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Cow Patty Playoffs

In the "Cult of Escapism": Cow Patty Playoffs

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cow Patty Playoffs

We have to call timeout because there's a horse running wild in the field. This is the responsibility of the outfielders, so we run behind the horse yelling “YA!” and waving our gloves at it. It eventually runs into the woods and we can resume play in the Cow Patty League (CPL).

After a month of Sunday double-headers, my team is 11-8, which means we made the playoffs. I think we sometimes have an excellent team (relative to others in the CPL) and we're otherwise mediocre. A lot depends on the turnout, which drops drastically if we have to travel, which we had to do all but one week this month. Even more depends on whether our One Good Pitcher shows up. He's won every game he's pitched, whereas our cabal of other mediocre pitchers are, well, mediocre.

Despite my experience, each week has a new 'you're playing organized baseball in the middle of nowhere' surprise. Last week, as left fielder, I had to chase a ball through a barbed wire fence and recover it from underneath a rock that was underneath the stove in an outdoor kitchen. I suggested that, given the obstacles, the hit should have counted as a ground rule double, but my logic went unheeded and the batter easily scored an in-the-park home run.

I'm getting better at navigating outfields, which may contain: broken glass, large hills, boulders, small farm plots and/or hidden elevator shafts. They always contain large quantities of horse and cow poop.

My fielding is fine, but my batting has been inconsistent, bordering on bipolar. I feel bad for the coach, who started me in the seventh spot, then promoted me to second after a good game, then demoted me again to seventh when I struck out too much, then back up to second after I hit a gigantic triple and on like that each week. I'm like an elevator in the batting order. Overall though, I'd say I make a positive contribution, not to mention my extreme novelty value.

Today, a fan brought an empty tortoise shell, which can sort of be played like an instrument. I say sort of because it's a pretty boring instrument. Basically, you can tuck it under your arm and rub the ends of the shell to make a wooop sound. Having the shell around proved impossible to resist for the fans and bench players and someone was always playing it. As a result, the entire game was accompanied by a soft but incessant wooop wooop wooop wooop. At one point, I got the shell and played it like a little drum and someone immediately took it away from me and started woooping again. I think he might have been offended that I held the shell without woooping it.

The other consistent presence in this game, fittingly, were the cows just behind the center field barbed wire fence. They moved in early in the day to stand beneath some scrawny trees and the result made it seem like they moved in to get a better look at the game. Of course, the cows focused their entire collective energy on chewing and thus it was difficult to tell which team they were supporting, but I think I might have heard some moos of encouragement.

If we go deep into the playoffs, we'll have another full month of baseball, which will be nice. Hopefully my bipolar batting evens out a little and our One Good Pitcher shows up to every game. But then, I guess inconsistency is the only consistent part of the Cow Patty League and that's what's so fun about it.


At April 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM , Blogger David Lee Johnson said...

I love it when cows and horses play the wildcard in campo sports.


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