Softball: One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Yesterday we reported on Tuesday night's New Yorker-Gawker Media softball extravaganza in Central Park. Our summary:

In short: Gawker kicked ass, 35 - 0.

And today, theirs, from Coach Dellinger:

NEW YORKER DEFEATS GAWKER, 8-0
Sarcastic Self-Publishers Kinder, Less Skilled Than Expected

And, really, are you going to believe magazinedom's most revered crew of fact checkers are more accurate than a (barely) functionally alcoholic crew of ne'er-do-well bloggers? Please.

Dellinger's unabashed attempt at revisionist history — which, frustratingly, doesn't mention Team GM's unprecedented (and, granted, ill-advised) four rounds of Tuesday-night shots — is eagerly waiting for you after the jump.

From: Dellinger, Matt
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:38 PM
To: TNY Edit All; TNY Business All
Subject: Good Sports

NEW YORKER DEFEATS GAWKER, 8-0
Sarcastic Self-Publishers Kinder, Less Skilled Than Expected

The New Yorker softball team has a long, proud history of hosting late-season contests against eager dilettantes, gently dominating them, and then, a few years later, getting our asses handed to us by the very same folks. Look for Gawker to beat us in 2007.

We were all warmed up and taking a little batting practice by the time the Bloggers, in a flurry of cell phone activity, assembled themselves on the North Meadow. The sun, such as it was behind the threatening clouds, was setting, so we got right to it. Their first batter got a single off Stu "Leapin'" Leeds, and was rightly pleased. A little beside himself even. The next hit was a hard line drive to Ben "babyface" McGrath, who caught the ball and the runner—he had darted off the base. A zippy throw to "Fat" Andy Friedman at first, and we had ourselves a double play. You don't see that too often. They hit s'more, got onto first and second. A grounder came to Willing "Homer" Davidson at short stop. Willing pitched the ball towards McGrath at third; the ball bounced off the runner's back, but kept rolling behind him; the runner, unwilling to slide, overran third; McGrath, alert again, collected the rolling ball and turned to tag the runner. No one scored, no one bored.

At the plate: Willing and McGrath pop out. The pitcher's got some stuff. Louisa "babyface" Thomas got a hold of one, though, and made it to first. Friedman steps up, wife Tara and son Walker looking on. Sends one deep into foul territory. Another one not so deep into foul territory. The next swing's gotta count, and it does: the ball hits dirt and dribbles three feet towards the shortstop. Good enough. Friedman hustles to first, Thomas to second. Jonathan "Wolfman" Shainin puts a double out into left and bats in Thomas for our first run. The inning ends up 1-0.

Second inning. They get a guy on first. A line drive to McGrath. He catches it. And the runner at first? That's right. McGrath to Friedman. Two outs. the next ball is just a little ol' thing, up the middle to Leeds, who bends for it, aims, and pitches it overhand to Friedman. Three outs.

The return of Peter "Can-do" Canby turns out to be a triumphant one. The checking guru doubled into deep left, right about where Shainin put his, and about forty yards shy of where Ed "Kalamity" Klaris was about to put his. Ed certainly has developed a mean swing, and he's faster than a six-legged jackrabbit [or something else?]. Peter had to hustle to stay ahead of him. A two run homer for Klaris. Much rejoicing. We got three outs before we got another run, despite hits by Josh "babyface" Hersh and Michael "Crawdaddy" Crawford, who reappeared from the wilds of rural Canada tanned, rested, and oddly dressed—dark wool slacks and a pink shirt. An athletic strap for his glasses. Something Maloneyesque about the whole ensemble. Anyway. 3-0.

The third inning: a grounder to Willing, who can't quite get his glove on it, despite its utter lack of motion. Willing, clearly shaken, removed himself from the game on the spot—a bold, unprecedented gesture that put Hersh in the hot seat. They had a guy on first. A line drive, to Friedman. The runner at first?... I'm afraid so. Friedman beats him back to first for a one-man double play. Hersh gets the next one, makes a beautiful ballet of a routine grounder. Willing, from the bench, nods with approval.

Nothing at the plate. Gawker stopped us: three up, three down. We won't name names—but I will take this time to mention that poetry assistant Jenna "Crack" Krajeski made her debut last night, and Quinn "Kipp" Shamlian batted for the second time in her adult life.

The fourth inning: we give them nothing right back. Crawford on the mound and the pink shirt sends them flying like flamingos. Friedman grabs a pop-up at first. One up, up, up in to left field, where Raffi "Catch" Khatchadourian quivers in anticipation. The bench holds its breath. the ball comes down and.... BAM! Ed Klaris darts over from center field and mugs Raffi for the ball, stealing it more or less three inches above his glove. I like it. Two outs. Another floater, out to shallow right, and shortfielder "King" Cole Louison catches it as awkwardly as possible, stretching and jumping as though shot in the back (by Klaris, I'm guessing).

At the plate: More nothing. We won't name names again, but I will say that promising new checker Jessica "Rose" Rosenberg had the only hit of the inning, and that my final at bat of the year didn't go the way I would have liked.

Let's skip ahead to the bottom of the fifth. Oh my. Two outs. No one on. "Fat" Andy steps up. and, remembering his bunt in the first inning, the outfield (I might have imagined this, or made it up) actually moves a few steps in. Andy fouls one off but .... well, you know the rest. A solo homer. The team is inspired: Shainin hits a single. So does Lauren "the bronx bombshell" Porcaro. Canby doubles again, and brings in the bearded one. Two outs, two on, and Klaris is up. Kalamity. This one sounds even better than the last one. Porcaro and Canby on their respective horses. They both score. Ed passes by in a glowing blur of light, and we chalk up another homer, a three run job. His third home run in a row. His last four at bats? Eight RBIs. AND he tackles his teammates for fly balls. We like Ed. 10-0.

We played another half an inning, despite the dark. Jessica had a great play at second. Tim "the New Guy" Farrington made a very smooth catch in right center. And the softball gods themselves, assisted by Hersh and myself, made the final out: a Blogger at second, me on the mound. A pop fly into shallow left. The runner takes off. Hersh hustles for the ball but it drops past him. The Blogger rounds third as Hersh is throwing to McGrath. I run to cover the plate. Hersh's throw is bad, but oh so good. It hits the eroded lip of earth just foul of third base and the ball ricochets just exactly right, and comes rolling past the runner and into my glove. Tag. He's out. That's ballgame, season, the whole shebang.

The Bloggers all came to Tap-a-Keg, although they were visibly disturbed to be so far uptown. Pizza came. Maggie the bartender taught Josh Hersh how to tend bar. Cressida "Chardonnay" Leyshon plaid Erotic Photo Hunt with Raffi. Anne played pool and John Cougar songs. Someone bought me sunflowers.

8-8-1 we are. A fine season. Thanks to all.

Keep Sunday the 18th open for picnic-style activities

Dellinger