David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Tag: Softball

Why I Love Turning 60

60. Today I am 60. Six months ago I was freaking the frick out about turning 60.  My grandfather  had been dead of black lung disease for decades before he could turn 60.  Tupac was dead 35 years before he could reach the big Six Oh.  It seemed like most of my life was behind me, that I should be planning my funeral and writing my obituary instead of my next book, shopping for adult diapers and boner medicine instead of buying a new pair of skinny jeans.

I’m a softball addict.  The first step is admitting you have a problem.  In January a bunch of my softball nutjob friends rent out the soccer dome and start practicing for the upcoming season.  We play Friday morning 9 AM.  Of course at that hour it’s mostly old retired softball codgers, coots and coffin-dodgers.  I took my turn hitting, and as is my wont, I whacked the ball around pretty good.  When I finished, a bunch of ancient softball zombies stampeded toward me.  Well, more tottered than stampeded – you could hear the metallic hips and knees clicking, clanking and clunking as they got closer.  They all wanted to know if there was any chance I was turning 60 this year.  I confessed that I was.  One after the other the softball geezers tried to make a compelling case for why I should play on their team.  They warned me that all the other captains of all the other teams were a bunch of one-foot-in-the-grave asswipe dirtbags.  Suddenly I realized.  I was the hot spring chicken studmuffin being feverishly recruited for Over-60 softball.  Instantly my world changed.  Instead of thinking about my funeral I was contemplating how I was going to dominate these old bastards, put my foot on their turkey wattle necks, smash their pacemakers and crush the life out of them.  When you’re a softball addict, it gets no better than that.

It dawned on me that apart from wonky knee, my body is in great working order.  I weigh the same as I did when I entered college a hundred years ago.  I achieve wood without taking a pill.  I’m no longer a slave to my penis.  It’s now who’s a slave to me.  Or rather, we work together with mutual respect and affection.  I have a brilliant, lovely, talented, sexy wife, who for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, loves and adores me.  I have a brilliant, lovely, talented, hysterically funny, slime-loving, fidget-spinning nine-year-old daughter for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, loves and adores me.  But more than that, I feel a calmness, a peace, an enjoyment of life that I’ve never had.  I don’t feel like I have to rush around everywhere.  I can say No to people who invite me to stupid stuff I don’t want to go to.  I have work that feeds my mind and soul.  There’s always great food to eat.  I have a house with a mancave hooked up to a giant TV where I can watch every movie or TV show ever made. 

For reasons still unknown to me, when I was a teenager, I decided I’d like to live to be 120.  Suddenly that seemed possible.  In which case, I’m only halfway through.  Imagine what I could do with my newfound peace and alleged wisdom in the next 60 years.  One of my life goals is to be the fastest 100-year-old on the planet.  Suddenly that too seemed possible.  Yes, in our youth-obsessed culture, sometimes I do feel invisible.  But I don’t care anymore.  For most of my life I constantly compared myself to others.  Naturally, being a rabid PTSD survivor, I always ended up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop.  There was always someone smarter, more handsome, more sexy, more accomplished, more successful, just plain better.  At 60 I find myself comparing myself to me.  Am I the best person I can be?  Am I making the world a better place?  Am I helping out people less fortunate than myself?  Am I being a great dad?  A great husband?  A great American?  A great citizen of the world?  But perhaps most importantly, a great softball player.

And that’s why I love turning 60. 

David Henry Sterry

David Henry Sterry












Titans Euthanize Glen Ridge with Wild Wacky Walk-off Win

titans 7-16

Titans Euthanize Glen Ridge with Wild Wacky Walk-off

On a day conclusively proving that global warming is VERY real, the battered, undermanned and poorly-dressed Titans gathered to take on a Glen Ridge team they had strip naked and publicly flogged without mercy the week before.  40 minutes before first pitch, while sucking down my pregame meal of a raw egg, a large brightly colored lightning bolt appeared in my left I and I suddenly felt fuzzy clumsy logy muddled befuddled discombobulated and disorientated, as an insane pain racked my brain.  MIGRAINE.  For those of you never suffered a migraine, it’s like Lucifer’s sticks his white hot cock in your earhole and fucks your brain with the violent furious anger that comes with being the Lord of Darkness.  No way I could pitch.  It’s really a simple mathematical equation.


