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Softball Notes: TPR vs. n+1

June 26, 2013 | by

Photo Credit: Emily Farache

Photo Credit: Emily Farache.

Team   |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10   Total
n+1    |2|0|0|1|0|1|0|0|0|0    4
TPR    |0|0|3|1|0|0|0|0|0|1    5

After a week off due to bad weather, the 2013 Paris Review softball season finally had its second act last Thursday afternoon: a riveting extra-inning victory over friendly rival n+1. Although last season’s meeting resulted in a easy TPR win, these two teams have, historically,  been very competitive, and this year’s game—which took place at our new home field in West Chelsea—was a characteristically tight contest throughout. General notes (linear and tangential), thoughts, and feelings on the game below:

  • n+1 scored first on some hard hits by the top of their lineup, but the damage was mitigated by some stellar TPR outfield defense, which would prove to be a recurring theme.
  • Pitching for our opponents was Marco Roth, the sometimes dominant but always infuriating, screwballin’ n+1 editor and cofounder. He wore a Pier Paolo Pasolini cotton replica T-shirt jersey; Pasolini, Italian poet and filmmaker, was a surprisingly keen softball player, frequently taking breaks during the shooting of Salò—his controversial adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom—to organize a series of lighthearted pickup games with the cast and local schoolchildren.
  • After the first inning, the game fell into a steady rhythm. Our defense remained strong, and with some timely hitting we lurched out of the middle innings one run ahead. Highlights included an inside-the-park home run by Ben “Chaos Mode” Wizner; some slick fielding by second baseman Louisa “Louisa” Thomas; and an escalating series of really great dugout high fives. We gave up the lead in the penultimate regular frame, and the game remained tied at the end of regulation. Now feels like the right time to introduce this man, who, unaffiliated with either team, inexplicably decided to root for n+1, making his allegiance known through constant heckling. Example: when I came up to bat in the sixth he yelled out the schoolyard classic, “Easy out!” (I popped up to third.) Afterward he came to over to congratulate us, and offered to umpire our next game.
  • In the top of the seventh, Chad Harbach, who taught a seminar on the Art of Hitting All Game, smashed a ball to right field that would definitely have been a home run if not for an overhanging tree. Before the start of the game, it had been decided that if this situation arose, the resulting ruling would be a live ball, and, although it was an obvious home run, he and his cohorts displayed their patented Art of Graciousness in accepting the decision. He didn’t score, and the game remained tied.
  • This was not the only close call. Twice in the late innings n+1 hit it deep into center, and both times Robyn “Great Defensive Outfielder” Creswell came up with spectacular catches. Creswell, whose presence last season was spotty (on account of his newly born daughter), had been sorely missed, and was this game’s unanimous MVP.
  • In the bottom of the tenth we finally broke through, winning the game off the bat of captain and associate editor Stephen “Ham Sandwich” Hiltner.
  • Notable debuts: Poet and frequent TPR contributor Rowan Ricardo Phillips, who switch-hit and displayed some nifty glove work; assistant editor Clare Fentress, who played catcher and hit n+1 editor Nikil Saval in the head throwing the ball back to the mound; and TPR’s head of advertising and promotions, Hailey Gates, the most stylish TPR team member since Styron.
  • Kudos to: us, for winning; the sun, for shining; and to n+1’s Keith Gessen, for lending me his glove every inning.

Next up: Harper’s (June 27th , 3:30 P.M., Chelsea Park). 

Cody Wiewandt is The Paris Review’s softball correspondent.

 

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TPR vs. Departures: Season Openers and Citi Bikes

May 31, 2013 | by

Team         |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total
Departures   |0|0|2|0|2|1|0       5
TPR          |0|5|4|2|4|3|       18

Photo by Emily Farache

Photo by Emily Farache

Well, folks: we’re off to a good start. Team Paris Review kicked off its season—and its residency at our new home field—with a comfortable win over the Platinum Card crew from Departures. Unlike the clientele of our vanquished foes, there was very little exclusivity in yesterday’s merry band of Parisian home-run hitters, which included the likes of Robyn “Big Daddy” Creswell, Adam “Watch It Fly” Wilson, Ben “Wisdom” Wizner, and Charlie “Buckets” Stein.

