Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zin Your Face

My life is upside down again. I was sort of chased out of my lobby office by several little league teams. It's not that they aren't the cutest bunch of kids, but my work space has been violated by food crumbs, sticky tables, and noise. There is nothing wrong with any of those things but I am worried about the computer since I don't back anything up (yeah...I know...major faux pas). So, now I am relegated to the meeting room adjacent to the laundry room. I guess tomorrow I will be on the steps by the pool and by Friday, I will be typing on the highway. And so it on the road.

Last night, the team played their last exhibition game against another marginal team. The goal of these preseason games is to see how the players are going to gel as a team. I dropped Buddy off early and returned to the hotel for a personal happy hour. While I was relaxing with a cup of wine (only plastic in the room) and cheddar goldfish, he texted me and told me to follow the draft online for him to see if any of his friends or foes were drafted. Gotcha...follow the draft...really? During my 'happy hour'? (Side note...I found a bottle of pinot noir called "Zin Your Face" in the supermarket and had to try it....not bad....).

Back to the draft, Buddy has a number of friends who are very good and ready to be drafted. Therefore, he was very interested in finding out the results. The MLB draft takes place over three days, so we were in day 2. Before he left for the game, I would hear him say...."That guy? I struck him out!" "Him? He popped up on me..." and so on. There were 2 shows in the room yesterday...the draft and his commentary which were equally compelling. Buddy has a new team mate who was expected to be drafted, so much so, that he skipped last night's game to sit by the phone and wait for a call, which never came (ouch). Perhaps his issue was that he had been on three college teams in three years with a final grade point average of 0.6. That's right...just a shade over "F".

So it could have the best fast ball in the country, but I guess they are also looking for commitment and some functional gray matter in the brain.

As I watched the draft, he texted me again and said that he was not going to play (again). I still had to go to the field to pick him up so I took my time getting there thinking that I would arrive in the 6th inning....wrong....I got there with 8 innings to go. They started late and there was a very long first inning. Therefore, I knew that we were in for a long night. It was hot and muggy and the game was so-so. However, during the 6th inning change over, the team had "Bullpen Boogie." BB is when the pitchers emerge from their bullpen with a rose or carnation, hand it to a woman or girl in the stands and they dance with them for a minute or two. Shades of humiliation for the guys. And so.....6th inning.....who comes out of the bullpen with a beautiful rose, big grin on his face and gritted teeth. "thank you, young man...." I said as a rose was presented to me. He turned and ran back to his post. Two of the pitchers did dance for a bit gaining big cheers from the crowd....not my guy....he ran as fast as he could to get out of sight....Actually, BB woke me up from my thoughts and daydreams and I began to watch the game again. During the 8th inning, the opposing team began a rally and was closing in. With two outs and two runners on base, there was a call from the bullpen...a tall kids runs out. I look up and barely recognize that it is Buddy! we the game....he is introduced as Buddy from his college and there is a warm applause by the 8 people left in the stands. He warms up and is ready to go. The batter that he is facing is perhaps 5'8" and maybe 150 pounds wet. The opposing player looked just a tad bit concerned....pitch...ball one....pitch....Buddy hits the batter on the hand and bat....therefore it was a strike (note...the kid walks away from the plate and has agony on his face after being struck by the ball) pitch...inside corner of the plate...strike....pitch...ball...the count is pitch, the kid pops up to shortstop. Inning over...Buddy is out of game. That's right...5 pitches.... I am glad that I did not blink during his performance. After the game, Buddy mentioned that once he saw the kid was upset by the hit, he was going to continue to throw inside to continue his a way, he was saying..."In your face..." or perhaps it was "Zin your face...."

The first game is on Saturday evening in Kentucky. That's right....Kentucky. I have never been there before, so I am interested in attending this one. The ballpark is two hours away from the apartment. It is time to gather my supplies...lucky sneakers, camera, bug spray, iPod, comfortable lawn chair, gum, granola bars, and Skittles (naturally).

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