I saw the Concussion movie.  I sure as hell don’t want to end up drooling into a cup playing with myself next to Jim McMahon and Earl Campbell.  Especially over an old man Over-30 softball game.  My wife threatened to cut off my balls if I played.  No way was I playing, nevermind pitching.  Famous last words.

Eight minutes before first pitch we had eight players.  Including me, with a lightning bolt was pulsating/radiating in my left eye, pain making me its bitch, and so loopy I feel like I’m going to fall off my face any moment.  Forfeit.  The whole season down the drain.  Couldn’t even field a full team for the fucking PLAYOFFS?  That pissed me off.  Just then Phil-Dor strolled up like the Ghost of Playoffs Past and as he did, the lightning bolt disappeared.  Suddenly I see you again.  I was still clumsy as a 12-year-old Appalachian boy trying to make out for the first time with his sister.  But I decided I’d take my chances that I could stop my wife from hacking off my testicles, and I took the mound.  What the hell?  Worst case scenario, I get my head split open, my brains ooze out on the pitcher’s mound, and I die with my gloves and cleats on.

Just as the Titans took the field, lo and behold David Joseph and his strained-sprained-pulled-tweaked-fuckedup groin came hobbling onto the field.  The only place he could play was catcher.  This will figure prominently in our narrative.  And now the Titans were 10.

To my delight and amazement I was able to throw strikes at will.  They hit a few balls hard (many of them were turned into outs), but they hit a bunch of lazy flies and weak grounders.  Defensive Shout-outs go out to RTH, who was once again in the Death Zone of the Bermuda Triangle which is left-field at Upper Mountain between 9 AM and noon.  In the middle of the game, a massive flyball was skied high toward him.  I saw him pick up the ball off the bat.  Then I saw the palms-out I’m-fucked moment when he lost the ball in the sun.  Next was the squinting-while-seeing-giant-sunspot face.  Then he went into a squatting position and held out his glove and meat-hand to create a large basket where he thought the ball might fall.  The ball landed exactly in his basket.  He made it look very dramatic by juggling it several times, but then he squeezed it tight.  I have a memory of Maceranus sprinting like a velociraptor into the wilderness of left-center field and grabbing a howitzer shot, but that may be faulty memory at work.  I know for a solid fact that YouTube Davis made two splenderiffic snags of wicked-ass scorchers and turned them with the style and grace of a black middle-aged Fred Astaire into Easy Outs.  Ironically the softest ball hit to him had some loony kooky English on it and literally spun out of his glove and hid behind his foot.  By the time he did a Where’s-Waldo? search for it, the runner was standing on first base.  Grink had a spectacular day at shortstop, from the first play of the game right through the last out, at one point snagging a sizzling shot out of the air, then very cleverly dropping the ball to try and turn a double play.  And that’s the story were sticking to.  And then there was D-Jo, who pulled off not one but two web-gems.  The first occurred at a very tight moment in the game, they had just scored, a guy was on third, the ball came in hot and wild from the outfield toward the first baseline, about 10 feet from home plate.  I was still strangely disorientated so I was kind of standing outside my body’s the ball was going past it in slow-motion.  That I realized I should probably try and grab the ball.  I saw D-Jo coming out from behind the plate to get the ball.  Then he saw me and limped back toward the plate.  I dove and grabbed the ball, shoveling it backhand toward the plate as I landed.  The runner came barreling in full speed and D-Jo laid a righteous tag on the infidel heathen trying to score.  OUT!  Inning over.  Drop the microphone.  In the top of the sixth, when they’d already scored four runs, the same runner tried to score from second on a single.  This time I was back among the living and functioning as the cutoff man.  The ball flew in from the straight and true.  I turned and threw a strike to David.  The runner was caught halfway between home and third.  D-Jo limped him back towards third.  Textbook – exactly how they teach you in the instructional video.  He faked the throw.  The runner stopped.  David lurched a few feet forward.  The guy took off towards third.  David faked another throw.  Textbook.  The runner stopped – then made a mad dash back towards third base.  D-Jo threw himself balls-out, totally gave up the body (such as it is) and laid a heroic tag on the runner.  OUT!  Inning over.  Drop mic once again.

