Sunday, April 22, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Can you hear it?  Listen closely!  That crunching sound is coming from the skin on my arms, legs, forehead and nose crackling and blistering due to over exposure to the hot sun of Spokane.  Actually, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but for the first time in about 7 or 8 years I now have a little bit of color.  The weather today was sunny and the temperature, for the first time it seems since the last ice age, reached 80 degrees.  Taking advantage of the situation our church softball team...the St. John's Lutheran Geriatrics...took to the field for a doubleheader.

Since our team manager was dispatched by our government this week to the fly the friendly skies over Afghanistan I found myself in the position of the interim coach.  That's a really good thing in that I now make out the lineups, so it is very easy for me to make sure that I don't have to play.  I just stand there and tell everybody what to do, which is the job that my wife Kay has had for about the past 30 years.  I kind of like it!  Our first game began at 1:30pm.  Game-time temperature was 76.934572 degrees.  We were pitted against Pilgrim Lutheran Church, new to the League this season, whom we had beaten in the season opening tournament a week ago.  Due to my incredible direction we found ourselves in the lead by 8 after the first inning, and by 17 (17-0) at the end of two.  In the top of the 3rd we gave up a run, crud! and then only managed 3 in the bottom half of the frame.  Holding our worthy opponents scoreless in the top of the 4th the game was called in accordance to the rules at 20 to 1 after three and a half innings.  I found myself undefeated as the manager of the team.

Due to the short duration of our first game I had ample time to compose the proper line-up for game two, in which we were to take on another first year team in the League...Redeemer Lutheran of Spokane Valley.  This was going to be a much bigger challenge as Redeemer has somewhere near a million members from which to build a team.  When they took the field they looked like giants!  After an inning we found ourselves down by three runs, and it was 4-0...to the negative side after two.  That was about the time that my managerial expertise kicked in once again.  It had to be that I put three players in the game that were 13 years of age or younger that inspired our team and totally confused our worthy opponents.  In the third and fourth innings we came up with 9 runs to take a 9-7 lead.  Redeemer got a couple of runs in the top of the fifth, but then we hung 6 more on them before the time limit on the game ran out to win 15-9.  Now my managerial record stands at 2-0.  That's where things are in the regular season, and for the year the St. John's Geriatrics now stand at 4 wins and just one loss...a .800 winning percentage!  Due to the success of our somewhat younger players...those we still have several years ahead of them before they'll have to shave...we may have to consider changing the team name.  Following our success on the field it was time for a little fellowship over hot wings and beer at the Swinging Doors bar and grill on the city's north side.  If you go there make sure that you have Roxanne wait on you.  She does a great job!  Leave her a nice healthy tip.

Upon returning home from our triumphant conquest it was time to hit the porch for the first time this spring...hopefully there will be many more occasions to come.  Now it's time to head for the pillow to prepare for another doubleheader.  This one involves a tennis racquet.  At 8:00am I will be playing against my really really old group, and then at 9:30 I will hit the court with the really old group, my regular posse.  I should have an advantage as they'll likely be blinded by my bright red glow!

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