My annual baseball tournament was this past weekend. We played three games on Saturday (won two and tied one), and then one more game Sunday morning, which we lost. The 2-1-1 record put us third in our group, and our first playoff game was Sunday at 11:30. It was a close game, but we didn’t get the bats going enough and we lost by a couple of runs, so we were done. I’m in some pain today, but I managed to get up on time and after my 50-minute commute, even managed to get out of the car without falling on the ground. And I took the stairs up to the third floor; I didn’t wimp out and go to the elevator. And I didn’t even take any Tylenol today (though I did a couple of times yesterday and Saturday). Go me.
Personally, I played OK in the tournament. I hit pretty decent in the first and second games, not so much in the third, and pretty crappy in the last two. Defensively, I did pretty well, except for one play which is still haunting me. (More on that later.) In the second game, I made a pretty awesome over-the-shoulder off-balance catch followed by a fall and roll, though the runner on second tagged and went to third because it took me a second to get up again. In the playoff game, I was part of two separate double plays. (I play right field and right rover, so I’m not involved in double plays all that often.) Early in the game, someone hit one way over my head, I went to get it and threw it in to Gerald who heaved a bullet home, beating the runner by a step. (Edit: Duh, this wasn’t a double play.) Later in the game, another fly came out to shallow right field, and I guess the runner on first didn’t expect me to get to it, but I did. He was halfway between first and second, and I fired it into first and doubled him off.
I caught at least one other fly ball in that game, but the play that is haunting me was a fly ball that I missed. The batter was left-handed, and had hit very deep to right field before, so I was playing pretty deep. He hit one a mile in the air, and I originally thought it was going deep again. I told myself “This ball is not going over my head”, so I backed up a couple of steps. Then I realized that it wasn’t going deep at all and I was way too far back. I sprinted in to get to it, but those first few steps backwards cost me and I missed it by a foot. I was fully outstretched when I reached for it, so I fell and rolled again, but immediately got up and went for the ball. Luckily, Matt the centre fielder (who has unbelievable range) was right there and backed me up. The batter got to either second or third, and when the next batter hit a single up the middle, he scored, so I put that run squarely on my own shoulders. That was the only run they scored that inning, and we lost by more than one run, so it’s not like that play singlehandedly cost us the game, but I am still angry at myself for blowing what should have been a completely routine pop fly.
So baseball is over for another year, and now I’m in full Mats Sundin mode about baseball next year. Do I continue playing ball next year, or do I “retire” from softball and do something else athletic once a week (eg. hit the driving range, or maybe even go to an actual golf course) or maybe dedicate one night a week to two hours of uninterrupted guitar playing? Or do I just stop playing ball and have some extra free time which will likely be eaten up by common household things like laundry? Lemme tell ya, the laundry thing is pretty tempting, but I think I’m gonna need some more time to decide.