Too wound up

We are officially too wound up. I’m calling it tonight.

I play in a kickball league. This is quite the recreational activity. Most of the teams bring chairs and coolers filled with adult beverages that technically are not supposed to be consumed on a city park. Yet, we complain.

We’re in the most prosperous country in the history of mankind, but it’s not enough. I’ll use a personal example. My wife and I made an excellent combined income. We own a one-bedroom condo. Last year we decided to look for a home. Due to the crappy market, there was no way that we could sell our place. We felt that it would be impossible to keep spending the way we were spending and afford two mortgages.

Fast forward to this year. My wife started her own company and now freelances. She’s only in month four, and brings in a fraction of her previous salary. We’re living on half of what we lived on before. Because of this, we cut down on spending, such as going out to dinner and taking vacations. We figured it out. It was the worrying that kept us from making a move in a good market. Naturally she would not have been able to make this life-changing (way for the better) move had we acquired another expensive mortgage.

Kickball is a pretty simple game. It’s like baseball with more players on the field and special rules for having enough females on the field. A controversial play is fairly uncommon, but when it happens, the claws come out. Tonight our team did not have the four females necessary according to the rules. The captain of the opposing squad has to OK our lineup, otherwise it’s a forfeit. My counterpart (did you think I was anything but a captain) agreed. Any time there was a borderline play, the other team loudly complained. We raised our voices when we thought the opposing guy on third base tagged early on a caught fly ball. One of our somewhat inebriated players yelled when he thought there were three outs and there were two.

I’m not sure why we’re not happy. Gas prices are on the rise and there is that Iraq thing, although that only affects a small percentage of Americans directly. I guess there’s a feeling of entitlement. We’ve always been on top, and that’s not going to change for a long time.

Our kickball team did win for the first time in two months, and that was an accomplishment. We were woefully short of our four-female requirement when we started. We had two, although one was on the way. Our team was so understaffed that I put myself at leadoff. I will not do that again. I am not an on-base machine. In the first I kicked a line drive that the third baseman, who I named Brooks after Brooks Robinson because he freaking caught everything, caught with a great leap. Our team still scored two. The opposition brought two across the plate in the fourth inning. It was becoming a pitcher’s duel.

In the top of the fifth, I had my third at-kick. I saw that the team put its weaker defenders on the right side of the infield so I kicked it toward the gal at second. She dropped the ball. We were losing so I wanted to get aggressive. The guy kicking behind me kicked a line drive that Brooks caught over his shoulder. I tagged up, on my way to second. I hesitated since the ball was in the infield, then started running again. My balance gave out and I fell about ¾ of the way. I tried to crawl to second but I was out. The next guy up kicked a single. I would have scored the winning run.

In the top of the seventh, the final inning, our leadoff guy got on base. The next guy kicked a fielder’s choice. The following kicker was our oldest player. She’s a Yankee fan from way back. Her bunt to the right side led to an out, but the runner at first smartly rounded his way to third. There were two outs.

The following play was the greatest shortest kick in kickball history. The kicker was our late arrival who had not been to the plate yet. On the third pitch she stuck her foot across the plate and trapped the ball like a soccer ball. The ball arrived slightly to the right of the plate and she kept it there. As the catcher and pitcher hesitated, our runner smartly took off and scored the winning run. She got all the way to third base. I was up.

The opposition was furious at this call, since our kicker technically didn’t kick the ball, but she stopped it in play, which was legal. I got up for an epic at-kick. I took three pitches, two of them strikes. I saw the gap again near first base. Since I couldn’t wait for my pitch, I kicked one foul. The second foul was dropped by the first baseman. I thought I could take the base, but I was wrong. The next kick went harmlessly to the center fielder. I failed again.

I could make it up, though. We needed three outs. A few weeks ago we were tied in the bottom of the seventh on an iffy call at first base. Yes, we complained too much. The first guy was a big kicker. He creamed it right at our center fielder. The next kicker was female. I felt the bunt coming on. She kicked it right to me and I tagged her out. The next gal dragged an excellent bunt down the third-base line. She was safe. In this league no one can advance past the pitcher’s stripe, so bunting is tough to defend.

The next guy came up. The game was on the line. He fouled a couple off and kicked a high fly ball. It was caught. We won and our opposition complained to the ref. I shook Brooks’ hand. I wonder if he’s available as a free agent.

Just so the masses know, here are my picks so far in the z34 rookie draft.

Darren McFadden
Jonathan Stewart
Rashard Mendenhall
Kevin Smith
Matt Forte (me)
Felix Jones
Chris Johnson
Matt Ryan
Ray Rice (me)
Jamaal Charles
Brian Brohm
Devin Thomas
Limas Sweed (me)

The Cedric Benson owner wanted to trade him for my 1.09 pick. After I took Rice he wanted to trade Benson and a 2009 4th round pick for Rice and my 2009 2nd round pick. I’ll take Rice’s career over Benson’s. Sometimes in fantasy, especially in a start-three RB league, you try really hard to “lock down” one team’s running game. The Bears weren’t so good on the ground last year, so I’ll stick with my youngsters for now. Felix Jones and Chris Johnson probably are more talented, but Forte has a better opportunity, at least in year one.

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