Saturday, June 16, 2007

I Am Joe Girardi


The Ball Breakers played the Dragons and the Fusion today at Cunningham Park in Queens.

Our first game was scheduled for 2 p.m. Since it was in Queens (not a borough with which I'm familiar, I gave myself plenty of extra time, leaving the house at 10:30 a.m. Instead of going with my gut (I-78 to the Holland Tunnel, West Side Highway to the FDR, Brooklyn Bridge to the BQE, BQE to the LIE, and right to Cunningham Park), I decided to see what Google Maps had to offer.


I-78 to I-95/Jersey Turnpike North to the George Washington Bridge, Cross Bronx to the Clearview, was the Google Maps suggestion.

What a disaster.

Getting to the George Washington was awful. For eight miles it was a total parking lot and took me over an hour. I arrived at Cunningham Park at 1:58 p.m., just as we were getting ready to take the field. Thus, I wasn't on the roster for the first game.

Hate that!

The Ball Breakers managed to beat the Dragons without me. (That was bittersweet.)

Our second game wasn't until 5 p.m. As planned, we had a barbeque in the interim, with Anthony bringing his grill and fixin some burgers and franks. I love hot dogs. While we lounged and dined, it was announced that I'd be catching for the second game against the Fusion. Yes! While I was up there--or rather down there--squatting behind the plate, I thought, "I am Joe Girardi!"

Okay. Not that I have The Most Amazing Ass God Ever Gave To A Mortal Man like Joe Girardi possesses, and not that I could at all compete with him in terms of skill, Jorge Posada was the catcher for the Yankees, and Joe was worked into the game to give Posada a break. Now, I've idolized Joe Girardi for years. Okay, I've idolized his ass for years. But still, I was moved by that kinship. And I decided to embrace being a catcher. I will be a really really good catcher. I will be the catcher for the Ball Breakers. I'll give my pitcher a solid target, I'll make the returns, I'll catch pop flies, I'll make the plays at the plate tagging runners out. I will perform!

Today, catching, I got beaten up a bit, too. The ball was coming at me right out of the sun, and several times, I didn't make the catch, the ball hit the plate or the ground and bounced up and hit me. Once on the shin pretty good, and once getting me right in the ear. And it bled a little! I've bled for the Ball Breakers! From my head! I mentioned to Norsky Bear and he said, "Of course, that's what happens to catchers."


Especially catchers like me, who don't wear face masks. Might I get a cauliflour ear? A nice mouse? Stitches in my jaw? A black eye??? Dude! That would totally be too cool for school!

But, I was brought back to earth from these reveries by my two appearances at the plate. My hits were lame! The first time, I barely tapped the ball right to the first baseman, who barely had to extend his toe to hit the plate and get me out. The second time was another not-so-great hit, but at least I got on base and no one was out. Alas, I was out on the force play at second.


And at my second at-bat, I had just taken a big swig of Gator Ade. I set the bottle, damp with condensation down in my lap, and in doing so had a big wet stain on my crotch, looking for all the world like I had just wet my pants. My team mates, of course, were supportive and encouraging: "Oh. Like that's the first time that's happened." "Hey Drew, you future with the team DEPENDS on how you do batting."

Ah well.

Tomorrow, I head back up to NYC for Folsom Street East. If'n you make it there, stop by the table where they New York boys of Leather are selling water between 4 and 6 p.m. and say hello, as I'll be doing my volunteer shift. (I have a special outfit all planned for my Ganymede duties.)

Ah well, if only I had a nice shiner from softball to show off tomorrow.

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