Offensively we came very close to having a good game.  But we suffered from Rallyus Interruptus.  12 runners left on base in seven innings.  Maceranus (3-4 w/ walk, 2 runs scored) opened the game with a ringing single. RTH (3-5, 3 RBIs, 3 runs scored), Bag O’ Hits (3-4, 2 RBIs) and Bus Stop Herrigal (3-4) follows suit (although in fairness – Bus Stop’s single was in fact the towering flyball the got sucked up into the sun and plopped back down into the Bermuda Triangle, with their left fielder shielding his eyes and covering his head).  But we left the bases loaded and only scored three runs.  Woulda/shoulda/coulda been at least 5.  Philly D (3-4 with a ‘uuuuuuge double leading off the sixth), Maceranus, Mishmasher (3-5 with two wicked shots right at people) and RTH led off the second inning by reaching base safely.  Next three guys made outs.  Including Bus Stop, who struck out swinging on a pitch that landed 5 feet in front of home.  Afterwards he was heard muttering, “That’s the first time I’ve done that in 20 years.”  Bullshit, says I.  Given how old the fucker is I say it’s probably been at least 40 years.  5-1. Woulda/shoulda/coulda been 10-1.   Fifth inning, Bag O’, Bus Stop and Grink opened up single-single-single.  Next three guys made outs.  At the end of five, it’s 6-1. Woulda/shoulda/coulda been 15-1.  Which is different in every conceivable way than 6-1.  And of course, top of the sixth, they hit some bloopers that fell, they hit a couple of line drives, we gave them a couple of outs, and when the dust finally settled, we were up 6-5.  When, honestly, we should’ve already had our foot on their throat and been crushing their windpipe.  Bottom of the sixth, that’s when Phil led off with his artfully struck double down the left field line, and hitting being contagious, we started hitting again.  We managed to put up a 3-spot, but again woulda/shoulda/coulda been 5 or 6.

So we went into the last inning up 9-6.  That’s when it all fell apart.  I was beyond exhaustipated.  I walked two guys in the same inning.  I walked three batters this whole year.  A ball was hit back to me, and I checked the runner on third base to make sure he didn’t go home.  Sadly, there was no runner at third base. We threw to the wrong base. (I have a distinct memory of P-Dor making a great fake on a flyball, so it looked like he was going to catch it, when in fact it dropped in front of him.  The runner at first barely left the base, and I heard myself screaming over and over like an escapee from the mental hospital for baseball players who had mental breakdowns, “THROW TO 2nd BASE, 2nd BASE, 2nd BASE!” while Dorian airmailed the ball 20 feet over third base).  We dropped some balls.  We missed grounders.  Lots of brainfarting.  But that’s when D-Jo made his monumental defensive play, and we entered the bottom of the seventh tied 9-9.

