I've spent a lot of time blogging about the fun we have at camp. I also haven't shied away from describing my stupid plays and on-the-field errors. But nothing compares to today.
Today, I lost a game for my team. All me. No excuses. It was a tight game all the way through and we were down to the last out and leading by one. The other team had a strong hitter in the box, so I was playing a little deep at second. We only needed one out, and I'd gone through the different scenarios in my mind. Ball hit to short, cover second. Ball comes to me, take the easy out.
And, the ball was hit to me. It was a hard hit, but just skimming along the ground, nothing difficult and I fielded it perfectly. I knew I had time because the ball was hit hard, so I didn't rush. I came up and threw a 30' throw to first - about 10 feet off line and just a little bit short. The first baseman had to come off the bag to field the throw. That was it. They scored a run on the play to tie it and then scored another run before we got out of it.
It was our third game in the seeding round. It wasn't like a championship game or anything. It would have been nice to win because we would have played the team with the worst record to start the tournament. Now we will play the team with the second worse record.
I feel like none of the tools that I expected to have are working for me. I'm having a hard time fielding. I muffed one in the first game today, a nice, slow roller that I just couldn't get a handle on. I couldn't handle a one-hopper from the shortstop when I was covering second either. I just bobbled the ball around while the runner came in.
I haven't done anything with my bat except hit the ball on the ground to third. I'm really good at that and sometimes I get on base when I get lucky. In the first game I hit one right over the third base bag and that's always going to get you on base. But I just can't get the ball off of the ground. I haven't struck out, and I've walked a few times, but my inability to hit a line drive is maddening.
Finally, I just can't throw. I don't understand this. If I stop thinking about it and just play catch, I'm fine. But in a game, or when I get self-conscious, I just can't accurately throw the ball. That's what got me today. I finally field a ball perfectly and I blow a simple throw.
The only tool that I have that is consistently working are my legs. I've got speed and I can run. Because my legs are working, I've done a lot of pinch running (or running for a batter who is unable).
In baseball, you fail more often than you succeed. A game can come down to one caught or thrown ball. I tell myself that I didn't lose this game by myself. I mean, there were plenty of errors during the game. Dropped balls, errant throws and mental errors are all around us here at fantasy camp. The end score is a game is determined by dozens of big and little mistakes throughout the game. My mistake just came at the wrong time.
It's also just a game. This is just a week long camp so it really shouldn't matter, but it does. Maybe this says something about ego or that inner competitive drive that seems to be part of the male psyche.
I also know that tomorrow I have to go out there again and it terrifies me. I have to walk in the locker room and say "good morning" to my teammates. I have to field grounders, handle line-drives and catch popups. I have to hit the ball and hopefully NOT at the third baseman. I have to run. I don't have a choice. I know it's just a game. I know we aren't curing cancer.
And, I know I care. So, I'll try to put this behind me. Start a new day and see what happens.
I hope they hit the ball to me.