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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

That guy sitting by himself in the metal bleachers behind home plate at the softball field tonight? That was me. My nephews play in a big-time slow-pitch league, and they're good. They hit, they field, they run like crazy. And tonight their team won, 34-8. That's what kind of a big-time league they play in.

Okay, so it wasn't poetry in motion. It wasn't exactly the highest plane of athletic achievement. Later in the game the team started to play down to the level of its meager competition. Otherwise the score might have been 40-0. Both Eric and David had multiple-hit games and scored numerous runs. In a five-inning game, they were up five times (and Eric had five extra-base hits). They both made plays in the field, too. Eric tagged and scored from third on a foul pop-up that David hit to the catcher, turning an out into the shortest sacrifice fly I've ever seen.

They were having too much fun to suit the other team, I think. It's hard not to get a little giddy (not to mention cocky) when you're playing that much better. I think you start to take for granted the notion that you're going to keep hitting and keep scoring runs. But they weren't rude or unsportsmanlike about it. In fact, it was players on the other side who lost their sense of humor and started acting as if they wanted to quit.

My response (which I said out loud but not within their earshot): If you don't like getting beat, play better. If you want the batter to swing, throw strikes. Geez Louise, it's not that complicated. Try bending over for a ground ball and maybe it won't go under your glove every time. Gimme a break with your attitude.

25 September 2004

The oak tree and beyond.

Anyway, it was fun (for me). Everyone else in the family was busy with something, so I sat there and cheered by myself. It got dark and cold by the time it was over, but I came prepared with a warm jacket. For some reason, every field my nephews have ever played on, from the time they started T-ball back in the last century, has been an icebox. Growing up going to games at Candlestick Park, I don't mind the chill. It's part of the game, I think.

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These must-win games are sweet torture to watch. The Giants began their season-ending six-game road trip tonight in San Diego, facing the team that has beaten them more times than any other team this year. Both teams still have hopes to make it to the postseason, but the Giants have the better chance. Once again, they got no help from the useless Rockies, who led the Dodgers from the top of the first until the bottom of the ninth before giving up five runs and losing, 5-4. But the Giants kept their own chances alive with a 7-5 win tonight. Now they have to do it five more times. It'll be hard to watch, but I'll be there to the end.

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Well you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air,
But will you keep on building higher 'til there's no more room up there?