"These are the times that try men's souls..."
Had the longest day of baseball I've ever had today. To start things off, someone decided it was a good idea to schedule games on Memorial Day weekend. My umpires have lives. People with lives sometimes do things other than baseball and three-day weekends are prime time for such pursuits.
I literally bled finding umpires for today. For some reason half of the guys are heading to West Virginia, of all places, for the weekend. If there's some sort of weird Gathering of the Umpires in WV, I'm not privy to it. Got most of the games covered, but not all. I decided rain was my last option. I thought about running out back naked and doing some sort of rain ceremony but decided the sight of me unclothed would only frighten the rainclouds away. Finally decided I'd done all I could and let the cards fall where they may. I covered the Senior League double header, but only half of the Junior League double header. Late afternoon I discovered that the Senior League games had been canceled. Had someone told me that I could have reassigned the umpires to cover the Junior League game. When I make mistakes like that there's one commissioner in particular who likes to crawl up my large intestine...
To give you an idea, I started the morning with a fresh charge in my cell phone and by noon I had completely exhausted the battery and had to recharge it.
Later I got a phone call from someone who was wondering where the umpire was for her 6:00 game. Gotta love this one: The scheduled umpire is her son. I have no idea what the resolution was--I was calling a game at the time and when I got the message at 8:00 after my game finished I just didn't even bother.
Had a strong plate umpire scheduled for the 5:00 game along with my son on bases. At 3:45 the plate umpire called to say he couldn't make it. My only option was to put my son behind the plate and me on bases. My son calls bases well, but has never been behind the plate. I've done the plate but can't any longer due to a seriously advanced case of Paratrooper's Knees. Got to the game and realized that one of the teams was the team that all of the umpires complain to me about. The game got ridiculous and I unfortunately lost control because I was concerned about a perception that I was shielding my son from criticism. I should have tossed the manager and one coach from the bonehead team (which was winning until the bottom of the very last inning). I plan on doing more of their games with a stronger plate umpire and I will toss both of them next time. Might take aim at some parents as well. The bonehead team's parents we pretty much across the line, too.
Oddly the players, coaches and parents from the team that losing all along remained a class act.
If you want proof that there is a God, just maybe it's here: The Orioles' players, coaches and parents were a class act, even though they were behind the whole game. The Indians were ahead the whole time and behaved like spoiled children. Bottom of the last inning the Orioles got a couple of kids on base, then some huge kid comes up to bat and cranks an in-the-park home run. Orioles win.
Walking off the field I passed an Orioles coach and muttered "Bunch of f**king babies". He thanked me.
One of the Orioles' moms is a girl (I guess she's a woman now) I dated um, ahem, 28 years ago. She was all bundled up against the cold. I told her I couldn't believe she was cold. She countered that they were in the shade. Hmm, I said. Plenty of heat down here...They all laughed, having seen the crap we were putting up with from the Indians.
She's still cute, by the way, despite being nearly as ancient as I.