Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Final Wiffleball Update

Wiffleball season has been over for almost two weeks, and I can just now bring myself to write about it.

Setting: For the Wiffleball Championship Series, the team to win 2 out of 3 games is to be declared champion of the Adobe Wiffleball League. Before the game, someone played the national anthem on a trumpet, and then one of the vice-presidents threw out the first pitch. Two guys announced the game over loudspeakers.

Game 1: We won 1-0. I didn't pitch, but I hit a home run.

Game 2: We lost 5-0. I pitched poorly and had a miserable game at the plate, striking out three times. At this point, I would talk about the fascinating mental gynmastics that go on during the course of a game, and how being psyched up can benefit one's play, and how becoming demoralized can lead to poor results, but I am too demoralized to discuss it.

Before the deciding Game 3: I went mountain biking near Mount Rainier with my international friends, Nick, Tony, and Volker. While going down a super steep set of switchbacks that would make a mountain goat pause, I attempted to make one of the switchbacks. I almost had it. Almost. Instead, my front wheel slipped over the edge, I went over the bike headfirst, bounced, and then free fell. This was a real free fall, complete with 32 feet per second squared type of acceleration (not including wind resistance). I'm telling you, this was a "where's my rip cord?" type of free fall. I bounced on loose dirt and slid and ended up about 70 feet down from where I missed the switchback.

The point of the story? I separated my shoulder.*

* In the interest of full disclosure, I actually separated my shoulder the day before when I was crossing a road 50 yards from our hotel, when all of a sudden my tube blew out of my tire on a slant, and I slammed hard to the ground. Let's just say the next day's free fall didn't help my shoulder. M'kay?

Game 3: With a separated shoulder, I could barely swing. One meatball pitch, high and outside just as I like it, looked so fat and sweet that it surprised me when I fouled it off. Why didn't that fly over the rightfield fence like those other ones?

Bases loaded, 2 outs, the other team at the plate. Lazy fly ball to left field. Dropped. End of game. End of season. End of joy.

I can't talk about next year. I can't be proud of our team or of my clutch hitting and pitching during the season. I can only think of falling apart on the mound in game 2 and swinging barely under the meatball pitch in game 3. That ball spins in my mind like the one ring spun in Frodo's mind as he approached Mount Doom.

OK, I'm over it now. We'll get 'em next year. (Whew, that was close. I almost dwelt on the negative.)



  1. I wish I could have been there to witness. That is, I wish I could have been there to see you strike out three times in game two of the wiffleball championship series. That would have been funny. Keep ice on your pitching arm, sport. And, oh, keep your pitching jacket on. Have a great off season and come back strong next year.

    Sorry about your shoulder. Heal fast.

  2. when you come out to pitch, do you spring in from the bullpen or dugout, or do you get a ride in a baseball-shaped golf cart?

  3. I came for the wiffleball story and got a bonus mountain bike story, that's value!

    I have a feeling next year will be the one. (Unless you named your team the Red Socks, then it might be a while.)

  4. Ricky - Thank you for your kind words. If I had to describe you in one word, it would be kindness. Ricky = kindness.

    Dug - No music for the pitcher, but at-bat music blared for each hitter. Mine was a Black Eyed Peas song.

    Kris - You're right about next year. We'll get em.

  5. I didn't realise you had seperated your shoulder - bummer.

    Those two falls were pretty amazing - the cliff fall as close to a near death experience as I ever want to see.