There was massive confusion about who should lead off the last inning.  I was so out of it I had no idea.  First I was told I was leading off.  Then I was told Phil was leading off.  Then all of a sudden Phil was leading off.  Their bench objected vehemently, and in fact one of the player’s wives meticulously keeps the books for them.  I still have no idea what the hell happened.  But Phil led off the inning.  Not that it mattered honestly, because their pitcher walked the first two batters.  Walking the first two batters in the bottom of the last inning when the score tied is right at the top of that list of things you should never do in a softball game.  And trust me, it’s not easy to walk Andrew Macarenus, you really have to work at it.  Mish mashed a single.  I held Phil at third.  Thank God, because he would’ve been thrown out by 20 feet.  So now, up comes RTH.  Bases loaded.  Last inning.  Score tied.  Exactly one of those moments you make up with your kids in the backyard playing with your friends.  And sure enough, RTH slugged a majestic moon shot that flew high and handsome, over the fence, and did a cannonball in the pool.  Okay, actually he dribbled the ball to middle, but still, it was absolutely a bona fide walk-off, and there was much exuberant celebration among the Titans.

And so the Titans lived to fuck play another day.  I did not give my life for the team.  By the time we won the game, my migraine was gone.  Although when the picture was posted, some friends said I did look eerily like America’s favorite mentally-challenged Slow Person, Forrest Gump.  Semifinals Sunday.  Sadly I will be in New Mexico at a Crack Conference, RTH will be in Miami Beach at a Tequila Convention and Andrew Mac will be in Ho-Ho-Kus at an Erotic Auto-Asphyxiation Seminar, so we will not be in attendance.  Even though our bodies we doing other things in other places, we will be with you in spirit.  See you in two weeks at the championship.

BONUS CONTENT: Bases loaded.  First-inning.  I’m up in the count 3-1.  Pitch lands 2 inches inside.  This is not a matter of opinion.  This is not a matter of conjecture.  This is not a subjective statement.  You can literally see in the dirt where the ball landed 2 inches inside.  I start to throw my back aside and saunter to first base, exalting in the fact that, in the midst of a malwaring migraine, I just got an RBI without lifting the bat off my shoulders.  The umpire[1] calls the pitch a strike.  Remember, I’m dazed, confused and disorientated.  I look down at where the pitch landed.  I’m stunned.  I looked up at the umpire, my face beaming incredulity.  So he goes all Clint Eastwood on me and says, “You say another word, I’ll toss you.”  The crazy thing being, of course, that I ain’t said a word.  Immediately I hear the nine voices of my teammates screaming: “SHUT THE FUCK!”  Or words to that effect.  I continued to not say anything, and I did not get myself tossed.  Later I apologized, telling the umpire that I was confused because I had a migraine.  His response: “You’re giving me a migraine.”  This is a man who should NOT be umpiring anywhere anytime in this or any other galaxy in perpetuity.

[1] This is the same bozo who exterminated RTH couple of weeks ago for reasons that are still unclear.

Murdering Zombies & Getting Screwed by American Hardware

david softball 7-19-15 4My heart is dark but light. The devil is screaming in me but the angels are singing so beautiful. The beast feeds up on me and I feed upon the beast. It was exhilarating exhausting and excruciating to watch yin battle yang – good go toe-to-toe with evil – triumph do battle with tragedy in a cage match to the death. As a team we went from world beaters to ass clowns in the twinkle of an eye. We were Einstein’s of softball one moment and village idiots the next. We never said die and then we were dead. And in the end, I must say, I have rarely felt more alive

On to the game.  It was a glorious fall day. Let’s play 3! I thought, full of cockeyed optimism that would eventually be crushed on the rocks of reality.  Let’s start from the beginning, which seems about a month ago even though it only happened this morning. We came out of the gates with our hair on fire. The Zombies didn’t record an out until we’d scored 8 runs. One hit after the other, bada bing bada boom all over the park. After 2 innings we were up 11-0 and it looked like the Zombies balloon had been pricked, their sails had the wind sucked out of them, and they had a lost their undead erections.

