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Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Dan Titus’ Slump–What’s up wit dat? A Critical Analysis

Posted by sharris2929 on August 16, 2012

The photo above needs no caption.  If you have any level of familiarity with adult rec league baseball in northwest Indiana, then you know the man above is Dan Titus, Over the Hill League Icon. 

Dan is a veteran of the league, and calling him the heart and soul of the Tigers would be an understatement.  When opponents think of the Tigers, Dan Titus is the first name that comes to mind. 

He’s the best catcher in the league, and knows exactly how to pitch every hitter in the league.  He is invaluable to the pitching staff on every single pitch. 

And at the plate?  Dan is a terror.  Check out his stats from last year, or the ones just posted from this year.  Homers.  RBI’s.  Runs scored.  He steals bases.  Dan Titus does it all.

Except for the past few weeks…

It’s no secret that Dan is in a slump.  He knows it, doesn’t shy away from it, owns up to it.  In the past couple games he’s shown signs of breaking out of it, but inquiring minds are still wondering…what’s up with Dan?  Why is he hitting like a little girl?  Why is he throwing things in the dugout?  Why is he cursing so much, just a tad more than usual?  A few possible theories have recently surfaced:

  • Not many people know this, but Dan is involved in court ordered anger management therapy, stemming from two on field incidents that happened last year.  In the spring league, Dan tackled a would be mound-charger, nearly disabling him in the process.  He was also ejected from a late season game for arguing with the umpires.  Since undergoing a league mandated psychological evaluation, Dan must now attend anger management group therapy three times a week.  The Tiger Den recently learned that Dan was dismissed from his therapy, with the psychologist in charge calling him a “lost cause.”  Without intensive regular therapy, Dan’s ability to manage his emotions is quickly deteriorating, which may be causing his on the field struggles. 
  • Everyone knows Dan is a proud man, especially when it comes to donning the tools of ignorance and taking his place behind home plate.  Dan was born a catcher; he’ll die a catcher.  He’s immensely proud of his ability to call a game and keep the ball in front of him, risking life and limb time and again.  But lately the comments of his teammates have been wearing on Titus.  “Have you seen that giant tattooed guy from the Cardinals?” he overheard one day in the dugout.  “Dude is a beast!  He never lets a ball by him, AND he guns out everyone that steals!”  A vigilant teammate looked to Dan for his reaction, only to see Dan put his catcher’s mask on and turn away.  Even the mask didn’t hide the tears of frustration that poured down his face. 
  • Dan’s new short pants may sadly be contributing to his struggles.  He caused an uproar when he first wore them, as players from both teams admired his sharp new look.  However, the joys of looking sharp soon faded, as Dan spent the night in the ER due to dangerous circulation problems caused by the wonderous pants.  Dan quickly switched back to his old baggy pants, but has longed for the attention and compliments he received from wearing his tighty whities. 
  • Now those previous three items are just theories, but this next issue may be the true root cause of Dan’s struggles.  As we all know, the Summer Olympics just ended. And who among us did not find ourselves truly captivated for two full weeks, drawn to the TV to watch the pageantry and athletic skill at its finest?  We all came down with a fierce case of Olympic Fever.  All of us besides Dan Titus that is.  The Summer Olympics is a particularly painful time for Dan, a reminder every four years of what could have been.  Dan wasn’t always a great catcher.  Once upon a time, Dan was so much more.  He was the peak of what masculine athletics can be.  Dan was…a gymnast.  He soared through the air on the high bar.  He spun like a top on the pommel horse.  He could vault out of the gym.  No one was as graceful nor emotionally evocative as Dan on the floor exercise.  NO ONE.  But alas, puberty ruined any chance of Dan’s Olympic dreams being realized.  If he only remained a child size adult (like his future teammate Anthony Perez), we might have spent our summer rooting on Dan in London.  So while the rest of us enjoyed the recent Olympic spectacle, it only plunged Dan into a deep dark depression.  But the Olympics have now ended, and the dark cloud is lifting.  Dan will be back.  Mark my words.  Dan will be back.  Starting tonight.

You’ll always score a perfect 10 in our book, Dan!


