Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun At Ye Ole Ballpark

When you feel the constant pressure of umpiring Division 1, 2 and 3 NCAA Softball its great to squeeze in a local high school game once in a while. Recently I had a game featuring two local private schools. It was a lower level league as private schools go, so the main ingredient was having fun and not taking things too seriously.

There were plenty of fans in attendance, parking their BMW's and Mercedes near the field so as not to have too far to walk with their picnic baskets. Several showed up in golf carts (I don't know where they came from).

So the game began on a beautiful field of grass (legitimate softball fields have dirt infields). I didn't mind the grass as I didn't have to eat dust for 7 innings as I usually do and the players didn't get too mussed.

The 1st inning set the tone for the rest of the game. The home team allowed 1 run on 3 errors. The visitors then took the field and allowed 7 runs on 6 errors. The fans in their khaki shorts and pink button-down Ralph Lauren Polo shirts were just mildly irritated, which may have been caused by the sun hiding behind the clouds for a few minutes.

Later in the game one of the home team players informed her coach that she had to leave at 5pm for piano lessons. There was a mad rush to readjust the line-up. One of the visitors who had never played softball before took 3 pitches for strikes but refused to leave home plate. She assured my partner behind the plate that her girlfriend told her you get 4 strikes in this game. The home plate umpire disagreed and retired her to the bench.

A runner going to 2nd base with 1 out heard me yell "Out" on a play at 1st and thought I was talking about her, so she started to walk off the field until her coach yelled at her to return to 2nd base. Later a routine fly ball hit to the outfield was misjudged by the fielder, thrown to a cut-off who missed the ball, then when the pitcher finally came up with the ball she threw it over the catcher's head in dead ball territory. I believe several runs scored on this play.

All told there were 22 runs scored and 23 wild pitches thrown. I lost count of the errors. We had a lot of fun at Ye Ole Ballpark today. More fun than the 1-8 Orioles, even though the ability levels seem comparable!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

...On Approaching MEDICARE!

June 7, 2010, a day that will live in Infamy, the United States Government, in their infinite wisdom, tags me with the official title of SENIOR! After contributing to some innocuous category in my paycheck stub for too many years (Medicare Wages), I'm very close to cashing in on the rewards.

I started getting letters in the mail from every healthcare insurance company in the Continental U.S. offering me a unique opportunity to buy into plans that would assist me after Medicare quit paying. How did these companies get my address anyhow?

Should I consider myself old now? I feel pretty good...still swim 1200 yards three times a week...still umpire college and high school softball...still walk 2 miles outside without wheezing. I'm thinking of trying "Just for Men". If I get the gray out and send pictures to the Government maybe they'll create a special category for me..."Senior...but at the top of his game".

So I threw all of those lovely invitations to have corporate help take care of me in my waning years right in the recycling bin. Blue Cross-Blue Shield is my pal. They'll take care of me when I forget where I live.

But right now I'm heading for the "Y" to swim my 1200 yards and get a free cup of coffee that the Y offers to the morning people. Isn't that what Seniors do????