On the Diamond: There’s still time
ASPEN The anticipation was palpable. The excitement of a new season and a fresh start abounded Monday in the moments before the start of the rec league softball season.The pang of last year’s losing streak (I stopped counting when it reached double digits) was a distant memory. And, for the first time since I can remember, we had more than two players at the field before game time – a monumental feat in itself. The clash of the media outlets began auspiciously after the Times pulled ahead of Plum TV in the bottom of the first after pushing across two runs. And then? We showed our true colors – and true lack of athletic prowess. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for three days to explain our lamentable performance.Maybe we were distracted by opposing pitcher David Cook’s bulging arms (if you see the Aspen Daily News publisher, make sure you compliment him on his cutoff T-shirt) or his elaborate leg tattoo. His long home run didn’t help much either. Maybe running out of beer in the bottom of the second was a bad omen – and one of the many examples of coach Tim Kurnos’ egregious mismanagement. He rewarded Rick Carroll (by my account the best Times recruit in years), who started off the game with two hits and some sparkling defense at third, by making him pick splinters out of his ass for the last four innings. And Kurnos was conspicuously absent during much of the third inning; he contends that he was looking for a bathroom, but I have reason to believe he was canoodling with the opposition. One thing’s for certain: He wasn’t making a beer run or doing anything that could possibly be mistaken for real coaching. Did I mention he throws like a girl?Maybe I’m to blame. I do take these games too seriously – I almost killed two of my teammates in the span of 30 minutes. On one occasion, I noticed a player rounding third as I charged a ground ball in shallow center. Without hesitation, I executed a crow hop that would’ve made Tom Emanski proud and uncorked a bullet directly toward catcher and copy editor Marta Darby. Darby, who stands no more than 5-foot-4 and confessed to me earlier that she’s “not good at ball sports,” let my throw dent the backstop without doing so much as raising her glove. If she had, she may have lost an appendage. Or, more likely, maybe we’re just bad. Ben Affleck-in-“Gigli” bad. I figured Monday’s game was our best chance all summer to notch a win; we lost by 11. Plum turned a double play just to rub it in. I’m already counting the days until the Aug. 14 rematch.We have 11 games to turn things around. All I ask is that the rest of the league take it easy on us – and maybe lend us a few cold ones.
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