~  You can't be real unless you feel  ~
Monday, April 14, 2008
Bats in my belfry
About two years ago, i went to my buddy Dan's bachelor party in Chi town. We did the usual gamut of activities there, but one in particular stood out. Most of my East coast peeps are into baseball. One of the bars near Wrigley field is a bar & a batting cage rolled into one. I don't remember the name, but this was a 'must' for an evening activity. So one by one, my bros step up to the plate, both figuratively AND literally.
So each person goes in, puts a token in the machine, and then gets to hit 10 balls. No problem. Now you must realize that we've all had quite a few drinks by this point. So i, being the guy i am, start chanting and hollering. I tell em' they've got nothing. I say their swing sucks. I say my mother could hit the ball farther than that.
Most of them actually did pretty good, some missing a ball or two, with the worst hitter missing three out of 10 balls. Oh i let him have it for sure. Red faced, he steps out of the cage, hands me the bat, and says "hey Mark, why don't you put your money where your mouth is." Good ol' Ken. No problem i'm thinkin'. Now i'm no baseball player. As a matter of fact, i could count the number of softball games i've played in on one hand. But how hard could it be, really? It's a friggin' batting cage!
First ball goes zing-ing on by. Woah. That was fast. "I wasn't ready" i yell out. The boyz start heckling. Ball two flies by. I didn't even have a chance to swing. Ball three - a swing and a miss. The heckling increases dramatically, and now there's a herd of wild monkeys outside my cage jumping up and down, jeering. Ball four, another strike.
I'll save you the suspense and just tell you the ending. I made contact with not one stinking baseball. That's right. 10 pitches, 10 miserable strikes. I learned a very good lesson that night - make sure you can at least play the sport before you go on pestering your cohorts about sucking. To this day, they won't let me live that one down.

Well, no more, i tell you! Saturday, i went on down to the local batting cages with my buddy Steve. I brought my bat and we started hitting. Of course, this being either of ours 'first official batting practice,' we set the balls to a measly 40 miles per hour. It wasn't too bad. We actually did pretty good, giving each other tips on stance and poise, scraped together from whatever footage of baseball we could remember. We actually did quite well.
About 15 minutes into it, however, our hands started hurting. Like really, really bad. Specifically the left hand. We look down, and both of us have big, fat red blisters the size of dimes. So THAT's why batters wear batting gloves. Who knew?
It wouldn't be so bad if this morning, waking up, my entire mid-section & lower back weren't so sore. Who knew that simply swinging a bat could work so many random muscles? Coughing actually hurts!
But you know what? I can't wait to go again. This time, i'll definitely bring gloves.

. . . = = COMMENTS = = . . .

Bill  posted on  Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sluggers is the name of the bar... And now you'll have even more respect for major leaguers who don't use batting gloves (even in the cold) and still hit the ball. Now mind you... you were hitting straight fastballs w/o movement. at 40 mph. The cages at sluggers go up to 80 I think. That is a changeup in the majors. Real fastballs are 90+. With movement... good luck

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