Monday, February 21, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The intention of this blog was to chronicle the family’s travel, games, and experiences. I wanted to share the good and bad with readers. Today, I am adding another category….the ugly….
Remember Clint Eastwood’s movie, The good, the bad and the ugly? I can recall that he met up with a series of obstacles and lots of bad men with black hats, yet somehow he made it through the difficulties with only a few bullet wounds that eventually healed. Well, this weekend in Florida was terrific….it was the good part of the journey. The weather was amazing. The time that we spent as a family was wonderful, although Buddy drifted back and forth between his family and the team, we did not mind. It was good to see him in a relaxed setting. So, that was the good that we experienced.
The bad was not really bad. Perhaps it was more like …..”What are you thinking…?” A few of the teammates decided to spend some of their meal money on raw chicken….Why raw chicken? Well, their goal was to hunt alligators. On Saturday night, they bought the poultry at the grocery store and used their cell phones to light the sandy beaches of the lagoons to find the sleeping gators….keep in mind that these are college students and should be relatively intelligent. With that said, they did not find any gators. Not to be deterred, they bought more chicken on Sunday, along with a fishing pole and flashlights. This time they would have ample illumination to hunt the gators and watch as they chewed their ankles. Gators don’t care if their dinner is raw meat or human legs….it all tastes like chicken to them. I have not heard yet if the mission was successful….I also did not hear any ambulances, so, they are probably NOT bringing a pet gator home today for their dorm rooms.
The ugly part of the trip was the 24-??? hour stomach flu that I picked up. I’m on the plane writing this note and have not eaten in over a day, which is a record for me. Tea, ginger ale and Gatorade….yum….actually, I needed to lose a few pounds. I was in bed from 2p to 6a and only got up because I had to catch my plane. Sadly, I am currently sitting between two people on the plane and am praying that there will be no vomiting until we land.  I did note that there are no barf bags for me, so I am living on the edge here…..there is no way that the woman to my left will be able to jump up in time for me to make it to the plane’s lavatory….no way….whatsoever…..
Let’s go back to the good and the games that I watched this weekend. First, let me say that I was so proud of Buddy. He was absolutely terrific as he sat on the bench for 2 of the 3 games…..he was not “snarky” at all until the end of the 2nd game, when he muttered that he should have been put in…..yet he got over it. The team won the first two games in come from behind “Bad News Bears” fashion. Just as you think that the game is over with a loss, the Bears pull it out…..Game 3 was a very different story. The team was up 1-0 and I assumed that this one would be won without too much difficulty. The pitcher was terrific. The fielding on the other hand (ouch)….I counted at least 5 errors in the field. The opponents first 4 runs were unearned (errors….). The starting pitcher began to fatigue, so the coach started a number of calls to the bullpen. The fourth pitcher to enter the game was our one and only….Buddy!!!!! I started snapping pictures like I was Annie Leibowitz….front views, side views…facial expressions. I figured that I would focus on the photos as he faced the first batter then watch the rest of the inning.
Buddy’s D-1 pitching debut went like this….Curve ball…Ball 1…..Curve ball…Ball 2….Curve ball…Ball 3. I stopped taking pictures…..he walks off the mound….lines up…throws….Strike 1 (whew)…..Strike 2….(double whew)….Now is the moment…..will he walk the batter or strike him out? Buddy throws the ball, the batter hits it to an infielder…it’s a double play ball…..the infielder bobbles it……everyone is safe. Ouch…..OK, I am thinking that Buddy would take care of the rest of the batters…no problem…we thrive on stress, right?
Well, that was not the case as the coach slowly walked to the mound and took Buddy out of the game and brought a right handed pitcher in who threw a pass ball and a run scored. As Buddy walked back to the dugout, the look on his face was scary….tight lipped, eyes squinted, and muscles tensed… much for any more pictures…camera was immediately put away.
After the game, Buddy stopped by my sick bed to review his first appearance. He said that he asked the catcher not to call curve balls because he did not have it as he warmed up. However, once he could throw a fast ball, the batter could not hit it. So, the next time, he and his catcher will have a conversation about what is working and what is not.  He also said that the coach saw some positive things with his pitching so he would be playing in today’s game. Sadly, I won’t be there, because I had to fly home, but dad is there with the camera to capture the Kodak moments….Go team!

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