Thursday, May 17, 2007

Broken In

It's been a .500 week in baseball. Tuesday the boys played like hell, but squeaked out a win. Tonight they played better than ever, but lost by a run. So far we're 4-3.

To end today's game, the home plate umpire made a questionable call on the last play. He's the dad of one of our players. Looks like his boy's going to be riding the pine. We tell the dad that and he laughs.

The personalities are really starting to come out now. That's not always a good thing. The other night Coach P. said, "Alright, we're on our 6th game. I'm going to read the positions once and I expect you to know what position you're at and where it is."

He reads them off. One of our guys comes up. "Coach P., what position am I?"

My friend twitches. "Left center."

"Where's that?" My friend twitches again and points.

The inning starts and Coach P. looks at me. "I think he's fucking with me on purpose."

Tonight, same thing. Same lecture, same theory. Same kid, same result.

"Coach P., what position am I?"

"Ask Coach Snag." Coach P. walks away.

"Coach Snag, am I at second?"

"No."

Where am I?"

"Second."

The kid looks at me, puzzled, trying to think it through as he walks toward second base. Good, that's a start.

That's not all, though. The week started with my losing my glove. Sunday night, the beautiful night under the stars, I walked away without the glove that I've loved and cherished for 15 years. Broken in, just the right size, I left it at the field. Maybe it will show up. I can't sit around and hope, however, and my old high school mitt isn't going to cut it.

I bought a new one yesterday, an Easton made with Kevlar for God's sake. It feels pretty good so far, even if it's going to take a few years to really break it in. But, oh, sweet Lord, what fun it was looking for the missing glove.

"GODDAMNIT, WHERE'S MY GODDAMN GLOVE?!"

The Lovely Bride's gone so it's just me and the boys. They look at me.

"A dollar if any of you find it in the next 3 minutes." They scatter and search, to no avail.

I have to be at the field in 20 minutes and I'm hosed. "Goddamn sonsofbitch fuckers, if I find out who stole my glove I'll rip their stupid face off."

My oldest, who hates letting anyone else uses his stuff offers me his glove, clearly hoping I'll just leave.

"Thanks," I say. "I'll just keep it until I figure out where mine is."

On the way to the game I keep mumbling while my youngest grins in the back seat. "Bastards. Steal my glove. I hope their freaking souls rot in hell. Except God hates me so there's no hell for my enemies. Fuck." Interspersed with even more violent outbursts against drivers who get in my way, mostly inarticulate grunts punctuated with screams. Fortunately my kid's used to it.

We get to the game and I tell Coach P. about my night. He smiles, tells me about his crappy day at work. The game begins and I stop worrying for a while, watching the boys instead, tucking the frustration back inside and telling them, "Nice hit, good swing, great catch" and the game ends and we go out for ice cream again and I buy a new glove and it's game time and the kids have fun and the new glove is just fine.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Who's on first?

Snag said...

Nobody. That's half the problem.

Righteous Bubba said...

"GODDAMNIT, WHERE'S MY GODDAMN GLOVE?!"

Poached in a decoction of pine tar and Big League Chew, scuffed between dirt and cleat, stuffed with vanilla beans and lime, battered in whatever sense you like, then held near a glass of ice-cold vodka.

Vodka serves one.

Pinko Punko said...

I AM FUCKING IN TEARS!

"God hates me so there's no hell for my enemies."

Oh jesus, help me.