And, (on the mound anyway) I was channeling Babe Ruth, whose jersey I was proudly donnning. I was thrown the big high strikes, making Zombies hit ineffectual little pop ups and impotent dribblers.  And on the Dark Side, I struck out swinging.  Let me say that again. I. Struck. Out. Swinging.  I’ve been playing softball 5 times longer than my daughter has been alive, & I have never struck out swinging. That’s the good and the bad.  All you have to do is look at me to get the ugly.

Even when the Zombies did manage to hit a ball hard, the defense kept coming up big over and over again.  Eric had a big game at the plate, 3-4 with 3 ribbies.  & he did a remarkable impersonation of Cespedes in the Series, kneeing a ball gloriously in the hinterlands of the outfield. Gary was here there and everywhere, snagging everything like a hungry human venus fly trap. When he wasn’t going 4-4 hitting and coming a homer away from hitting for the cycle. And of course inevitably one ball, possibly the easiest chance he had all day, clanged off his Michelangelovian hands like they had transformed into frying pans. Final score: 15-7. And it wasn’t even nearly that close.

The semi-final was epic. It was opera. It was the Game of Thrones, minus the dragons and guys having their heads chopped off. As fast as we jumped out the first game, that’s how slow we jumped out the second game. Through three innings we scored one run. We scored eight times that many runs before we even made an out in the Zombie game. And honestly, there assholic ball-gargling pitcher wasn’t even that good. He walked 4 guys. And after five innings we were down 11-3. And after I hit my obligatory feeble grounder to third base for the first out, we promptly went on a tear, culminating in Gary’s grand slam homerun, the second home run he hit in consecutive innings. In fact he had two home runs and two walks in the second game. Dark Side: a routine grounder went right under his glove. I must say, in Gary’s defense of his defense, he was playing with incredible back pain. And has been all season. I don’t even know how he did what he did. 6-6 with two walks? Are you fucking kidding me? So after six innings, we were down by one run. Facing elimination. Naturally we scored a run. Rob Davis, who had a clutch double and a single in the fifth and sixth inning, became the next victim of the Dark Side. There was a play at second base, and the opponent interfered with him attempting to go to third. So Rob, thinking he would get third base given to him, started walking towards third base. But in fact the umpire didn’t see any interference, and he was tagged out, ending what would’ve been the last inning in regulation, instead of standing on second base as the winning run. So the game went to extra innings. They hit some balls very hard. They hit a couple of bloopers that found holes. And suddenly they had scored four runs. It seemed our magical run was over. And yet, it was not. Andrew M, who was one double away from the cycle in the last game, smacked a home run, and it was game on, culminating in Glenn hitting a wacky little dinker down the left field line that cleared the bases. We’d scored four runs. Game still on. Then a moment I was particularly proud of. Top of the second extra inning, they scored one run, and had runners on second and third. There was much debate about whether to intentionally walk the batter. But I felt in my heart I could get him. Sure enough, I got him to hit my pitch, the angels sang, all we have to do was score one run to tie, two runs to win. But alas, it was not to be.

A couple of shout outs: Joey Bag O Hits was playing with a broken toe, he was two for three with a sacrifice fly in the first game, and he busted his ass to first on one leg. Tracy made an absolutely astonishing diving catch in the outfield, it was a miracle on the order of loaves and fishes. Raj was 3-3 with a walk in the first game. Andrew M was 6-8 and caught everything even remotely close to him. Gary made an incredible over the shoulder catch and managed to somehow survive being slammed into by the locomotive that was Eric steaming in from left field. Steve was 2-3 with two RBIs and a triple in the first game. Peter was 5-7 while looking like he just climbed out of bed. But in the end, we were a penny short, and a minute late. Just one more hit, or one less error, a one less walk. Granted I only walked one guy, but as Joey said to me, “You walk a guy you always scores.” I walked a guy, he scored. So while I am gutted, I also am so proud to have played in that game with our team, we just never stopped, took body blow after body blow, and just kept punching back. We were relentless. It was such a riveting ending to a season, extra innings, comebacks, letdowns, pop flies dropped, grand slams hit. It had everything. Except maybe dragons and people having their heads chopped off.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank everybody for a fantastic fall season. It’s so fun to play with our Livingston brothers. With everybody. We finished first in the regular season, and we came within a pubic hair of going to the championship. I hope the winter is kind to all, and that everyone on the team gets laid at least once before the New Year. Well, that’s my two cents, and with inflation, I owe you one.


