Wednesday, April 3
Washington, DC – They said it couldn’t be done. And yet, here we are — guilt-stricken, sobbing with our heads on the floor. That’s right friends. Wednesday night against our most hated rivals, reincarnated as our frenemies, the Young Hoppers got Mercy Ruled. In the fourth inning.
So this is what it feels like to get rrrrrrrrocked. GOOOOO!
Perhaps we should have known things would go poorly when we didn’t win the coin toss. Or perhaps superstition is just an idiot’s toolkit. Sometimes it’s hard to tell and harder to shake.
The Hoppers scored two before taking the field, where we usually thrive. No sooner had we punched our gloves and settled into position than the first batter clocked one into right field for an easy homer. And when I say easy, I mean easy. Like hot knives through butter. Like Sunday morning. Like digesting milk when you’re a mammal. This homer flew to Wisconsin. Three batters later, another dude cleared the bases to go up 4-0 with no outs.
United hit into the Gaps like they owned a franchise in nondescript, preppy basics. We couldn’t stop them. They lit us up.
It was the worst inning in the history of the Hoppers, except for when Schmoopie was on the team. All of those innings are tied for first place.
After a lot of cursing, errors, and the intense shame/guilt of a team that is 98% Jewish or Catholic, and we finally made the third out. Get out your TI-87s to tally up the damage:
Let’s see here. That’s 7 + 6 (carry the one) + 4. Seventeen. The score after the first inning was a humbling, disgusting, painful 17-1. So, where do we go from here?
After a beat down like that, we fought back as much as we could. On offense, we put up another grip of runs. On defense, we had a one-two-three inning and a couple solid stops. We didn’t quit until they made us.
And though it was an ugly 23-9, I give us a lot of credit. We sopped it up. We learned from it. We didn’t blame each other. We mostly blamed Al Qaeda. And Obama.
We choked down a cruel but necessary dose of humility. And I think it cured us.
The Hoppers take the field tomorrow for redemption against Unfair Play. Sadly, I will miss the game. I’m in Europe, on business. And by that, I mean visiting Wage and building the Barcelona Saltamontes Jóvenes, our farm league. That won’t stop me from getting a download from the team and making the rest up as I go.