Wednesday, 7 August 2013
How Girls' Softball just might make the world a better place!
So I went to see my nine year old niece play softball.
It was the perfect day for softball: Bright sun, cool breeze and I had a great time. I don’t recall the exact score (although I do know that the 5 run mercy rule was invoked at least once) and I’m not sure who was named player of the game (isn’t always the pitcher?) – but I do know that what I witnessed should be required viewing for all people… everywhere…
Seriously, if we could all just live our lives a little more like these girls played softball, it would be a better world. Allow me to suggest 6 fixes for our everyday life that have come right out of my experience of Mite Girls’ Softball.
1. There should be cheering for everything.
That was something that I never experienced in my years umpiring or coaching my sons in ball – cheers from the bench. Cheers about Sally this and Sally that… R B oi, oi, oi… another about ripped underwear… so many cheers – and many with choreography. I thought I was in an episode of GLEE. When a player went up to bat, there was cheer; when she got a hit: A cheer! When she struck out, threw her bat, got hit by a ball… caught a ball, lost a ball in the sun, took a drink from a water bottle: Cheer, Cheer, Cheer, Cheer, Cheer, Cheer and spit. It was awesome. Wouldn’t it be great if people cheered when you got to work, when you submitted report, went for coffee, brought back the wrong coffee for a co-worker, forgot your PIN number, bought new shoes or got a smile out of the new girl at work? Somehow, I just think that life would be better. And, even though less would get done in a work day, we’d all feel better about what we did accomplish… or messed up, as the case may be.
2. We should swing at everything.
Whenever that ball comes anywhere near you, take that bat off your shoulder and give her a go! Why not? Swing confidently across the plate; drop the bat low and scoop at the ball like you’re chipping out of sand trap, wave it around like you’re after a piñata… just give it a shot. If you don’t take a swing, you’ll never hit the ball! I saw one girl foul off 10 pitches in a row – almost none of them strikes, but she wasn’t going to let anyone tell her where her strike zone was!! I, too, am tired of being told where the strike zone is and when I can and when I can’t swing. If I want to try out for synchronized swimming, I’m going to try… if I want to wear a feather in my hat, who’s to stop me? I bet that I’ll great in a sarong! It’s time for the lot of us to stop playing it safe and start swinging for the fences, because nothing is going to happen if we just stand and watch the balls go by.
3. Never bunt.
Seriously, it’s undignified to put your bat in the way of the ball… swing or let it by. Enough of the passive aggressive way of living. “I think I’ll wait until she says she loves me… “ Hell, NO! Ask her out, propose… do something! No more bunting. “I don’t like what’s going on at city hall… I think I’ll bunt and wait for the next election to make a difference…” NO! Write a letter, place a call, make a visit, paint a sign… no more bunting, life is too short and too important to play “small ball”.
4. When you see someone mess up, just call out “Way to mix ‘em up!”.
I admired that at the game. The pitcher would throw a couple of very nice strikes and then the next pitch would shoot off in some direction never imagine by Pythagoras at an altitude never dreamed of by Sir Edmund Hillary… and the coach or a parent would always cry you “Way to mix ‘em up!!”. The next time that I fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and the police pull me over, I’m really hoping that the Officer will tap on my window and say, “Hey, way to mix ‘em up!”. The next sermon that tanks, instead of an “Amen”, I’m looking forward to a full on congregational “Way to mix ‘em up, Norm!” Wouldn't that make your day??
5. There would be no stealing in the world, if there was more gift giving.
I noticed that every time one of the girls got on base – with a hit, a walk or simply by accidently walking to the wrong dugout – they nearly always made it home; often without another hit. As soon as the ball was in play, they would run to second… third…and home. Now, you might call it stealing, but I would disagree. It really was more of a gift… nobody really made too much of an effort to throw anybody out, usually the play was to get the ball back to the pitcher so that the runner would have to stop advancing. So, as you see, it wasn’t really stealing… it was receiving a gift. I’m pretty sure that’s what our Federal Government was trying to do with Mike Duffy: fighting crime by the giving of gifts. If only we’d been able to see it…. If only Mike Duffy had been an actual 9 year old girl… but I digress. Give people stuff and they won’t have to steal – seems foolproof to me.
6. And finally, everybody should get to wear those cool athletic shorts that stick out underneath your playing shorts…
‘cause let’s face it: They just look so cool.
So, now you have my six fixes for a better world.
I feel that I’ve done my part. It’s now up to you.
Good luck… and “Hey, way to mix ‘em up!!!”