A Future Stand Up Comedian in Right Field: a Gradeschooler's Perspective

Right Field

            I don’t see why the position of right field exists, at least below the high school level. I was a right fielder for four years, and the only time a ball ever came into right field was when a baseball game on the next field had a hit to its left field. Seeing a chance to prove my prowess to the coach, I made a big show of going to catch that ball, which landed where I had been standing before my 200-meter sprint.

I used to think it was real funny when the coach would yell, “Hey, be ready out there!” Be ready!? Be ready for what-- the Second Coming of Christ? Maybe he was referring to dangerous freak bolts of lightning, but no, even if a bolt of lightning had struck the field, it would have struck at home plate- the batter is holding an aluminum bat.

The only helpful thing that a coach ever said to a right fielder was “Hey, look alive out there!” Most right fielders would run the risk of dying from boredom if not for that warning. Now we know that if you close your eyes you’ll never open them again.

One of the most common feel-goods told to bench-warmers is, “Well, look on the bright side; instead of being the team member who plays the least you’re the spectators with best seats.” Quit whining benchwarmers; instead of being the spectator with best seats in the house, you could be a right fielder and be the spectator with the worst seat in the house. Oh wait that’s right, right fielders don’t get to sit down, they get a sunburn. And don’t give me the, “Well, at least right fielders get to bat.” By the time you get in from right field the inning’s over and the only reason you are playing right field is because the coach knows you blow at sports but has to let you play (technically).

Doesn’t everyone just love the coach’s incentive-giving last-one-in-does-20-pushups speech. It’s going to be me every time because I’m farthest away and not terribly athletic. At that skill level we didn’t play baseball; 8 guys played pseudo-baseball and I stood in a field and played scratch my ass.

People used to tell me, “Well, there are always left handed hitters.” Yeah that’s right, I thought, maybe a lefty will hit a ball to right field. To make a long story short, after four years of getting excited whenever a lefty was up to bat, I realized that left handed batters were the only people as inept as right fielders; at least they stood a chance of getting hit. The only thing I might get hit by is a fucking car from the parking lot.

It’s odd, people can only hit the ball to their right under two circumstances: either they hit pitiful little grounders that roll to the first baseman’s feet (which means the right fielder has to run all the way in to back up the incompetent sod) or they smash the thing so ungodly hard it just barely goes under the eight miles per second required to escape Earth’s gravity. This means that the right fielder has to chase the ball down; it lands in the far side of the far parking lot, rolls into the street, down the hill, and under a burglar-alarm-ridden sports car, which belongs to the trigger-happy gun nut who gives his rottweilers, dachshunds (holy cow I actually spelled that right), and pit bulls PCP.

“What did you say coach? Oh. The pitcher can go shag his own goddamn ball; besides, I wouldn’t know what it looks like; I’ve never seen one before.”

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