Stupid Human Tricks, Etc.

Dumb softball rule homers for Canadian defense!

Much Adieu About Nothing: A Slo-Pitch Softball Border Battle. While TV channel surfing between Saturday chores and commitments, I came across this slugfest slo-pitch softball game on ESPN.

(Did I note a hint of redundancy in that sentence?)

The teams called themselves Canada and the United States – and they tabbed the game as the “Border Battle” in spite of the fact the contest was being played in Oklahoma City.

The visiting “Canada” team won, 30-29, but it’s how they won that made me want to throw up all over the Einsteins that came up with the brilliant rules that guided the ordinarily improbable joy from the Canadians in the field over what was actually happening off the bats of the USA team.

The USA came to bat in the bottom of the 7th and last inning trailing, 30-25. A comeback was highly possible, as long as the Americans didn’t stumble on a very big special rule that the organizers of this game had introduced into play.

The rule? Once a team hits ten home runs over the fence, all future balls hit over the fence fair from that point are no longer home runs, but dead play outs that keep all runners on the bases they currently occupy.

Going to the bottom of the last chance for the home team USA, both clubs already had exhausted their 10-HR limits. For the USA to come back, they were going to have to place hit like crazy and drive liners into the alleys – and that’s exactly what they did. With nobody out, the USA quickly plated four runs and placed runners on first and third. All they needed was another dink hit to tie and maybe a gapper to win.

The next two swings did the USA in. Two USA batters in a row hit monster shots over the wall for what would have been the winning 3-run homer, either time, in regular baseball or softball, but not in this screwy league. These late blasts were simply dead play outs under the special rule – and the runners had to hold.

What a sight that was! Here were two Canadian outfielders – both jumping for joy that each ball went over the fence behind them.

The last out for the USA came on an athletic force play at second base by the Canadians, but so what? The illusion that this game had much connection to baseball already had been destroyed.

The brain trust behind these unnatural limiting rules on home runs obviously were trying to keep the final scores of their games out of the 70-69 final score range, but 30-29 is hardly much improvement due to the dead-homer rule, is it? Besides, they should have known that once you make a rule that converts homers into outs under certain circumstances that you are creating the same problem for players that we humans have had with the Ten Commandments since Moses brought them down to us on stone tablets from Mount Sinai:

Once you make a rule against doing something, that now forbidden act becomes the hardest thing to avoid! (Right, Eve?)

Both of those USA batters that hit the homer-outs in the club’s last time up tried hard not to do it, but they did it anyway. Like the guy who wasn’t interested in the woman next door until he found out she was married and then, right away, he fell heavily into coveting, the two USA batters experienced something like this thought right before they each swung with all their might: “I’m not supposed to do this!”

Then they each did it anyway. They smacked the balls out of the park for hope-killer outs.

I guess the only saving grace for the players is that ESPN picked up the beer tab on the beverages that they had to hold off drinking until after the show was over. Or maybe they just drank out of camera-shot during the game.

Unless it’s going to get you in trouble, hit one out of the park today, folks!


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