Last night was the LTC Christmas party. For the second year in a row, we have held it at Champions, making me both the lessee and the lessor for the evening. Anyway, as our staff of mostly tennis pros is an active bunch, we have found that it is more fun to get everybody together and play softball & soccer than have a stuffy dinner somewhere (although we have dinner, too).
It was widely reported that at last year's Christmas party my team was unfairly "stacked." Although I would disagree with this contention, the fact that we destroyed the other 3 teams and that I was solely responsible for assembling the rosters could lead some conspiracy-minded individuals to "misinterpret" the situation. Anyway, in order to quell a potential staff mutiny, I made sure that my team was most definitely NOT stacked this year. I even put Nancy on the good team, where she held her own playing the fictional position of "10 feet behind the first baseman." And yes, we lost. Convincingly.
After the main party died down, the hard-core sports enthusiasts on staff stayed and played a guys-only game (while their spouses were forced to stay and watch). This time, the teams were quite even. So, it came down to this: we're the away team and it's the top of the ninth. We're down 1 run with 2 outs and one man on base. Who steps up to bat? Dan. After taking the first pitch, I absolutely rocked one into left field and began my home run trot (OK, I made up a home run trot on the spot since that would be my first home run). Of course, the ball hits the wall about 1 foot below the home run line and instead of making my easy double, I end up with a lolly-gagged single. This is exactly the kind of thing that drives me crazy when I see it in a baseball game, yet here I was the one doing it. I drove in the tying run but was not in scoring position myself. So, the next guy gets up and puts the ball in play to a fielder who promptly makes an error. I make it to third and see that they still don't have control of the ball, no one is covering home, and I would be the go-ahead run. I go for it. Now, those who know me know that although I am quasi-athletic in a general sense, speed has never been a real strength of mine. Sufficed to say, they gain control of the ball, someone covers home and I get tagged out in a bang-bang play at the plate. It goes without saying that the other team scored a run in their half of the inning and we lost the game. Is the loss my fault? Did my 2 base running mistakes cost us an important victory? Does anyone care?
The plus side is that I scored 2 goals and had the game winning assist in the soccer game.
Here's the problem with adult softball. You don't stretch. You don't really warm-up. Then you sprint all out. Then you stop. Then you bend over, either from the back or from the knees, both of which are uncomfortable. Then you throw a heavy ball as hard as you can. Then you sprint again. And you do this for several hours.
On an unrelated note, I can barely walk today.