The Utility Player, Chapter 12

The up is not super-pleased about his playing time on his league team; however, if you average out this under-pleasedness with the euphoria of playing in Spanish on Mondays, he is still way ahead of the game.

Therefore, he is attempting to be philosophical about it. The philosophy goes like this: the team has been playing together since the early 90’s. You really do need to earn your playing time, unless you are knocking the cover off the ball, which the up is not. He bounced back to the pitcher and popped up to first in his two plate appearances over nine innings: truly not much to report on there. Sometimes you barrel up; sometimes you — let’s call it what it is — overextend your hands.


That’s some truth.

The up could really work on keeping his hands in. Is there an app for that? Probably there is more like a strap, or a gizmo — let’s see: oh yeah — all manner of gimcrackery. We’re not plunking down dinero for any of that. Instead, we are just going to work on keeping shaft to shoulder, like it says in a rando YouTube on keeping your hands in.

Yah. The up is down with that. Shaft to shoulder. Heck yeah. All day/every day. And as for playing time; yeah. He was thinking about quitting but he has done that before. Have we noted the up’s penchant for quitting on teams right as they are going to the finals? I think we have. Anyway, that is not one of his better penchants. Stick it out, up.

I do like that he is not bugging the manager for more playing time. At least the up has dignity. He can amuse himself well enough on the bench with color commentary. I do not think it is a bad thing for him to be around other adult males. For example, today he had the opportunity to hear one of his teammates say that he used to be 100 pounds heavier. This teammate claimed to have gained 20 pounds in one weekend devoted to Dreyer’s Ice Cream. This really helped mellow out the up’s own ice cream yearnings.

He is a solid 30 pounds overweight himself, the up. All this knee pain — could be related to carrying around a big bag of dog food wherever he goes. Dog food, chicken feed, potting soil — whatever you call it, 30 pounds is a lot, and it could also be 40. So, he’s planning to mellow down easy on the frozen confections and also the brown liquor, and do all the other good things they tell him to do in his new lifestyle re-jiggering class for people who are pre-diabetic.

Yeah. If the up would feel ridiculous letting a routine ground ball get through his legs, and if he feels underthrilled about his playing time and batting prowess — imagine how he’d feel about letting himself become diabetic. Oh heck no. That is not the up at all. He is going to be good. A change is going to come. Shaft to shoulder.

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