Sheltered Islander: Upgrading the Old Ball Game on the Island

Little Kids Baseball, Remember, kids, win at all costs,
"Remember, kids, win at all costs," Photo: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Shelter Island has a beautiful new baseball field, but it’s still just an ordinary baseball field. Why not add some features to upgrade it? I sent my ideas to the Shelter Island Baseball Board (SIBB) and got this response:

Dear Ms. Flynn,

Thank you for your letter. It is clear that you have gone off your medication.

No, no, the square canvas bags that mark the bases will remain as they are. The fabric samples you sent were very nice, but a polka dot or striped base marker is just out of the question. Baseball is about traditions.

Renting out old cushions to sit on during the game sounds like a good idea, but we all know no one is going to return them. Especially if our team wins, people will think the cushions they were sitting on brought the team luck. Not to mention when those plastic boat cushions develop a tear on the seam, which they always do, they turn into whoopee-cushions.

Your idea to install a modified version of a ski lift alongside the bleachers to help grandparents to the top row is genius. However, we have already signed a contract with a local construction company to send over a Caterpillar earth mover for our games. The small scoop holds two grandparents and one ice chest. It lifts them to the top tier and gently dumps them out. The larger scoop seats six people, two dogs and two picnic baskets.

We generally liked your idea of a concession stand called “The Fifth Base.” However, we think that an attached open bar would lose more money than the concession could generate. Not to mention we’d have to worry about the kids getting inebriated, which we believe would impede their skills and we could lose a game. The parents becoming inebriated and creating a donnybrook under the bleachers would be an additional problem.

Spray painting the opposition’s bus with obscenities and throwing rotten tomatoes at the opposition’s parents are both good ideas. But people just don’t have the sense of humor that they used to. It’s the same with your idea about Island parents mooning the opposition’s parents whenever their kids score a homerun.

Your idea about covering the opposition’s bleachers with tree resin is excellent. But tree resin is brown and they’ll probably see it, so we’ll have to come up with another plan.

Adding horse tranquilizers to the opposition’s Gatorade drinks is another effective idea that just can’t be implemented. We’d never get the doses right and if the parents see their children wandering aimlessly around the baseball diamond, they may become suspicious.

Playing a recording of video game sounds to distract the opposition seems like it would work, but we think it would backfire and distract our players as well.

Asking the ferry captains to spin the ferry around a few times would get at least half of the team seasick. We’ll look into that because it might be effective and it’s not traceable.

But we must ask ourselves the question, if we have to cheat to win, do we really win? The answer, of course, is yes. But still, if it’s all the same to you, Ms. Flynn, we’d rather do it the old-fashioned way. We beat them fair and square and then have a rumble under the bleachers.

Meanwhile, while we consider all of your marginally interesting suggestions, please get back on your medication.


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