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

Those distracted from the game by the blissful heat of the late-spring afternoon may have noticed the elderly fellow who, having wrested free a Citi Bike from a nearby docking station—and evidently intent on imitating our circling of the bases—began looping around the park, occasionally glancing down at his feet to study the bike’s mechanics. Judging it sound, he exited the park just as we wrapped things up, and headed north on Tenth Avenue. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another gray-haired cyclist, one who’d no doubt approve of both a city full of public bikes and of another season of Paris Review softball.

Next up: Vanity Fair (June 11, 7:00 P.M., Central Park).

 

 

 

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TPR vs. Vanity Fair: The Sense of an Ending (With Pictures!)

July 26, 2012 | by

Team    |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total
TPR     |1|0|0|1|3|2|0     7
VF      |3|0|1|0|0|1|1     6

Last Tuesday marked the end of this summer’s softball season, and The Paris Review went out in style, coming from behind to take a spirited contest from arch nemesis (one of many, surely) Vanity Fair. It was a contentious affair, bookended by two controversial calls: a play at home plate in the first, and a play at first in the bottom half of the seventh. Due to superior oratory skills (and truth), the former went our way, resulting in a TPR run; due to the notion that a team cannot possibly be right twice in the same game, the latter went to Vanity Fair. (It ultimately only provided a brief respite from the inevitable.) Between the spats were many cheers, a few tears, and a lengthy discussion on the virtues of run-on sentences (decidedly none at all).

Instead of prattling on, I now present a gallery of photos, taken and curated by TPR’s own Alyssa Loh.

Before I go, a quick note to my teammates: Hell of a season. I’ll see you when I see you.

The Paris Review: fashionable on the field and off.


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TPR vs. High Times: Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em

July 13, 2012 | by

Team    |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total

TPR     |4|0|0|4|0|0|4     12
HT      |0|2|4|0|0|0|4     10

What a difference a week makes. In the last installment of these notes I detailed Team TPR’s slow descent into mediocrity, a juicy tale rife with last-second losses and clubhouse turmoil. Today, thankfully, I come bearing news of a different color: the color of victory (whatever that is—green?). In what was generally classified as “a bit of an upset” by the national media (and a delicious bit of revenge for last year’s dust-up), David (TPR) felled the brutish Goliath (High Times), armed with nothing more than the competitive spirit and a handful of ringers, including one of Bard baseball’s best—and the former collegiate roommate of now super famous hoopster Jeremy Lin.

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TPR Softball: Failure’s No Success at All

July 5, 2012 | by

Somewhere a Hadada quietly weeps.

It’s been a rough two weeks on the diamond for The Paris Review, culminating in an extra-inning loss to a venerable (cough) Harper’s side—a loss that had the ghost of George Plimpton clucking in disapproval. As the calendar flips to July and a once promising season slowly turns to shit, it has become apparent that we are simply not to be trusted. The talent is there, but it’s mercurial, slave to whim and whimsy. As a team we’ve adapted an identity that is generously enigmatic: although capable of lighting up any softball scoreboard in greater Manhattan, lately it seems that we are just trying to get our jerseys on.

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TPR vs. The Nation; or, The Evening Redness in Lower Manhattan

June 18, 2012 | by

Team    |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total

TPR     |0|0|3|0|0|1|0    4
NAT     |5|0|0|0|4|0|X    9


Within the first minute the slaughter had become general. —Blood Meridian


Themes found in Cormac McCarthy’s grotesque 1985 masterpiece, Blood Meridian, hereby presented in descending order relative to how closely they can be applied to a postgame dissection of last week’s softball game against The Nation:

1. Destruction, Chaos
Blood Meridian is essentially a chronicle of destruction, a hurricane of terrible things like knives and guns and dead babies. This game, while not a massacre of flesh, was nonetheless a massacre (maybe of the human spirit?). From the onset, our side played a sloppy game; a slew of early errors gave The Nation a first-inning lead they would not relinquish. Like in the novel, the slaughter was complete; unlike in the novel, it was mostly self-inflicted.

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