Suadade on the Diamond

photo(1)Suadade. It’s a Brazilian word which roughly translated means: a profound melancholy mixed with a deep euphoria. Ever since the last out on Sunday that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. Yes, the object of this is to win, but it’s really too feel the joy of life, the misery of life, to be out on a hot summer day and commune with men. To play. & I’ve been playing organized all since I was eight years old. That’s 50 years. This was one of my most satisfying you seasons. To come from where we started and win eight games in a row, in all kinds of ways, with defense, with baserunning, with pitching, with hitting, it was a fantastic ride, and before I go any further I would like to thank all you men who made it possible. It has been an honor and a privilege willto go to battle with you rogues and gentlemen. Now let’s get down to particulars. One of the strangest things about Sunday’s game, to me, was the fact that we played with such relentless shittiness, and only lost by two runs. Through five completed innings we had five hits. No matter how you do the math that’s one hit per inning. In slow pitch softball against a pitcher who, although he appears to be a very nice fellow, let’s face it, he’s more belly-itcher than Clayton Kershaw. Through five innings we scored 3 runs. Even as I write this it seems impossible with the talent that we have in this team that we could only score 3 runs through five innings. In slow pitch fucking softball! Granted, we did hit some balls at their guys, but we also popped up miserably and grounded out weekly with shocking regularity. & to be fair, we must give the devil his due, they made some plays. And they had some balls. By the way, their big bruiser lashed a line drive down the right field line, and I don’t know you guys could see it, but the chalk flew like LeBron was doing his pregame ritual, it literally could not have been more obvious. At that point I thought, Well, this is destiny, where the chosen team, this is a portend, a symbol of our rise to the top of the mountain, we will soon be champions. The best laid plans of mice and men. And then when you factor in how much difficulty we were having catching and throwing the ball, well, that’s a potent cocktail guaranteed to make one drunk with failure. But there were rays of sunshine in the dark storm of helpless hitlessness. Barry was 3-3, with a huge hit in the sixth inning that knocked in two runs. Peter was, what else, 3-3 while looking like he was in his jammies and hadn’t had his morning cup of coffee. And the old pro Steve Mish Masher was 4-4 just raked the ball all day. He also demonstrated incredible acumen, skill, and hustle, as he always does, just when we needed it most. Through sheer will, he turned a routine single into a double by taking an extra base, and when he did they threw the ball away and he got all the way to third. It was just the sort of wake-up call that the moribund zombie-like Craters needed. And for as badly as we played in the field, apart from two innings we only allowed four runs. Against a bunch of mashers like they have, that’s great. Naturally I keep going over in my head all the different things I could’ve done that would’ve won us the game. One of their Big Hitters whacked a hot shot right up the middle, I swear it’s like the ball went right through me, and yet I couldn’t get a glove on it. I always make that play. On Sunday I didn’t. If I make that play 2 runs don’t score. Then we end up tied after seven innings. And a play that for me was a symbol of our day. Hard hit grounder up the middle. I leapt like an old gray cat instinctively rolling and diving, my wife said it looked like I was 57 again, I was ready to throw the guy out at first and be a hero. One problem. The ball trickled off the end of my glove. If I’d just left the ball alone Jason could’ve fielded the ball quite easily. If we just gotten one more timely hit. & on & on & on. My mother, who was an immigrant from the old country, had a great expression: If ifs & ands were pots & pans, beggars would be kings. Marinate on that. But one of the things I love about this team that we never threw in the towel, bloodied and beaten as we were. There was always a feeling that we could get the thing going again. I love that. I’ve played on so many teams that would fall behind and just kind of give up, consciously or unconsciously. Sure enough, in the last inning things got very interesting, they started throwing the ball around, we started hitting, and I was thinking, if we could just get one more guy on base, that would bring Joey Bag O Hits to the plate, and the way this season was going, he’ll hit a grand slam and we’ll win, because we are the team of destiny. Needless to say, it was not to be. After Grink put himself out of his misery and ended the game, Joey turned to me and said he had been imagining that exact scenario, he come to bat with the bases loaded grand slam, walk-off. Idiots think alike. And by the way, Jason, we love you, and we will always love you. It’s amazing to think that we mercied the Maniacs, who look like the best team in the league. We beat the Overlookers twice I believe. I really like how evenly matched all these teams are. On Any Given Sunday, right? Parity has finally hit Montclair ball!

