On the Diamond: Walk this way | AspenTimes.com

On the Diamond: Walk this way

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Something didnt feel right. When a Juice player grounded weakly to pitcher Nate Peterson for the final out Monday, securing the Times a 10-5 victory, there was no celebration. Not even the requisite chest bump, awkward male hug or overzealous high five. On June 23, after we upset the Posse, we acted as if the world was our oyster or chicken wing, as it were and celebrated late into the evening. This time around, however, there were no pitchers of beer and Peterson did not spend an hour in front of the jukebox at Zanes spending a days salary on Whitesnake and ABBA tracks. There were no permagrins, no tears shed (except when I got dirt in my eye). There was no drinking a few too many barley pops then taking a bike ride through the Mill Street fountain (not my best idea ever). There was no sleeping in our jerseys. Where was the excitement? Why werent we beaming with pride? I had a reason: I didnt quite feel like myself after eating a Hungry-Man one hour before the first pitch (not my best idea ever). Try rounding third or chasing down a fly ball with a pound of frozen chicken parmagiana and spaghetti in your gut. What was everyone elses excuse? Im sure a few of our players had no idea what the score was. Maybe we were in awe because we thought this day would never come, an understandable notion given our recent string of humbling mercy-rule shellackings. Or maybe we felt that this victory was one we didnt earn. Sure, our defense didnt pee down its leg like in games past except for the inning when our shortstop turned his back to home plate, allowing a run to score (youre better than that, Mr. Keck). Sure, our offense showed signs of life after scoring just four runs in our previous three games. I even had two hits that hasnt happened since my prolific Little League career. But we had some help. A little too much, in fact. The Juices pitcher couldnt have found the strike zone if she had a GPS. It was as if she was doing her best Chuck Knoblauch impersonation. It was spot on. Consequently, we loaded the bases in nearly every inning to the casual observer, it probably looked like we knew what we doing out there. Of our 10 runs, I conservatively estimate six came on base on balls. For once, I felt for the opposition. Thats saying something. Thats not how you want to win. But considering we come out on top about as often as Prairie View A&Ms so-called football team, well take it. And it did help us climb out of last place in the rec softball standings. Thats worth celebrating. Bring on the fountain.

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