Posted in Editorial | 3 Comments »

Scott Harris – The Secret To His Success

Posted by Titus on August 15, 2012

What is the secret to Scott Harris’s success this year at the plate?  There are several theories that are floating around about how the hell a guy like Scott can maintain these impressive numbers:  

  • I spoke with Scott’s family at home and they maintain that his success is due to the extra energy he has this year.  I was told that because he does “NOTHING around the house anymore”, he is not wasting energy on such trivial things like dishes, laundry, yard work, and many other meaningless chores.  This stored up energy is being unleashed at the plate this year.
  • I stopped by Scott’s place of employment and talked to his colleagues regarding Scott’s success this year.  Most of the reactions that I received were dumbfounded looks when I mentioned that Scott plays baseball.  I heard reactions like “What?  He plays baseball?  He doesn’t look like an athlete at all” or  “I thought he was a professional bowler, not a baseball player.”  I also heard only laughter as many of his fellow coworkers just walked away.  After spending an entire day at his place of business, I finally found someone who would give me some sort of reasonable response that would give us a keen insight into Scott’s numbers.  Buford, the janitor on the night shift in the office, stated “I don’t know that motherf$%^er…………. but he probably cheatin’.”
  • Luck?
  • Tireless number of hours practicing his craft?  Yeah right
  • Some might think that because he is no longer pitching due to his noodle-like arm, his focus is now shifted other things, like hitting.  He figures that he might as well be of some use to the team since he no longer pitches or does the website.
  • PEDs
  • His offseason vasectomy has given him a new sense of security.  Because there is nothing to worry about anymore; he is more relaxed. Maybe because his little guys are “staying home”, it gives him a little more pop.
  • Maybe it is as simple as Juan Sanchez – Juan has made it plain and clear that he thinks Scott should not be our #2 hitter.  Does that motivate Scott?

So which one is it?  Is it Scott’s extra energy from not doing his duty as a family man?  Is Buford correct that he is a cheating motherf$%^er?  Is it luck?  Definitely not practice.  What about his enhanced focus or possibly even drugs?  Could it be his vasectomy?  Or could it be the one thing that motivates all of us to be better players and not be satisfied with being average (you know like getting on base and NEVER stealing)………………Juan Sanchez? 

Let us know which one you think it is or provide your own theory.

Posted in Editorial | 1 Comment »

Baseball vs. Softball

Posted by sharris2929 on March 15, 2011

A common experience for those of us who play recreational baseball is that when this fact is mentioned to people, the first thing they assume is that you play in a slow pitch beer softball league, and further explanation is required.  I myself have found that using the term hardball can be helpful in some instances, but usually not.  When people hear that guys like us (meaning old guys) are playing a diamond sport, the automatic assumption is that it’s the one where the pitches have a mandatory arc and that beer consumption is allowed and encouraged on the field of play.

So why is this assumption made?  Why do people think that guys like us can’t possibly be playing competitive baseball?  My careful research has found a few reasons.

  • We enjoy drinking beer. 
  • We don’t enjoy running, sweating, or moving a great deal.
  • We do not use steroids.
  • Most people aren’t aware that recreational hardball exists in the area
  • Baseball is to be played by children and millionaire adults ONLY.
  • Softball is just easy and fun (and you can drink while doing it).
  • We gave up on that baseball dream years ago.

Many of these facts are true.  Yes we enjoy drinking beer, but we can do that after a baseball game in the parking lot while reliving the highlights of the game and talking shit about our opponents.  We don’t enjoy running, sweating, or moving, unless there is a good reason for doing it.  We don’t use steroids, because they are illegal, and are only used by disgraceful players such as Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds (for players we like, they didn’t use steroids, they used “supplements” that were unknowingly tainted).   Softball is easy and fun. 

For most old men, softball is enough.  It’s a chance to get out and have some fun, be a little competitive, and have something to talk crap about.  You go out, knock a few lob balls out of the park, and trot around the bases with some pride. 

But for guys like us, that just isn’t enough.  We’ve developed feelings about baseball that won’t allow us to play a reasonable facsimile of it.  It has to be the real thing.  OVERHAND FASTPITCH REAL LIVE GODDAMN BASEBALL, not slowpitch crap.  Baseball is something we all have a complicated relationship with.  Maybe we wonder what would have happened if we had stuck with it longer.  Maybe there’s unfinished business with the game.  Maybe we’re trying to prove something to ourselves, make us believe that we are capable, just like we used to be. 

Whatever the case, we have something inside of us all that makes us want to go out and prove ourselves, something that separates us from those other dudes we know who are content to go hit lob balls and never steal bases. 

I think with our team, we have something even more.  Something that separates us, even elevates us over the other players in the league.  Softball isn’t enough for them either, but we have one thing that they’ll never have that will put us ahead of the pack this season. 

That thing:  TIGERBLOOD. 

And that’s why you can expect a whole lot of one thing from us this season:

That’s why we’re hitting in indoor cages in January and working up a sweat.  That’s why we’re planning practices when we see the mercury run up to 45 degrees. 

You don’t see slowpitch softball players doing that.

Posted in Editorial | 4 Comments »