Mama Wordbones and I signed on to play in an adult coed softball league this fall. We play our games on Thursday nights under the lights at Cedar Lane Park in Columbia and Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge. Our team is a neighborhood team and we felt that this was a good way to connect with more folks in our community.
So far, three weeks into the season, the teams we’ve played include a team of employees from Transportation Management Services and a team of what I’d refer as softball mercenaries that were most recently sponsored by Micros. The softball mercenaries are group of men and women who play as much as they can, often in more than one league at a time. While the TMS team plays for employee camaraderie the mercenaries play simply for the love of the game. It’s all good. While the teams were competitive they all practiced good sportsmanship.
Last week, as we arrived at Cedar Lane Park for our 8:15 PM game, two other teams, the Ramrods and the Repeat Offenders, had just finished a game where good sportsmanship got left in the dust. The police had even been called to settle things down. I wasn’t present to witness what actually transpired but apparently things quickly got out of hand after a base runner for the Repeat Offenders plowed into the basemen for the Ramrods. The umpire, after receiving a good deal of verbal abuse, called the game which resulted in even more bad behavior from some of the players.
A couple of thoughts occurred to me. One, I hope we don’t play these guys. Two, I hope upon reflection, these adults who decided to behave like children last Thursday evening, felt embarrassed enough with their behavior and later made all necessary apologies. If not, I think it would be appropriate given our local ideal of choosing civility, for the county softball commissioner to ban them from playing in any county sponsored league.