July 26, 2012 | by Cody Wiewandt
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.
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July 13, 2012 | by Cody Wiewandt
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.
July 5, 2012 | by Cody Wiewandt
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.
June 18, 2012 | by Cody Wiewandt
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.
June 14, 2012 | by Cody Wiewandt
Team |1|2|3|4|5|6|7 Total TPR |0|0|4|0|0|7|X 11 n+1 |0|0|0|1|0|0|0 1
Last Monday afternoon two literary magazines played a softball game. As you can see by the above scoreboard, Team Paris Review won handily. The short version: we played quite well—hitting sharp singles and putting the fun in fundamentals and whatnot—while n+1 was ... not at their best. Whether it was due to the absence of baseball’s most notorious novelist, Chad Harbach, or an off day on the mound by noted scoundrel Marco Roth, “the best goddamn literary magazine in America” (—Mary Karr) lacked its usual vigor and fortitude. Digging deep into the archives, it appears this is a new development: one of the most heartbreaking defeats in TPR softball history came two years ago against this very squad. Our victory, while certainly a boon for all things moral and just, failed to properly quench our thirst for vengeance, leaving us instead with a numb, hollow “meh” feeling, a sensation that, I would imagine, is akin to eating a piece of cake that is neither chocolate nor made out of ice cream.
July 22, 2011 | by Cody Wiewandt
Team |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9 Total TPR |5|2|2|4|2|6|0|0|1 22 NYM |1|6|2|0|0|0|4|0|0 13
A preface: on Saturday morning we played The Wall Street Journal, and in classic capitalist fashion they brought their own umpire. Suffice it to say we lost, although not that badly. (13-8 sounds about right.) We can’t all be Wendi Deng. For our sake and yours, let’s move on to Monday’s game against New York.
Without our lovable leader Stephen Andrew Hiltner (away on official summer business) the duties of captain fell to me, which only meant making sure we had enough people at the game. This proved harder than it seemed. (A few of our regulars were out of town.) With the help of a few ringers, though, I managed to assemble the greatest softball team this side of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant squad of ’92. New York managed to stay close for a few innings, but there was no chance they could keep pace with our top-to-bottom offensive juggernaut. There weren’t any lucky bounces or close calls—we hit everything hard. The usual suspects were up to their old tricks (“Sonny” Jim Rutman hit a laser off the scoreboard for an automatic home run), and the new blood didn’t disappoint (props to Tom “Jeopardy!” Nissley and to someone known in my notes only as “The Ringer”). The only blemish on the game was when I tripped rounding third base, falling flat on my face, in what was surely the highlight of the day for the other team.
Up 21–9 in the top of the seventh inning, we assumed New York would be eager to call it a day. It was a pleasant surprise when they insisted we play a full nine. We cruised through the last few innings, aided by a dominant pitching performance from Marco “The Barber” Roth. Former deputy editor David Wallace-Wells was conspicuously absent (perhaps he was afraid to face his formidable former colleagues). As the game ended, the rain—which had held off until then—began to fall in a most unpoetic fashion. A few of us retired to a nearby tavern where we sipped whiskey and considered the Oxford comma into the wee hours of the morning.
In our last six games we’ve outscored our opponents by twenty-seven runs, yet we’ve won only three times. This particular win is bittersweet, both a validation of our talent and a reminder of what could have been.