball Team. Nice uniforms, but they look a little old. Yeah, I called you old, Ostwalt Huck, Jr.