Sunday, May 12, 2013

Double Header

I saw two baseball games yesterday.
At one, there was a pretty nifty double play turned, and some smart, aggressive baserunning. At the other, there were four runs scored on bases-loaded walks, and the rare double TOOTBLAN.

Of course, the first game I saw was my nephew's 9-10 year old little league squad (he plays for the "Cubs", but we'll let that pass). The second was the Durham Bulls getting pummeled by the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs at Star Wars Night at the DBAP, which featured one inning where the Ironpigs had six baserunners but only managed to score one run. Bulls starter Chris Archer took a line drive off the tauntauns in the third inning (the official scoring says "Cody Overbeck grounds out, pitcher Chris Archer to first baseman Shelley Duncan", which really doesn't capture what happened at all. But in any case Archer was replaced with a couple of soft-tossing relievers who, over the course of the next four innings, opened the floodgates. Darrin Ruf launched one over the Blue Monster in left that clanged off the "don't let the drunk sports bar patrons fall into left field" fence; two years ago it would have been a homer, now it's just a very loud single. And Cody Asche, part of Lehigh Valley's long list of guys named "Cody", put a cherry on top when he dumped a grand slam into right. The guys Durham brought in from the pen generally topped out at 89-90, while the Lehigh Valley relievers got up to 95. It was a forgettable night for the Bulls.
Meanwhile, earlier that afternoon, the kids generally remembered to throw to the cutoff man (when they remembered to throw the ball), generally took the extra base (when they were watching their coaches, instead of the ball), and generally made decent contact (part of the advantage of having a pitching machine on the mound instead of another 9 year old). A couple of kids kept wandering outside the dugout mid-game. Some forgot you could run through first base, while others decided to run through second. There was a lot of forgetting to run the ball in. In the end, the Cubs won (I think), and it was a memorable day for them.
Which, ultimately, proves nothing, except that baseball - and the joy therein - is where you find it.

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