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TPR vs. NYM: Bittersweet Victory

July 22, 2011 | by

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.

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