20. října 2008 v 0:14 | Amor |  orgasmus dne

…As for softball, first you learn the rules of the game, and then you forget the rules and play from your heart. As for chamapgne, in victory we deserve it and in defeat we need it. So at the end, too much of anything is bad, but too much softball and champagne is just right.

Here I go again with a personal post instead of writing about some orgasmic event which has just occured. Also, this one is in English and goes out to all the people and things which I love: Batman, AAU All Stars, Baku Heineken & Animals, my friends, slowpitch softball and good champagne. Mainly, this one goes out to those who are no longer with us and who helped to shape me into the person I am today.

As I said, too much of anything is bad. Too much of work and too little of fun is even worse. Yet the best is to work hard and play hard. Yes, I can drink champagne till wee hours and still be out in the softball field at 8 a.m., ready to give it everything. Along with other crazy people like me things can actually work out almost perfect. Put together a team of non-professional players, place them up against teams, who are ten times better and you might end up kicking some arse…

Well, just like the AAU All Stars did last weekend at the Heavy Hitters slowpitch tournament and. The course of the weekend and how things turned out reminded me of the previous tournaments, where we also managed to perform well, given the circumstances and preconditions. Once we even won the tournament's recreational division. No one could understand and neither we could. This time around we thought we'd just play for fun without having any big ambitions, yet we managed to beat teams who really didn't deseve to lose (sorry, Baku Animals.) Just how we did it remains a mystery but I put it down to pure determination and strong will, which drove a bunch of Czechs, Americans, Mexicans and French to the point of reaching up to the ah-so unexpected victory. As usually, the beer was free throughout the tournament, we drank it and so did other teams. As usually, we played with my old and beaten bats (with exception of Bara's new and cool DeMarini.) As usually, we had only practiced twice before the tournament, both times at the Kampa park, where a local lady came out to abuse us followed by the Police patrol driving around the place. So much for having the cheek to call ourselves the AAU All Stars.

Saturday's games we managed to win, although we'd be losing right up to the last inning, in which we miraculously managed to get back in to the game and turn the score in our favour, to the dismay of the opponents. We managed that despite the fact that our pitcher had a shattered arm and only agreed to play, because I refused to pitch (and get killed by a powerful hit by some ex-marine baseball maniacs.) No proper practice at the diamond field before the first game either, we were waiting for a team to finish their practice only to be told by another team to fuck off and get out of there. Well, we remembered that one and repayed them twice - once by cheering the Baku Animals to do them in and then on Sunday we finished them off ourselves. So sweet was the victory that now we are planning to have our beer fueled tournament performance team review at the (unnamed bar), which sponsored the team. I thing we'll have burgers too, Jama does them quite well. Yummy!

Saturday night was meant to be a chill-out time, at least for me, given the fact that I'd drank 2 bottles of champagne on Friday night and only slept 5 hours before the start of the tournament. Well, I was wrong. Instead of staying in spread on a couch having myself nursed by my two terriers and lots of water, I went out with the Baku teams for a meal and drinks. I remember I was drinking Cuba Libre but for some reason I couldn't taste any rum in it. I thought that was strange and kept asking the bartender if he'd really put any in in. He must have thought I was an alcoholic, especially when I managed to have 5 glasses in 2 hours. Then at midnight me and my friend Bara decided we really needed to go home and get some rest, because thou at that point I did feel some rum travelling through my veins, I also remembered that on Sunday morning we were to play those Jama Burgers pancakes.

Sunday morning at the field: our AAU All Stars team arrived about 20min before the begining of the game only to find out that our rival was already practicing for an hour or so. Well, it didn't help them at all. They might as well been practicing all night long and still would lose with us. Again, just like on Saturday, the first few innings saw us playing quite badly. Tony, our pitcher even came to me to tell me he felt like he couldn't throw a strike but the next thing he did was a strike-out. Before the last inning we were on top of the score and the Bugers were reduced to a bunch of burnt pieces of meat. And I felt no sympathy for them whatsoever, because as a catcher I could hear their nasty - and absolutely unnecessarry - comments the'd keep making. Oh yes, our short-stop should've caught that ball and he didn't. But guess what, we had the last laugh at the end, too much to their dismay. After this game we had a break during which I went to cheer on the Baku and Moscow teams, who played in the sports division and with whom I was a friend by that time of the tournament. Our last game in the division was a team who'd beaten everyone with scores such as 24:2, 17:0 and 12:1. Just why that team didn't play the sports division was beyond my comprehension. Nevertheless, since we won all our previous games we, the AAU All Stars, were hoping for another miracle to occur to us. This time we weren't so lucky unfortunately. Even thou we weren't losing and the game was pretty tied througout it's course, we made several mistakes in the last inning, which saw us looking at the runners making their rounds bringing the winning points home, beating us 8:12. Tony and I (the pitcher/ catcher tandem) were just standing there smiling at each other in silence. I love the way Tony smiled, I will never forget it and am hoping to see more o fit at the next tournament in May.

This only defeat, along with the crowded sports division roaster and unlucky performance of other teams then meant that even thou we only lost that one game, the AAU All Stars didn't make it into semifinals. That didn't particularily made me happy but at the same time, it gave me chance to go and cheer on my Baku friends, who were fighiting for a 3rd place in sports division. At one point, the capitain, Batman, even invited me to join the team on 3rd base, replacing Trouble, who had been playing her 6th game that day. At the end I didn't get out there, because they were winning big time but I still cheered on them so hard that by the next morning - Monday - I'd completely lost my voice. I don't remember any such thing from any previous tournaments. Apparently they heard me across the whole National Baseball Centre shouting "Let's go Baku, let's go!"

Sunday night I felt like drinking good champagne… not even knowing whether to celebrate the good performances of AAU All Stars and Baku or to drown my sorrows of defeat and the end of such a great and smashing sports weekend. I met up with Baku people for the post-tournament celebration and played a bit of a tourist guide. Although I didn't drink any champagne that night and finally got a good night sleep, I still showed up for a couple of work meetings on Monday morning looking happy and content, but without my voice. Whispering into a telephone scared my boss to the core. First thing he did was he gave me some remedy for a flue, as he knew about the tournament and the fact that I'd had a bad cold right before the weekend. He was very sympathetic to me and let me off to do all work in writing. I still got to drink some nice Billecart-Salmon that day thou, as I managed to hook up with my Baku Batman in the afternoon and spend some quality time with him. He drank to victory and I did so to say cheers to softball and chamapagne.

PS: In memory of the late John Carey, my beloved professor of Business law. R.I.P.
XXX Amor

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