You might be familiar with a little trend on Facebook called "100 Happy Days". I don't know much about it, but I gather that the point is to post something that makes you happy for 100 days in a row. It's a nice idea. I don't post on Facebook every day and I don't want to, so I'm not joining in, but it does make me think about how I might shift my outlook just a little and feel a lot luckier than I do. Despite everything that has gone wildly wrong, so many things are going right these days.
So here are some happy thoughts for today. This year, Smunch spent a second baseball season (as is customary) playing in the Bronco division of our local PONY baseball league. Last year, as you may recall, was a stunning success. It would be hard to measure up to that.
The Bronco divison included 10 teams. The playoffs include four games of "pool" play (two pools of five teams each) and then single-elimination bracket play. It meant a lot of baseball between May 29th and June 4th for the Pirates. Nevertheless, at the end of pool play, they were the only team with a 4-0 record. They went on to the semi-finals Friday night where they played a tense game against the Nationals, who they had mysteriously not played against the entire season. The Pirates won 4-3. So, Saturday was the big day of the Championship Game...again. And again, Smunch's team faced the Rangers...who were again, "the dreaded Rangers".
But these weren't the same kids, or even the same coach as the team from a year ago. One of their players, having been warned about he propensity to "truck the catcher" at homeplate, had left the team since the last time the Pirates played them. Another of their players was tragically undergoing treatment for cancer. It almost made you want to root for them...almost.
Last year, I'd had to juggle Mam's travel softball tournament with the championships. This year, I was lucky. The championship fell on a weekend with no softball tournament. So I was there for the entire game. Smunch initiated a wicked-good double play from his knees at second base, but that was the most memorable part of his performance.
These games make me tense. I decided that I would pay attention rather than take pictures. I'm not sure that was a good plan. I need the distraction. The game see-sawed back and forth and it seemed like an eternity before the final out was recorded...the out that gave the Pirates a 5-4 victory.