Lamentations and Their Relation to Baseball
I suck. My season line at this point must be .025/.200/.025. I got thrown out today, ending a rally, by turning in after running through first base and being called out in a bizarre series of events I’m still confused by, but which meant I got tagged repeatedly and only called out on the third one (I think) while standing on first (I think). I’m like old Rickey Henderson except that in rec league, the umps call such a wide and tall strike zone that I’m regularly run up on called third strikes that Eric Gregg would have let go. So I should hack, right? No, I can’t hack.
I blame softball. After years of softball, I’d developed this swing that had the early Eric Chavez toe-tap (1, 2, 3, stride), big step forward as I put the hurt into the ball.
Doesn’t work in baseball. I’ve finally got my timing to where it’s not terrible, but my legs, hips, shoulders, and head fly all over the place now.. it’s awful. I’ve been playing most of the season without regaining the kind of form I had playing 2-to-a-team baseball on parking lots and pickup games before I took up softball what, seven years ago.
Here’s my point, though — I’m a fairly athletic guy. I’m in good shape, I have good vision. I have a good batting eye, though it doesn’t do me any good. I cannot get my swing back. I’m facing rec league guys, where their best pitcher hits 80 and has a curve. I can’t hit them.
This is why I find Ichiro! amazing. I can’t, for the best of my stubborn efforts, get my swing together. Ichiro! has a swing he uses while running to first, another chopping down, he’s into ball placement… he has a right-handed swing he doesn’t use that is sweeter than any swing I’ve ever taken. I never thought in my life that I would be as good a hitter as Ichiro! is. Even when Ichiro! has had his down years, the defense, crazed hitting, and successful baserunning have made him worth the price of admission, and to see this display he’s putting on now….
I just have to shake my head and smile. I love watching Ichiro! Call him one dimensional, say whatever you have to say. I know it’s difficult to even make contact with pitched baseballs, to the point where the frustration is eating me up, and Ichiro!… I don’t think Ichiro! knows what that is.Like Bonds, Ichiro is a unique talent, and I love seeing him play.
On another note… Spod’s can’t be the only decent batting cage on the Eastside, can it? I used to hit Dave Henderson’s Ballyard when that was around, when I was destroying my baseball swing to play softball (side note: what was I thinking?) but now that that’s gone, what’s a guy to do?
In other “now we have the answer” news, we finally know how to slow down Ichiro — plunk him.
If you have ever wondered “What kind of animal would Derek Zumsteg be?”, we now know the answer.