“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

I spent the afternoon playing softball on an AstroTurf field in Chelsea, and no, I didn’t chase the foul balls and keep them.

The day’s defensive highlight came after one of the many wild throws from our catcher to the pitcher. The shortstop retrieved the ball and flipped it to the 2nd baseman who wasn’t paying attention, so we yelled at him until he looked up and ran after it. Then he threw it over the pitcher’s head, so the 3rd baseman had to track it down. Yeah, it was one of those games.

I went 6-for-6 with a double and a homer. All clean hits. Thank you.

6 Comments

Oh baby. Do you bat 3rd on this team?

Hi Zack, I’ve been reading you’re blog for a few months now and have enjoyed it a lot. I have one question I wanted to ask now though. I went to the Indians-Blue Jays game today in Toronto and got my first ever MLB ball during batting practice.

I was watching from the seats in left-field for about an hour when one of the Indians hit a ball a row in front of me and to my left. I quickly jumped on it and barely beat a guy to it. Anyway, what I am really interested to know now is who hit it. I’m pretty sure it was Josh Bard, one of the Indians catchers, but I’m not 100% sure. He is a switch hitter and hit a few out of the park from the left side of the plate a few minutes earlier, and I think he came back to hit from the right side when I got my ball. Batting practice ended a few minutes later. Do you know if switch hitters usually hit last? Is there any way I can find out a teams batting practice order?

I look forward to reading your next game recap.

Thanks, Matt

Zack, I have one quick question for you: Why are you so cool?

Signed

a big fan.

GROCERY MAN-
This was a pick-up game, a one-shot deal…a fling, if you will, so your question should’ve had the word “did” instead of “do,” not like you could’ve known. The answer is no. I was randomly assigned to the seventh slot in the lineup and, as a result, missed a chance to hit for the cycle and go 7-for-7.

MATT-

First of all, thanks for reading my blog. I’m glad you like it. Secondly, congrats on getting your first ball. You’re already ahead of most people. To answer your question, teams take BP in groups. Each group has about four hitters, and these hitters/groups pretty much take their turns in the same order as they normally hit in the batting lineup. In other words, the team’s leadoff hitter will probably be in the first group, and so on. The order has nothing to do with righties or lefties or switch-hitters. I wish it did. Then I wouldn’t have to run around so much. I hope this helps, and I hope you’re able to figure out who hit the ball. If it’s any consolation, I have no idea which player was responsible for my first ball. The one piece of advice I can give you at this point is to watch the Indians on TV and study Bard’s stance and swing and then try to visualize the mechanics of the player who hit the ball that you got…and just maybe, your brain will confirm a match.

BIG FAN-

I’m either the coolest dork or the dorkiest cool person. That’s all I have to say.

Hey Zack, my trips to RFK and Camden were bad and good respectively. I just realized that I don’t have fun at RFK anymore, the lack of outfield seats at RFK really hurt and it’s hard to get close to the players because of the stadium design, and to make it worse, security won’t let me use the glove trick. I had my glove on top of a ball when the security guard made me pull the glove up without the ball… overall bad experience – no balls.

Yesterday at Camden was fun though. I had suite tickets so I got into left field earlier than everyone else with normal tickets. Unfortunately, the Os were not pulling the ball in BP so a homerun was scarce. Then most of the 37,000 fans seemed to stand in the OF seats, so there was no chance for a HR ball. I only ended up coming away with two balls (Melvin Mora and Kirk Saarloos tossed me the balls). I need more practice… but hey, suites are the best seat in the house! Man, free food, TVs, it doesn’t get much better than that…

DOPPY-
I’m sorry, but not surprised, to hear about your bad experience at RFK. I loved going there last month because it was a new place for me (blah blah blah) but I knew from the moment I ran inside that it was a nightmare of a ballpark in terms of collecting. I’m glad the Nationals will be moving into a new place in 2008. I hope I never set foot in RFK again. I am surprised, however, to hear that you only got two balls at Camden. That place is a dream. But if the O’s weren’t pulling the ball in BP, then yeah, that extra half-hour wouldn’t’ve done much good. I sat in a suite once…during the longest nine-inning game in history (at the time) at Fenway in 1991. I ate 11 hot dogs. They were free. And small. I could go for a few right now…

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