Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Take Me Out to the Ball Game?
I may not be a Bible scholar, but I know one thing for certain about the Old Testament: There was no softball being played in the Garden of Eden.
Co-Ed softball has to be a creation of Ol' Scratch himself, because there's no way harmony can exist between a husband and wife playing on a softball team together.
For the past four years, my wife and I have played Co-Ed City League Softball. Actually, it might be a stretch calling it a "Softball League." We actually play in the C-League which, if I've figured this out right, falls in line accordingly:
3.) A bunch of 12-year-old immigrants playing stickball
4.) Helen Keller trying to swat flies
5.) Monkeys picking lice off each other
That's right. We play in possibly THE most uncompetitve league of all time. But that doesn't stop us from getting 10-run ruled by McDermott's Lawn Care every year - and they have a guy named Corky batting fourth.
To give you an idea of the kind of wunderkinds you're dealing with in C-League, here's an example from last night's game: Our first baseman's wife was at bat. (This same girl in her first at-bat this season asked the umpire, "ummm...excuse me, referree, or judge, or whatever you're called - how many scores is it worth if I hit the ball in the air?") Anyway, last night she steps into the batter's box, and while the first pitch is on the way, our first baseman yells, "LET'S GO HOT STUFF!" to her.
The pitch went above 10-feet high, making it an illegal pitch. The umpire yelled,"Illegal" to indicate the pitch didn't count. Our first baseman, however, thought that the "Illegal" call was in reference to him calling his wife "Hot Stuff," and proceeded to run onto the field in a rage to argue with the umpire that he can call his wife "Hot Stuff" whenever he wants. The umpire was confused at the outburst, and we had to drag our first baseman off the field, while explaining that it is perfectly legal for him to have a pet name for his wife.
Needless to say, it was an awkward scene for everyone involved.
That's one thing about Co-Ed softball - there's never a lack of excitement. Two years ago our team got in a bench clearing brawl that ended with one of the Chambers brothers breaking the nose of an opposing player. It escalated quickly. The other Chambers brother may or may not have called a guy "Chubby" which led to the whole ordeal. What made it worse was that, being C-League co-ed softball, there was about 20 crying kids watching while their parents brawled on the field.
In our four years of softball, we have had four couples from our teams get divorced. I don't believe this is a coincidence. Softball brings out the worst in couples. If I play Men's League, I have no problem yelling at the guy playing center field to scoot back because he is too fat and slow to chase down a ball that goes over his head. I will yell this to him in front of everyone. He doesn't care, and I don't feel like I've said anything uncalled for. We are still friends back in the dugout.
When I play Co-Ed, on the other hand, the mere mention of telling my wife that she needs to scoot in, move back, choke-up, or put her mitt on the other hand somehow leads to a fight about me not helping around the house enough. Then she doesn't speak to me for the rest of the game, and all of the other wives on the team give me the evil eye like I've done something terrible.
But when it comes down to it, it's a lot more fun getting into marriage-counseling-inducing fights on the softball field than it is watching another re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond on a perfect summer night.