Baseball Is Simply A Nervous Breakdown Divided Into Nine Innings
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.
~Dave Barry (on the perils of motherhood.)
The muppets have been learning the concept of t-ball over the past several weeks. Or, more accurately, taking a primary-colored plastic bat larger than the small children wielding it, and gently tapping the foam ball from atop its primary-colored perch.
For the past two nights, Destroy has spent hours of his evening with bat and ball. Or asking us to “Hit the bat! Hit the bat!” before fielding the ball. (I may be playing fetch with my son. Either way.) Proportional to attention span of a toddler (slightly shorter than that of a fruit fly), hours of an evening is pretty much akin to the entirety of spring training.
Have you heard about the recent scandal in the Show? Two Bay Area ballplayers got busted for performance enhancing drugs. As someone who once worked in sports marketing, I tend to be of the opinion that professional athletes are adults – so they can do whatever they want.
As a mom, I’m not real pleased with the example they set for impressionable kiddos striving to be big league ballplayers. Especially since we’ve already had a Stream steroid scandal.
Seriously. Two rounds of steroids before they were even born. And countless other formulas and substances to help increase body mass and size.
And it shows.
Kid has an ARM! No joke. Balls, toy cars, produce, small appliances – get hurled across the room with impressive velocity (think the kid at the end of Jerry McGuire). Generally at the head of one’s brother.
“You’re killin’ me smalls…’
So, we decided to take the boys to experience their first ballgame. And it just so happened our good friend was playing in a championship season-ending t-ball game.
Only, in the words of Bill Engvall, t-ball is like baseball; but it’s not.
The coaches were out on the field – directing the whirling dervishes where to go. A large mesh Casey at the Bat target net guarded first base so there would be no unintended consequences with a small person attempting to throw a spherical object at a moving object.
“Hey! Where’d my infielder go?” shouted the coach, before darting toward the dugout in search of pre-K kid who’d gone off to explore greener pastures. Literally.
Perhaps he was interested in the game the third baseman was watching. Or maybe he was just interested in the center fielders pirouetting abilities. (Ball caps had been replaced by an oversized glove as the little sportsman fouetted relentlessly among the dandelions.)
Bystanders, Search and Destroy, had been offered donuts upon arrival. Apparently it was giveaway day at the ballpark. And boy did they put those sticky sweets DOWN.
Normally I would have been concerned by such levels of sugar consumption, however the glaze served to create a suction coating over their tiny bodies. So as the two bleacher-creatures scaled the rickety aluminum scaffolding, they were semi-protected with sticky hands similar to that of a tree frog. (Don’t give them any ideas.)
Of course he ultimately fell.
Destroy, my rotund little 30-pounder, got stuck between the bleacher seats. Stuck. Between. This displeased him. So that was fun. Then we left.
Twenty fun-filled minutes of “baseball.”
Tonight the A’s game was on TV. I asked the boys if they wanted to cuddle and watch some green collar boys get shutdown because they can’t hit and one of their pitchers is suspended due to banned substances (see how I tied this whole post together). Because sometimes, in the eye of the hurricane that my twin boys comprise, you need snuggles to remind you why you’re playing this game.
“BAYBLLLLLL!!!” squealed Destroy.
What followed was a toddler’s literal interpretation of “I’m taking my ball and going home.
Destroy removed the ball from its precarious perch on the tee. He tucked two blue foam bats and one half (toddler) sized yellow plastic bat under his arm. He picked up a backup ball.
And marched across the living room with all his sporting equipment. “No ni-ni,” he declared.
So he played clubhouse manager down the hall (treating the trucks to a Kraft table spread of FISHIES) while I explained the finer points of America’s pastime to Search.
It’s kind of like t-ball. But only not. Of course some three decades later, maybe I’m learning that game too.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to complete my nervous breakdown. It’s like a perfect game.