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.
But, I suppose, that is all beside the point—a sentiment stolen from Shaquille O’Neal, the master of this kind of intellectual rope-a-dope: “now stop, think about that / it ain’t about that / it’s about B.I.G., aka Big Shaq”—because a win is a win no matter how well fought. And it’s not like we didn’t do anything to earn it. After getting off to a slow start our offense found its groove in the third, culminating with a three-run home run by Joshua “Shades” Pashman. Four runs was more than enough cushion for our pitcher and captain Stephen “Andrew” Hiltner as he tossed a near-flawless game, the only run scoring after a classic pop-fly mix-up in the fourth. New adman Noah “Scrunchy” Wunsch proved the consummate hustle player, suffering a nasty scrape in an attempt to break up a double play in the fifth. The seven runs we plated in the sixth might have been a bit gratuitous, but hey, whatever, it’s softball.
So, after one game, here we sit at the top of the (totally fake) magazine softball standings, and it’s not at all a bad place to be. The next contest is tonight against those lovable leftist stalwarts at The Nation. Stay tuned for more.