Editor's Note: Two years ago I wrote a post comparing the 2010 Phillies to your Company’s Softball Team. Looking back, there has been so much roster turnover that I figured it was time for an update. I hope you enjoy...
The 2012 Phillies as Your Company's Softball Team - A Definitive Guide
Those of you who've played rec or work league softball can attest to the myriad of characters one comes across when donning the $45 cleats purchased at Modell's the night before your first game because you forgot all about it and mesh cap. It's often a spectacle--as much sociology experiment as athletic endeavor.
Below, in all of its glory, is an updated version of what you get when I briefly observe/examine those folks in tangential relation to our hometown (currently sub-.500) heroes.
|/foul pop out to first baseman|
Nix came down to your office from corporate in the Spring, and the moment you saw him you knew this guy was going to do some damage. I mean, just look at him! He has muscles coming out of the muscles in his ears. Then the first informal team practice came, and he showed up in a sleeveless t-shirt and you thought to yourself, “Dude, I don’t even know if the league is going to let this guy play for us!”
He stepped into the box- everyone backed up to the warning track- a sense of anticipation took over the field. First pitch: weak pop-up. He just got under one, no worries, bro’s trying to go yard. Next pitch: fouls it back. He's just excited, no big deal. Next pitch: weak grounder to second. Huh. Next pitch: can of corn to left field that falls in front of the donkeys shagging flies. Slowly, it sets in. Your hopes don’t sink, but the sails have significantly less wind in them. Once he gets to the dugout, he jams a wad of chew into his mouth and talks about picking up babes at B-Dubs afterward.
“You guys play some ball down here, eh,” he asked in a polite but confident tone at the first meeting in the break room. “I used to play a little ball too yeah when I was in University. I think down here you call it shortstop?” He had a weird accent and you couldn’t understand why he wore two white batting gloves in the field during your first practice, but you figured he at least had SOME skills. So when you saw him draw a leadoff walk in your first scrimmage and go from first to home in less 9 seconds, you figured you had discovered a true gem.
Sadly though, the regular season came and Orr was as spastic in the infield as that Brown kid you had last year was in the outfield. Routine grounders to shortstop became doubles. Doubles became homers, and infield dribblers became triples. This guy is a total spaz. Has absolutely no idea what he’s doing playing infield and every throw he makes is a total adventure. By the time he failed to tag up from third on that short fly ball to left and got doubled off while representing the tying run, you knew you had made a terrible mistake.
With all due respect, he’s the reason they never wanted to allow alpha male BMW-driving-tight-pants-wearing smarmy sales guys onto the team. Despite easily being one of the best players on the Gators, this guy is so grating a personality that even as you’re cheering him on for getting a huge hit or making a running catch in the gap you’re half thinking to yourself, “that dude’s just a straight up tool bag.” Then you kind of feel bad for having that opinion without ever really getting to know him, for judging a book by the cover if you will, and consider that perhaps you’re the bad person here …until he pulls his dong out in the dugout and pretends to feed it a piece of Bazooka Joe and you’re all, “oh, yeah, I totally nailed it the first time.”
Wiggy works in sales support and is a slowpitch veteran that really doesn’t give a f*ck anymore, and it shows. Although still talented, he’s seen it all, been there before, and really the only thing he cares about at this point is (misguidedly--he has no chance) “trying to bang” the new receptionist (half his age) you recruited to keep the scorebook. He’s ALL ABOUT practical jokes, too. Wigginton insists on making fart noises every time Pete Orr goes to the plate and is constantly cracking lame jokes about syrup and Canadian bacon (“We don’t call it American Ham, do we?!”).
He has great stories though, and they were somewhat amusing the first 13 times he forced them upon you. Especially the one about how him and his boys “went to states” one year and woke up 20 minutes before first pitch in a strip club parking lot wearing nothing but their boxer shorts, but still managed to move on to regionals.
HP is one of the young kids that started working in finance about a year ago. He seems nice enough, and as a middle-aged married dork with kids you’re totally jealous of the fact that he’s living the life you possessed less recently than you’d care to admit: shares a big loft in the city with three college buddies, makes good money (that’s all his), never misses a happy hour, works out every day, the bosses look at him whenever they make one of their “was anyone in here not born yet when _____ happened?!” jokes. In short, the job and thousands of hours in a small cubicle haven’t yet crushed his spirit.
Kid’s your best player, too. But it’s kind of by default. The VP that played with you guys is always away on business, and your clean-up hitter blew his knee out moving. He has some pop, can run really well, but is just, well, gangly and kind of awkward. And you’re not sure he’s ever really paying any attention.
Shane Victorino is still dives-too-much-guy. It’s uncanny how he has never changed. It’s almost as if nothing is capable of altering the player or the person. He still cannot pay attention, still doesn’t really know the rules, still is too quick to chirp at the other team, and is still fascinated by, well, everything else that’s happened around him. He’s taken Pence under his wing, and you’re not sure whether it’s sweet or frightening.