As I look back on this season I see Gelman smoking ball after ball after ball, it would be monotonous if it wasn’t so wonderful. I see Meranus raging in from deep in the outfield like a Jewish Dick Butkus and laying out to make yet another bullish yet balletic diving catch. I see Rob Davis grinding out ABs, playing all over the field, and wiggling his butt, sometimes in my dreams, which, I’ll be honest is more than a little disturbing. I see Glenn gritting his teeth in utter agony and still making a spectacular play at second base when we really needed it: Fuck you Pain, I will not be your bitch! I see Barry playing second base shortstop third-base, & yakking a grass cutter down the third base line in the playoffs with the game on the line, balling-up big time. I see Ryan launching not one but two balls into the pool Splish Splash! & I hear him racing in from the outfield, heaving a world-class grunt as he snags another ball and breaks another heart. I see Dave striking out, getting a ticket, and then hitting a Titanic shot into the stratosphere while his kids reminded him of just how much he sucks. I see Mish with that whole surreal almost Dada-esque pre-AB Ritual, pumping the bat, lifting the leg up and smashing it back down, hoisting the hands up by his head high, coiled like a cobra about to strike, taking a couple of little quick Joe Namath stuttersteps and then BAM! the little yellow ball is punished. I see sleepy-eyed Peter raking all day every day, ho-hum I am just rip another shot over the shortstop’s head and trot on down to first base, that I think I’ll have a little nap. I see Jason reaching out like Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards, the scientific genius who can stretch himself indefinitely, snag a hotshot liner & nab the guy at second, a spectacular double play that changes the entire game in an instant. I see Hip hip Jorge! racing like a runaway train around third-base and throwing himself face first across home with absolutely no regard for his body, or what’s left of it anyway. I see Tim channeling his inner Mark McGuire and launching a missile, throwing out a guy at second base from the outfield, giving out tremendous amounts of shit, and taking tremendous amounts of shit like a real man. I see Mike Madman Buchanan fire his cannon of a right arm, unleash his sweet The Natural swing, and take off from first base on a suicide mission that left him looking like an extra on The Walking Dead. I see CJ teaching his children how to hold their nose in the international symbol for: STINK! after Ryan popped out to third: so very important to teach the children how to express their disdain & disgust, they are, after all, our future. I see Phil filling in at shortstop and pulling the old Phantom tag play on some unsuspecting shnook of a mook of a jamoke. I see Junior smacking a walk-off dinger, and racing around the bases like his hair and his house were both on fire, getting pummeled with congratulations and looking like he just won the lottery. I see Raj stroking balls all over the diamond, everywhere they ain’t, like a very dark Wee Willy Keeler. I see myself being a raging dickhead only a few times, instead of a few times every game, which I consider a major triumph. I see Joey getting another Bag O Hits, when he’s not being my mate in battery, my better half, keeping me calm, pumping me up, making me better. And that, as they say is that. Another season has come, and it is gone, and I am so very alive even as I am one step closer to death. Suadade.

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