2012 Season

Edition No. 19

July 19, 2012







Here are the standings through games of Sunday, July 15:




Da Bums








Millard Monarchs




Bronx Bombers




West Des Moines Cubs












Kansas City Blues












Omaha Senators











The Bums have a commanding 351-point lead over the Wahoos, which, while not insuperable, is certainly disquieting.  The gap between the Wahoos and the 3rd-place Monarchs is 201 points, then there is a 290-point chasm separating the Butterflies from the 4th-place team managed by the Bronx Zookeeper.  In other words, a fair amount of separation between the 1st- through 4th-place teams, instead of the usual cluster effect that we see this time of year.  That cluster effect can be found a few tiers down the ladder, from the 6th-place Chiefs (6173.3) through the 10th-place Tigers (6018.00), a total of only 155 points separating those five teams. 


As for me, I am positively giddy to have my Senators in some spot other than 12th or 13th place, and my current 11th-place standing may be my highest post-All Star break position during the Obama regime.  Yes, there is hope, and perhaps nothing more, that the Senators may finally loosen their death-grip on the league bowels after three seasons of excruciating ignominy. 


Not to get political on you, but it may be no coincidence that our league’s two died-in-the-red-ink Obama lovers and a certain Democrat in Republican’s clothing are all nestled together in the league entrails during what could be His Excellency’s final months in office.  Perhaps birds of a feather really do hang together.  Just sayin’. 




With the dog days of summer upon us and with the seemingly endless 100-degree days this summer, I have observed that my kids, and seemingly most kids, will only go outside if they have a baseball game or a practice they have to go to, or if they are driving in air conditioned comfort to spend my money at the mall or a fast food restaurant.  Gone are the days that kids actually go outside during the summer to play.  My basketball hoop is as lonely as the Maytag repairman.  My baseball field is sad and overgrown with grass and weeds.  My barn yearns for noise and activity.  Even my swimming pool, that’s right, the swimming pool, is underused because my marshmallow kids and their friends have to first hopscotch it across 15 feet of hot pavement before they are poolside, and that is simply too much to which to subject their tender little toes. 


While my outdoor chores are still in need of being done, whether it is San Diego weather or 102 degrees with 98% humidity, the Old Man is the only one getting sweaty while mowing the lawn, trimming the trees, cleaning the pool area, or taking the garbage down to the bottom of the hill.  If I dare to ask for help from any one of my perfectly healthy youngsters, I will get more rolling of eyes, guttural groans and gnashing of teeth than we can expect at the Rapture.  Good gravy.  And if the widespread grousing, grumbling and scorn wasn’t enough to deter me from even lodging such a request, the fact that they have Child Protective Services on speed dial if I make them raise a bloody finger to help, is.  In other words, at Casa Ernst work ethic is an oxymoron. 


But I’m not bitter.  No, on second thought, I am bitter. 


Personally, I blame X-Box and Wii and PlayStation and all of the other video game manufacturers for turning all of our children into indoor wussies.  And central air conditioning and climate controlled vehicles.  Heck, when I was a kid, in the summertime it was either stay inside and sweat on a hot day, watching one of three television channels, or go outside with the neighbor kids and play pickle, hide-and-seek, pick-up baseball, or ball tag, and I swear we didn’t even notice that it was hot outside.  Or head down to the Ballard public pool for a dip on really hot days.  Or jump into the Dodge Dart station wagon for a drive to the Dairy Queen, with all of the windows down and our arms outside the window catching the breeze. 


And whatever happened to going barefoot?  My kids would no more go barefoot outside than go outside at all.  When I was in their shoes, I wasn’t in shoes, and a summer wasn’t a summer without five or six good bloody stubbed toes, the ones that left a good quarter-inch of skin flapping around as a reminder.  After a week or two of running across the Kloefkorns’ gravel driveway, the bottoms of my feet were as tough as shoe leather, and there was no longer a need for shoes. 


Ah, those were the days. 


As I reflect on it, I realize that we only have ourselves to blame for the creation of the Softest Generation.  We buy them everything they want, whenever they want it, and we require nothing in return from them, other than our hope that they won’t be mad at us for not providing enough.  Yes, I have seen the enemy, and he is me. 


I don’t have the solution.  Just the diagnosis. All of you that have this little bugaboo figured out, I am all ears. 


Maybe I’m just jealous.  Or, maybe not. 




The Mount Michael Knights Senior Legion team begins District play tomorrow (Friday) night at Mount Michael, as the Knights are hosting the B3 District at our home field.  With their salutary 25-9 record, the Knights drew a bye in the first round and face the winner of the Blair-Roncalli game set for tonight.  If they win on Friday night, they advance to a second round game on Sunday at 5:30, or a Saturday game if they lose.  Joe will probably pitch the third game for the Knights, either Sunday or Monday. 


The Knights Junior Legion team went 1-and-2 in their Districts and failed to qualify for State.  The good news for the Seniors is that three or four of the Junior Knights are now available to play in the Seniors Districts, including Will, since they will not be out at Juniors State in Chadron.  If the Knights win their District, they advance to Class B State at Wahoo’s Sam Crawford Field, slated to begin on Saturday, July 28. 


* * * * * * * *


Thanks to McJester for his excellent 7th Inning Stretch.  Great update on your personal life, Jon, and just great stuff.  Always good to hear from our elongated league curmudgeon. 


Next week’s guest editor:  Jim Ed. 


Back at you in a fortnight.