There are two things that you have to love – baseball and the male ego.
I learned over a conversation with two co-workers, though, that sometimes these two things should not be mixed!
It all started so innocently, but things got ugly in a hurry. Two male co-workers and I were discussing the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season during a quick break at work.
The boys and I started talking about how, if we won the $500 million lottery, we would buy prime season tickets at Turner Field to watch the Atlanta Braves. That soon transitioned into buying a spot in the dugout instead of in the regular seats.
Then one friend said that he would throw out the first pitch in a game. No, change that. My friend said he would pay enough money to pitch to just one batter, but that if he struck him out, he might pitch to two.
That’s when the mysterious male ego and the sport of baseball became a train wreck.
After one male friend made that comment about actually pitching to a MLB hitter and striking him out, the other friend quickly replied: “Strike out a major league hitter? Dude, you can’t even throw 60!”
Of course, my recently challenged friend thought about the fact that he’s not a kid anymore, has a wife, a son and a mortgage, and backed down, right? Wrong!
His response? “I think I can throw about 70 mph. Maybe a nice change-up or curveball; he might not expect that.”
After friend No. 2 told friend No. 1 that he was high and that there was no way he could throw a baseball 70 miles per hour, it was on like Donkey Kong! Friend No. 1 then said, “Hey, you bring your mitt to work and we can take this to the parking lot!”
The rest of the dialogue between my friends is typical of guys who aren’t ready to back down (isn’t that every one of us???):
Friend No. 1: “I bet I could strike you out!”
Friend No. 2: “You’d hit me before you struck me out.”
Friend No. 1: “I’d bean you after I struck you out, just for good measure! Give me a few warm-up pitches and it’s on!”
Friend No. 2: “My name is Dan Uggla!”
Friend No. 1: “You won’t have a name when I’m done with you!”
Friend No. 2: “Are you gonna kill me? Sounds a little intense!”
Friend No. 1: “No, I’m just going to shame you nameless!”
Friend No. 2 finally suggested that this challenge should be a best two-of-three situation. If Friend No. 2 gets a hit in two at-bats, then he wins. After that suggestion, I said, “You just want to try to get him to blow out his elbow after 10 pitches. Paging Dr. Andrews! Paging Dr. James Andrews!”
So, the Atlanta Braves open the 2012 season in New York on April 5, but that’s not what I’m excited about here in Atlanta. I can’t wait to see which friend is the victor when a workday baseball conversation turned grudge match is played out in the office parking lot.
The upcoming MLB season can wait; this is high-stakes drama brought about by that darned male ego. Don’t you just love it?