Softball Tourney Week 1

Time to take a break from my streak of political postings and get back to the stuff I know you all care about.

Church Softball buddy! (edit: watch out! this is a long one!)

Saturday morning was the beginning of the tournament.  We actually got the 6 seed out of 9 teams.  There was a 3 way tie for first place.    A nine team double elimination bracket is a little odd.  Kinda similar to the beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Seeds 8 & 9 have to play each other to see who gets to be the 8th team in the winners bracket.

Because of that setup though we got matched up against the 3rd of the three teams tied for first.  I don’t know how he figured out who got to be 1, 2, and 3 but we ended up playing Jim’s team again.  Remember that 6 am game a few weeks ago?  Yeah, those guys again.  This time we had 10 players though.  Always a good thing.

Not that it mattered.  You can’t win a game if you can’t score runs.  But I will get to that in a minute.  First I want to gripe a bit.

I thought I had mentioned this in a previous post, but I just read through them all and I didn’t.  In the past we have always had one of four different umpires call our games.  The ranged in game calling skill from the one guy that was incredible good to the one guy that was, well, he was pretty bad, but he was always at least confident in the calls he made.

This year, we have this woman umpire.  She has got to be the worst umpire in the history of the game.  I am pretty sure it was our first week of playing when we had her call our games the first time.  She let a run go home because, as one of our guys was walking the ball in, she was too chicken to call timeout because the baserunner on second wouldn’t get back to the base.  So while we were looking him back, waiting on her to call timeout, she let th erunner on third cross the plate.  My catcher said she was back there stuttering, “Ti- t- t- tim-”

He looked at her after the runner scored and asked, “Didn’t you call time out?”  She whined, “He wouldn’t go back to the base.”

Come on lady.  You are the umpire.  Call time out.

Our second game this weekend in the tournament had the 2nd best umpire out here and he would call time out forcfully regardless of if the runner was back on the base or not.  When he saw the play was dead, he called it dead.

So back to the terrible woman ump and why I bring her up now.  Our first game was at 8:00 this week, against Jim’s team again as I mentioned.  We had this horrid woman ump calling it.  For the most part she called the game decently.

But there was one play that just got my blood boiling.  Hard hit ground ball that turns into a perfect double play.  Out at second, out at first by at least a step and a half.  “SAFE!” yells the blind umpire.

“WHAT!?!”  This wasn’t just me, it was everyone on the field, including the batter and the first base coach.  I didn’t argue with her because I am just not that kind of guy.  Turns out I should have.  That would have been the third out.  Instead that guy eventually makes it to third base.

The umpire mutters, “Please don’t let him score.”  She then mentions to my catcher that she knows she missed that call.  She thought I dropped it.  I caught it waist high, I have no idea how she missed it, but the next time my shortstop got up to bat, she apologized to him for missing it, claiming she had a bad angle on it.  The guy on third did score, along with one or two more of his teammates.

I went over to Jim and told him I was officially protesting everything after that missed double play, even though I knew it wouldn’t do any good.  “Umpires miss calls all the time,” says Jim.  Yeah, but they don’t immediately admit it to the catcher usually.

YOU’RE THE UMPIRE, CHANGE THE CALL IF YOU KNOW YOU MISSED IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

Anyway, it didn’t matter in the big scheme of things.  They beat us like, 14-1.  Those two or three runs didn’t mean anything in the outcome of the game.

I just wanted to rant about it some more.

On to the next part of my rant.  When we were told what time the games would start, we were told that the loser of our game would probably play at 9 and the winner at 10.  Well, how wrong that was.  Of the nine teams out there, the longest break was 2 hours.  Well, that’s not totally accurate.  Our break was three hours.

Yes, three hours long.  Absolutely rediculous.  There was one team out there that played three games before we got to play our second.  I checked the schedule and even saw that we could have switched our noon game with the game on the same field at 11:00.  I even convinced Jim this would be a good idea.  But no.  He has to please everyone (except me) and when he ran it by the coach of one of the teams playing at 11:00, that guy decided to be a tool and say no.

So frustrating.

But, we had a good time sitting around eating all the free food.  And then we got out for our second game.  Same team we played last week. Pretty much same outcome as last week too. Just not the same blowout. This one went six and a half innings (because we were the home team) and ended with a 5-3 win for us. Low scoring game but lots of fun.

Of course, at least one of the guys on the other team had to try to complain that the inning count was wrong and we had only played 6 innings, but I had a good count on my scorebook and the game was over.

The downside to this win is that we have to go back this coming Saturday and play at 8 am again. The ultra downside is that we are playing the team from week 4 again. You remember, the team with the really annoying pitcher/catcher combo. I hate these guys. I really do. I know that’s bad for a church league, but it’s true.

Before they lost their game this past week, the pitcher was joking with someone about how he is always in a good mood and smiling. Made a crude joke about it being gas. Heh, he wasn’t smiling after his team got beat. Man, I was so happy to see how p.o’ed he was. Serves him right for being a jerk and taking this “non-competitive” league way too seriously.

Anyway. We have to play them. If history has anything to say about it, it’s going to be a short morning. Last year, the second day of the tourney started with an 8am game against these same guys. They killed us.

I hope that doesn’t happen again. Even if it does, we have lived up to our 6 seed. There are only 6 teams left now, so 6th place is the absolute worst we can end up with.

SO wish us luck and offer up a prayer or 700 for us to pull one out over these guys. Actually, first just pray that I can get 10 guys out there. I know I am going to be missing two that I had last time.

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