His first at bat he held the bat cross-handed and didn’t know what the ump meant when he said that he used his courtesy. “Wait, I struck out? I only counted two.” He sure as poop looks the part, though. Rumor has it his dad defected from Panama and was on the Eagles back in the day or something.
|U mad, bro?|
Oh my god this guy. First of all, the only reason they ever hired him is because he was the President’s daughter’s boyfriend. Second, he stinks. Third, he stinks at his job, too, only he still got an iPad and chairs meetings and was given the lead on the proposal development for that big contract BECAUSE NOW HE’S THE PRESIDENT’S SON-IN-LAW. Then you walked by his office (of course he has an office with a window, duh) and saw the above picture of him and his way-out-of-his-league fiancee and you swore to God right then and there that you were probably going to push him down a flight of stairs. And with the team captain being a giant butt-kisser, this doof gets to bat 6th despite the fact that he’s never hit a ball within thirty feet of the fences. Also also, he’s afraid to change at the field and walks through the office in his uniform like he’s the Mickey Mantle or some poop. God I hate him.
True story you don’t know whether he’s the toughest guy on your team or the wimpiest and you think he’s fast but he may actually be really slow and you don’t know how old he is but I mean he feels like he’s good? Maybe not, maybe he stinks? Should he lead-off or hit eighth? There is seemingly no middle ground? You’re almost certain he’s awful. Wait, he’s hitting .685? No.
|"I'll be fine, bat me third."|
Dude shows up the first game of the season and people are happy to see him, because he’s been with the company for years (been in the industry even longer, left your company for a bit but came back and is even still fully vested in the pension and everything). Only when he gets to the field, he tells you that he threw his shoulder out and can’t really throw or hit, but “still feels fine and am ready to go”. And you’re like, “dude that’s rough- you wanna play first?” And he’s all, “no way man I’m fine.” And you’re like, “I thought you said you couldn’t throw.” And he’s all, “man, not like that!” And you’re like, “wait what”. And he’s all, “you know what I mean”.
Secretly you don’t, but you don’t want to tick him off because you like and respect him but for serious you’re totally confused and he could hardly play catch in warmups but ends up batting third and goes 2-11 in your first double-header and leaves 15 men on base and afterwards he’s all, “good burn- we’ll be fine, boys” and you’re like, “wait what”.
What is this kid, like 12?! Where did he even come from? Is he an intern? Someone’s kid just around for the summer maybe? Despite his youth and the fact that you really have no idea who he is, Galvis can ball--at least in the field... He quickly supplanted Pete Orr as your shortstop and is flat out spectacular ranging in all directions. And you’re very happy about this, because well, his offense is like watching a trainwreck in slow motion over and over again. First he was scolded by the umpire for attempting a drag bunt in your first game against Innotec, and now it’s two months into the season and you’re not sure if he’s cleared the infield with a base hit. You’re willing to live with this for the time being because he’s young and a total dynamo up the middle, but you’re not sure how long you’ll be able to take it. Also, can you even kick a guy off the team if he doesn’t work for your company?
Wait a second, maybe the shortstop is his cousin or something! You remember them saying something about temporary warehouse guys. But back to “Chooch”- what a revelation! When he first joined the team he was kind of just another body, but now he’s one of your best bats. Only he still looks kind of out of place and nobody can understand a word he says so you still hit him seventh every game. Also, moving him to clean-up would probably signal to everyone how bad things really have gotten. Even Arron-Hiltey HVAC has a legit clean-up hitter.
Ever since you lost old man Moyer to that arm injury and his subsequent promotion to the Colorado office (where they send all the old heads to live out the golden years), you weren’t sure how you’d find the trick pitch ace need to obtain your first league championship since 2008. Then one night last season you’re practicing with the other rag tags and this dude walks in with his brohawk and garish Rec Specs and starts dropping 12 foot knuckle balls, curveballs (seriously, how did he make a softball curve?), front door screwballs to lefties, and all kinds of stuff you’d never even seen before. It was love at first sight. And thank God, because your offense has flat out stunk for two years now. You have no idea what Worley even does at your company, but you suspect he works a night shift.
Dude seriously has to “reply-to-all” to every single game-day attendance poll with a Drudge Report link about how Obama is secretly trying to get rid of the armed forces or some crackpot theory about how the Democrats are trying to impose the New World Order on America's sheeple. And nobody ever replies to him or takes the bait, yet when you get to the field he’s all, “hey, did you guys see that link I sent?”
Utley is still the VP/best player on the team/guy whose life you want, only he’s been to like six games in the last two years because he’s always on travel or going to exclusive business development events at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora and crap like that. Which is cool, I mean, there’s more to life than softball, but you’re kind of counting on him and if he’s not going to play then maybe it’s just better to look for a new guy? Oh who are we kidding, we still love him.