Stop Your Judgmental Infield Chatter While I Handle The Pill, Softball Pitcher PleadsS

Here's another overwrought email sent to a company softball team wherein one rookie pitcher had himself a tough outing. For some reason this young fireballer also ended up in a dugout scrap with one of his teammates who started heckling about his performance. Then, of course, he felt compelled to write an apology email to his teammates. Well, most of them.

Here's the setup from a fellow who witnessed the carnage:

So in order to protect the guilty, I have already changed the names involved in the email below (and if you print this, please change mine or it will be obvious). The background of this is that this is a business-sponsored softball team. During the game, the pitcher was having a rough game - a little off with his control and also getting squeezed by the ump - and many of his teammates encouragingly and positively yelled at him to "hey, come on now!" or "put it right over, don't worry about him hitting it" or something similar. The usual baseball/softball chatter. Well, we didn't realize that he wanted absolute silence while pitching... until he and another member of the team/company came to blows (mercifully, immediately broken up) in the dugout after a particularly gruesome inning. The pitcher then screamed at the entire team to keep quiet when he's pitching a few other choice profanity-laden tidbits.

Now, a few relevant details... the pitcher is a very very junior employee at the company. The other team members/co-workers he was screaming at are all considerably more senior and in a few cases direct supervisors. The other team member he tried to fight before intervention is not only nearly a senior manager but also was a college football player that is about twice his width.

Most ascribed the behavior to a "heat of the moment" issue... but the pitcher then sent the following email to the entire team the next day.

It should be noted that everyone is still speaking (and playing together), and the author in question has been forgiven and ribbed a lot about it, but this email remains fabulous...

Date: Sun, 19 July 2009 20:33:08 -0600
To: [redacted]
Cc: [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted]

First, I want to apologize to everyone for lashing out a bit last night. That said, I am not completely apologetic.

Second, I did not and do not intend to throw strikes everytime. I want them to chase bad pitches. Sometimes I am trying to put a little extra on it and lose control and sometimes I am just trying to throw strikes. I understand that you mean well, but when I am concentrating, calls to "pump it in there" or "put it over" just sound like demands. I have only pitched in softball twice, it is challenging, but I enjoy it. Encourage me when I do well, but otherwise leave me alone. And that should go for everyone. We all live in glass houses.

Third, you said you need me to pitch and I am willing to sacrifice my arm, but I need to protect it. I cannot have 50 pitch innings because people cannot get outs. I felt the strain yesterday and I feel it today. Sam, you need to put our best players at the positions that require the most skill. That means no drunk Webster at Third (sorry buddy, but you did not have it last night) or nepotism at Second (he could not bend down to stop a ground ball - it was insulting to the effort I was putting out). Please consider getting Morrison to play Third (he has the leather and gun to play deep at the hot corner), try Lenny there etc., Rip is a fine Short, and Webster would be a great Second. Also, keep putting our best on the left side of the outfield. I understand we need to rotate Catchers for peoples' knees.

Sam, you wondered why I called you out. Well, you tried to yank me from the game and relegate me to Right when the blame should not have been all on me. If you are going to pull people for mistakes, do it for everyone or no one. I will tell you when I do not have it or I am hurting.

I have no problem with everyone playing. Also, I do not need to pitch every game all game. Someone else is more than welcome to try their hand with the pill.

We will all make mistakes. We are not professionals. We should try to win and it should be fun. But, when I sacrifice my arm, I expect people to be in the best position for success and to put forth their best effort.

We can also just play around out there and have fun, but I will not throw my arm out doing so.

Just let me know,

Ebbie Calvin

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