My softball debut at Bowling Green in Middleton was not exactly a trainwreck, but not exactly a star spangled spectacular. I went 0 for 5, but lined out once to the second baseman and then grounded out to the first baseman. The conclusion to draw is that my swing was slow. I tried to make some adjustments but all I ended up with was some fouls. I'm happy, like they tell the 8 year olds in little league, to have made contact. They stuck me in left field and my first fly ball was in the fifth inning on 2 outs. I caught it cleanly and ended the inning. It turns out that if I had let it drop we would have lost due to the run rule (if you are losing by 8 runs at any time after the 5th, you immediately lose). In little league we called it a slaughter rule. I misjudged a few other balls after that first one, but I'd like to think that my most important fly of the day was caught. In my defense I have never played fast pitch softball with a 12" softball. Since I'm from Chicago I'm used to 16" softballs, slow spinning pitches, and mangled fingers. These people here use gloves and pitch around 80+mph. When I arrived I mentioned that I was only used to Chicago clincher softballs, not the 12" 'kitten' balls. The response: "Yeah, we don't play with that size. We're straight." I felt like part of the team. Maybe if I could commit to an entire season and take some batting practice in the spring I could play much better, but I suspect cycling will always win my time when summer comes.
A big thankyou to Salma for the American Hardcore book. I'm enjoying it but like any book documenting something as underground and as much a life force as hardcore is to many people, there is plenty to disagree with. The book Dance of Days was a a great read, but too obsessed with kneeling at the Ian MacKaye altar and enshrining DC punk. So far American Hardcore is painting a smarter and wider picture, but a few things are sticking under my skin. I'll finish the book first and rant at that time. It has me digging into my cd collection so it must have an inherently good core. Any book that talks about such importand bands, music, and songs are welcome.