After the jump, a recap of our last two softball games, against High Times and The Nation.
TPR v. HIGH TIMES
Team |1|2|3|4|5|6|7| Total TPR |1|0|0|1|0|2|0| 4 HT |5|3|2|3|3|2|x| 18
Much has been made of the High Times phenomenon. To those outside the high-pressure world of magazine-league softball coaching, their dominance of the sport seems like a punchline, something to be mentioned while scoffing “yeah right” and holding an imaginary joint to one’s lips. But among those who have given their lives over to getting ten men and women (we add an extra outfielder in short center) in fighting form and ready to take the field, it’s no laughing matter. The Bonghitters (sic) are a force to be feared, and hated.
Somewhere in the bottom of the fifth, when our team was down sixteen to two, I thought of the ending of The Bad News Bears, when the Bears go up against the league champions, the Yankees, and the moment when the coach of the Yankees smacks his young son for throwing a wild pitch. (Roger Ebert called the movie “an unblinking, scathing look at competition in American society” in his 1976 review.) The Bears see this sorry spectacle and realize that the Yankees have sold their souls in order to become a winning machine. Now, I’m not saying the players for High Times beat their children (I have no evidence of that one way or the other), but I did feel like our team reached an epiphany in defeat, one best summed up in the Wikipedia description of the closing seconds of that classic movie: “After narrowly losing the game, [coach] Buttermaker gives the team free rein of his beer cooler, and they spray it all over each other. Although they did not win the championship, they have the satisfaction of trying, knowing that winning is not so important.”
TPR v. THE NATION
Team |1|2|3|4|5|6|7| Total TPR |4|0|4|4|1|0|0| 13 NAT |0|0|2|3|0|1|0| 6
A week later and everything had changed. The Bad News Bears seemed like so much feel-good,