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Iced coffee.

Nectar of the gods.

That is all.

charlie_brownIn response to the post below, numerous fellow port-swillers have written in to ask, “Say, Tom, how is the softball season going?”

Well, as you ask,  I have to report that with one game left to go in the regular season, Team Robbo has only managed to amass a record of 3-8-1.  Believe it or not, we’re not actually in last place in our division.  In fact, we play the last place team tomorrow night, and I hope we will be able to go into the playoffs next week on a high note.

Our most recent loss was last night, and I drove home bubbling in a mix of frustration and guilt.  Nobody’s really blown us out this season.  Indeed, most of the losses can be pinned to one or two plays where we should have got the easy out and didn’t, and last night was no exception, with a bases-loaded two-out dink back to our pitcher that should have been a gimme force at home going kablooey.  As my role model for all this would say, “Good grief!”

This frustrates me because turning just a couple of these plays would have altered our record radically.  At the same time, I feel guilty about it because I’m the manager and I can’t help wondering whether I should have leaned on the gels a little harder.  Oh, well.  Welcome to the Bigs, meat.  It’ll be very interesting to see what kind of feedback I get from the parent evaluations.

One bright note about last night (and indeed, the past couple of weeks) is the play of the eldest gel, who has developed something of a taste and talent for the catcher’s spot.  At this level, the position is no sinecure, what with the Wild Thing-quality of the pitching, and the gel has done wonderfully snagging, knocking down and trapping errant pitches, not to mention hustling back to scoop up passed balls.  Also, Mrs. R’s parents happen to be passing through town at the moment and the gel’s grandfather came out to watch the game.  Thus, it was doubly gratifying for me when she even picked off a runner trying to steal third.

Anyhoo, we’re now in the process of registering for fall ball.  I’d like to keep on coaching, but the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to have somebody else with more experience managing the team.  I’ve enjoyed this season tremendously, but I’m not sure how much of a service I’m doing the gels trying to handle things myself.

I’m not a doctor or anything, but I am reasonably sure that I’ve gone and torn my rotator cuff.  Let’s have a look at the symptoms:

Chronic tear

  • Occurs more often in a person’s dominant arm – Check.
  • More commonly found among men older than 40 years – Check.
  • Pain usually worse at night and interferes with sleepWell, no.  But I usually sleep on my back.
  • Worsening pain followed by gradual weakness – Check.
  • Decrease in ability to move the arm, especially out to the side – Check. I do a push-up routine that also involves plank extensions and it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the pain.
  • Able to use arm for most activities but unable to use the injured arm for activities that entail lifting the arm as high as or higher than the shoulder to the front or side – Double Check.

I first noticed this coming on about six weeks ago at softball practice and it’s suddenly got alarmingly worse within the past two weeks or so.  Saturday morning one of the grounds-keepers at the field was watching me wince and writhe as I helped the gels warm up for their game.  After a bit he smiled, chuckled and said, “Heh.  You ain’t 25 no more, are you.”

Thank Heaven the season is just about over!


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June 2009