What happened to our pitchers?

RECENTLY I CAME ACROSS an ad in the newspaper for a machine-pitched baseball league for children.

(Of course it’s for children. Adults have human-pitched baseball leagues and senior citizens play bingo.)

Anyway, it got me wondering – once again – what’s happening to our world. I’m not sure when I wrote it in college, but at some point I wrote a paper titled “The Wussification of America” in which I went off on some tirade about all of the things we’re doing in the place most hated by ISIS that’s killing all hope for future Americans because persons in the places ISIS doesn’t care about aren’t doing these things or distilling their water.

If I had known then someone would invent machine-pitched baseball leagues for children, I would have included them.

First, let me be clear: I don’t know for sure what is a “machine-pitched” baseball league. I’m only assuming it’s exactly like regular Little League, which is exactly like professional baseball minus the adults, except for the pitcher replaced by a machine.

Why the Hell do this? For the parents? The children?

For those who’ve never been a 10-year-old boy, let me share a personal story. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a pitcher. I had been one in the league before the league for 10-year-old boys, but it turned out I was a better shortstop. In my final season in the league for 10-year-old boys, our team’s coach apparently thought I had a strong, accurate arm, so he had me pitch. I was great in practice. I would be our team’s opening day pitcher.

Well, it turned out my teammates were actually very bad hitters who made me look like a good pitcher in practice because, come opening day, it became rather obvious I sucked. Each inning went on for hours. I had thrown about 400 pitches by the second inning and each one was terrible.

But it was a great lesson. I learned that life oftentimes sucked ass. This was a good lesson for me to learn because to that point, my life had been pretty good. Sure, I had crushes on girls that never came to fruition and my mom still picked out my clothes for school, but in all honesty, things weren’t that bad until opening day of Little League when I was 10.

Meanwhile, the parents were miserable watching this nonsense under the mid-morning sun. I think even my parents left. It ended up being like a six-hour Little League game. I’m serious. It was terrible. I believe the final score was 4,323 to 2.

So get rid of 10-year-old kids who shouldn’t be pitchers. It will be safer for the hitters, too, since rubber-cored baseballs moving 39 miles per hour can cause a lot of marrow damage to a 10-year-old’s bones. We don’t want our children getting injured. We don’t want our aspiring pitchers feeling bad. And we certainly don’t want our parents getting bored.

I ALSO DISCOVERED IN THE LAST WEEK that I’m getting old. For those of you not lucky or worthy enough of being my friend on Facebook, I shall paraphrase the following story, which served as my status update for more than six hours two weeks ago: my daughter, who is inconsiderate, requested I not take her all the way to the bus stop in my vehicle the following morning because it would embarrass her.

What the Hell?

My father embarrassed me when I was her age, but he was a dork. I, on the other hand, am really cool. I just graduated from college.

Wait. College comes after high school, which takes place after elementary school and middle school. I graduated college in … oh, man. Never mind. I’m done with this shit.

Another reason I’m old is this: it’s not unusual for me to wait in a parking lot for a store to open if I’m off during the week. Yes. I am showered, dressed and out and about at 8 a.m. on days I don’t have to be. What’s more convicting is that I’m waiting to buy stupid shit. Toothpaste. A new mop for the kitchen. An area rug.

Five years ago, Hell would freeze over before I ventured to the store to pick up insulin (which I literally need to survive) prior to 9 a.m. Now I’m looking to boost the local economy through mop sales.

Damn.

I’ve also noticed, all too recently, I don’t give a crap about other folks driving faster than me. I bought a brand new vehicle a few months ago. No, it’s not a sports car, but there’s no reason a Moped should accelerate faster than me at a red light. But it happens all of the time. Literally … all of the time.

Once when I wasn’t old, I bought a 1993 Toyota Celica with about 90,000 miles on it that I thought was a damn Ferrari. I had to buy new tires every six months. I violated traffic laws I didn’t know existed. I learned cars can go faster than the top speed on their speedometer.

Nowadays, I’m lucky if I hit 80 on the interstate. Through town, I don’t care … I’ve done the math and discovered risking a $150 speeding ticket will only save you 60 seconds, in most cases.

But when I drove that Celica, it wasn’t about the time saved … it was about …

… who knows.

I’m just glad I survived.

Actually, I’m just glad I didn’t nearly die and force myself to live the rest of my life like Christopher Reeve.

Maybe.

Come to think of it, I don’t think about this crap. Like, ever.

Until an ad for a damn machine-pitched baseball appears in the paper. Then I feel like a fossil.

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