[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/29/am.softball.art.jpg caption="The American Morning staff softball players pose for a photo."]
The sun was out, the temperature balmy, and a slight breeze coming in from the left at five miles an hour, as our meteorologist Rob Marciano might say. It was finally perfect weather for the American Morning folks to take their bats and mitts and head to beautiful Central Park for a game of good old-fashioned softball.
If you read our weekly Meet AM blogs, something you should know about the crew is that we really like a game of softball. Our softball “league” started last year, and by league I mean bunch of people who head towards a field, play, and leave without being quite sure what team they were on, what the score was, and indeed what game was played. This year we decided to be more organized, and teams were picked in a lavish ceremony that would rival the NFL draft. Or, perhaps one I hastily threw together post-show in ten minutes in my duties as captain of the noble Barracudas.
Our heroes, the Barracudas, duked it out with the evil Gobsmackers (HISS) on a clear, warm Friday in May. Though innings were played well above regulation for either softball or baseball, the Gobsmackers “won”. The score is lost to the annals of history, thank God, because I think it was kind of embarrassing for our team.
The game was fiercely fought and both teams pulled out all the stops. Because of an umpire strike (Judge Sotomayor – fix this!), even German tourists stepped in to make critical calls. Danke schön, Dieter. The Barracudas truly appreciate that call of safe at third. We made it pay off for you, mein freund, at least that time.
The Gobsmackers managed miraculously to pull out a pretty clean double play, helped by second baseman Micha Rondeau and first baseman Rick Saleeby. It wasn’t Tinker to Evers to Chance, but it was pretty sweet. Another key play came when Regina Manning, the Gobsmackers’ pitcher, slid into second base and was triumphantly declared safe, in a decision I can only dispute in professional football by putting a time out in jeopardy. (Note to self: ask Executive Producer Jamie Kraft when we will be getting video replay and Hawkeye installed on the public Central Park fields. Also, ask when we will be getting umpire staff, baseball cleats, sweet dugouts with ball boys, and multimillion dollar contracts.)
Completely impartially, the game’s MVP was writer Brian Seligson, who knocks it out of the park both on and off the field. Seligson’s hits and catches have an artistry to them that can only be compared to dancers’ grace. His only flaw is that he is a Gobsmacker. Teammates, if your faithful leader tries to trade you for him, don’t be insulted. Only know that trading for Brian is like trading for a 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card – darn near impossible.
While the brave Barracudas lost – some might say unfairly, in a game that was rigged from the start and should be struck from all records – what truly matters is that no one remembers the score. Or do they? It doesn’t matter. I have my secret weapon in reserve. Let’s just say, he might have landed a plane in the Hudson and his name might rhyme with Mully Mullenberger. Bring it on.