Collectively picking up a softball and delicately cupping it between their fingers and palm for the first time in weeks, The Austin Chronicle
rs emerged from an extended rain-soaked layoff Sunday night to take a stubbornly muddy field and their toughest test of the young season: the undefeated KOOPerators
, purveyors of fundamentally sound community radio and 24-karat play on the diamond.
"They're pretty good," co-captain Bobby Leath
had explained 48 hours before a matchup that many observers considered a mere formality. "We should get everybody there by 6:30, and I'll give a scouting report."
, gasped the team. That's an hour before the game!
Little did they know they were in for an even bigger break in routine: The Chronicle
rs never got a chance to see and hear Leath standing in the bleachers with a megaphone and cigarette Sunday evening, as the game was unceremoniously bumped from Krieg Field No. 5 to No. 8 to accommodate a rescheduled Senior League showdown.
To quote St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon
, "Well, folks, this game began as a tiny worm and is blossoming into a large cobra."
Alternately, to quote Mike Tyson
, "One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died. I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand. He was out cold, convulsing on the floor like an infantile retard."
In Sunday night's parallel scenario, the Chronicle was Tyson, Julius, and the sanitation man all at the same time.
Indeed, an already shaky and rusty team would have even less time to shake off the rust, and they wallowed in the unfairness of it all while warming up. By 7:30 – gametime – covered in mud and mold and sweat, the Chronicle
rs (or whatever you want to call them) had started to come apart at the seams like a softball struck by co-captain Shawn Badgley
(above-right). The only consolation? KOOP didn't get the memo and had yet to show up. Maybe this mess could be avoided altogether. Read More | Comment »