"from what i saw, jason you are a poor sport. Very unprofessional. Stay classy!"
--Anonymous post on last week's softball blog
This was obviously aimed at me for something that happened this past week and it's true. The Avery Eye Care team came in with all its eggs in one basket-- beat Mid-Michigan MRI-- our old nemesis. We didn't. It was close out of the gate and we had an early lead until the inevitable big inning. Defense broke down a little and they hit it where we weren't and put up a number as we fell in 7 innings. I actually have no idea what the score was, because I was ready to quit at that point.
Trying to start the rally that never came
There were some bright spots on defense and at the plate though as we hit it pretty solid. I was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch a triple, but it got a run home. I was safe, but the ball beat me so the ump made the safe call. More on him in a moment. Proctor was able to make two putouts from right center, getting a runner at 2nd both times and LZ and I grabbed some hot shots at 3B and SS.
But for the second week in a row, we had to overcome numerous bad calls. I don't begrudge the ump, because I know him and like him, but he doesn't put himself in a good position to see the plays and thus ends up not seeing that a runner is safe at first or if the tag was made at 2nd. Last week, he punched me out on a 5-foot high pitch. For you non-softballer, a pitch has to be between 6-12 feet or it's illegal. If a pitch is illegal an ump calls it while the pitch is on the way. He didn't and I thought he was going to, but instead he called it a strike. That may have lit the fuse. Fast forward to this week and more poor calls against a team dead last and winless.
It carried over to the second game against the first-place team who was good. The play that above post is likely referring to came in the middle of a big inning where they took the lead for good. Playing short, Brian put the tag on a guy who slid past the bag. He called him safe and Brian reached back and tagged him again-- because he was off the bag. Safe.
Me: COME ON, BLUE! HE'S A HALF A FOOT OFF THE BAG!
Ump: (With the tone my mom had during most of my tantrums growing up) Jaaaasoooon.
With that, I slammed my glove down in frustration. Definitely poor sportsmanship. But you know what, sometimes you can only take so many bad calls! We finally got one our way, when a guy on the other team was safe by two and a half steps and was called out. He almost fainted when he turned around to learn he was out. Welcome to our nightmare.
Lost in my antics was a pretty good effort by our guys. LZ and I were again solid in the field, making some nice pickups-- although I played first this game. Brian ran a few down at SS and Chris and Proctor, who had their hands full in the OF, made some nice plays. Z had some huge hits at the plate along with Shelley and Nicole. But Brian and Chris were the show at the plate. Brian began with a grounder down the 3rd base line that he turned into a double... then a triple... and then a home run-- by outrunning each of the other team's throws. To say this guy runs fast is like saying Bernie Madoff was a little shady. Later in the game, he drilled one over someone's head and easily beat it home. Gervat added a homer of his own as we stayed in the game.
Gervat connects for a homer in game 2
Brian trying to catch his breath after racing around the bases
In the end, we fell 15-9. I'd like to think if everything broke our way, we might have won, but that's being incredibly optimistic. The good news is there just one week left. One week left to get our first fall ball win.
LZ after rolling around int he dirt to make it look like she played hard!