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What the hell is a baseball?; Seriously, what is it? Open!
Topic Started: Jul 30 2016, 07:19 AM (441 Views)
Dannyrulx
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Will looked at the bat. He'd seen them of course, seen how you held them, seen how you were supposed to hit the ball, but... In practise? Never tried it. He supposed there was no time like the present, but just looking at the stupid thing made him confused. Why were Yanks so anti-British sport? They had the gall to name the sport that the rest of the world called football 'soccer,' and then name their pussified version of Rugby 'American Football,' and then they'd basically turned rounders into a game that grown men could play without looking like they'd had their balls hacked off.

Give him a cricket bat, and he'd have been fine. Wasn't his favourite sport, but he could play it. Stick him in a scrum and he'd be pushing with the best of them. Give him a pair of goalie gloves and nothing was getting past him. But this?

Now all he needed was a bowler. Shit, no, they called it a pitcher in this ridiculous version of the sport he'd grown up with. And I'm a Gymn full of pupils, finding one shouldn't be that hard, right?
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((Cristóbal Morales continued from Wasserweber))

There didn't seem to be much of a plan for today's P.E. class, which Cristo couldn't exactly say he was disappointed about. He much preferred to be left to his own devices in athletics unless he was at baseball practice. Getting strong-armed into team games of kickball or whatever was... well, he'd kindly call it counter-productive, if the aim was to make people enjoy sports. Especially when you got grouped with the vocal minority of students who took what should have been casual games way too seriously.

Case in point, the guy over there eyeing a baseball bat like he'd never seen such a thing before and it had just insulted his mother. Will was hard to miss and harder to ignore, and he'd made his thoughts on American sports very clear more than once. Cristóbal had never been drawn into an argument with him, of course, because he didn't have a death wish and knew that once some people had made up their minds about things, there was no convincing them otherwise even if the thing they were certain of didn't matter all that much when you really thought about it.

Cristo had located a baseball, though, and Will had a bat, and he'd been considering going out to work on his throw. It was better than his swing, definitely, but his aim still tended to go a little wild in the heat of the moment sometimes. He absently tossed the ball to himself as he stood and watched Will, waiting to see if he'd present an opening to be approached - or better, approach Cristo first so he didn't have to be the one to break the ice.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Dannyrulx
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Will sighed and picked up the bat, before tossing it up in the air, causing it to whirl and spiral before smacking back into his palm with a meaty clap. It was smooth, he thought, far smoother than the grippy coverings that cricket bats had, and he ran his left hand along the side. Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher. Who was gonna throw it... His eyes flitted about the gym, before resting on a fellow student. Cristo, the Mexican dude. Also a massive goth. Or emo, he wasn't exactly sure. He was also tossing a baseball in the air. And looking at him.

He sauntered over, making sure not to drag the bat against the ground. He may not appreciate the sport, but you appreciated the equipment. Looked after it, even if it wasn't your gear. Scratch that, especially if it wasn't yours. He looked down at the kid, not because he felt any superiority over the guy, but because he looked down at everyone. Even Rea.

"You've got a ball and a clue, I've got a bat and neither. Should we?"
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Well, that was straightforward.

Cristóbal took a step back before replying; he didn't like the feeling of Will looming over him. "Have you never played before?" He asked, just to clarify what exactly it was Will wanted. Cristo could throw, certainly, though he wasn't a pitcher, but if Will wanted full instruction on how baseball was played, well... Cristo supposed he could explain the basics well enough, at least.

He doubted that Will had too much interest in really learning how to play baseball. For one thing, he seemed to have nothing but disdain for American sports in general. For another, he just wasn't built like a baseball player. Football, maybe, or wrestling. Something that involved more hitting people and less running and finesse.

Cristóbal absently turned the ball over in his hands as he waited for Will's answer. It might be better if someone else joined them too, less running back and forth for just the two of them if the ball went wild on a throw or Will just so happened to hit it a considerable distance.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Dannyrulx
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"For a start, look at me. I'm built like a truck. Why would I be smacking balls around, baseball or cricket; when this;" he indicated to his body with the bat, "is much better put to use as a prop. Or goalie, whichever we happened to be playing." He paused for a second to roll a crick out of his neck, before continuing. "I do have... some knowledge though. Baseball isn't too far off rounders, which is a massive girl's sport in Blighty, and my uncle is a baseball fan. Not fanatic, but he likes the Wolf Pack. Which is strange, because from what I gather, this is Wildcat territory." He replied to the unasked question tersely. "I have no clue about those teams other than the name and state they come from. Unlike Leicster Tigers. They've actually got a shot this year, which is nice."

He indicated for Cristo to follow. "So, I kinda know the basics, but feel free to give me some tips if I fuck up too badly, alright? Maybe if I start with some Yank sports my Aunt'll get off my back with the whole 'cultural assimilation' bollocks. Don't see the point myself, but anything to shut her yapping up for about 10 seconds will be welcome."
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Cristo, probably wisely, kept his mouth shut as Will launched into a spiel about why he was too good for baseball, or something. He liked to think of himself as a non-judgmental person, but really? Why not just come right out and say that he hated the US and its sports and the family that took him in instead of trying to dump him off on someone else like a full fifty percent of Cristóbal's family had, if he was going to go that far? He kept that to himself, though, and dutifully followed Will to a free patch of grass where they wouldn't need to worry so much about stray throws or hits.

"Are you right- or left-handed?" Was what he said instead. "Whichever it is, stand with that hand on the outside, away from me. Bat over your shoulder, but not resting on it. Bend your knees and elbows slightly.

Cristo didn't have his glove, so that probably meant a bit of running back and forth to pick the ball up instead of trying to catch it if he didn't want to ruin his hands. That was fine though. It would keep him busy. He took his place a short distance away to observe Will's batting position before he made his first pitch.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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...knees and elbows bent? Huh. So they even ripped off the cricket stance, but made it so you didn't place the bat on the ground. Dutifully, he followed the advice, meaty hands wrapping around the bat. If they had been even a centimetre bigger, he'd have struggled to hold it properly, but as it was, he could manage, just about. He watched as Cristo walked off to a place where he could throw properly, idly tapping his foot as he did so.

"So, Cristo, why'd you get into Baseball? I mean, you're relatively local, and they play this sport across the whole country, but is that it? Others played it, you play it, you find it enjoyable? Not judging if that's what it is, hell, that's how I got into Rugby, but was it the same with you?"
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Cristo had to admit he was a little surprised that Will even bothered to attempt small talk with him. He hadn't seemed the type to indulge in idle chatter with the rabble, or however Will himself would probably put it.

"My family likes watching baseball, and I like playing it with friends," was his simple reply. He had the briefest notion of adding more: You know. Family. That thing that you seem to be taking for granted - resenting, even! - when you already have so much and they have no obligation to take care of you.

Without saying any of that, Cristo assumed his best pitcher's stance, wound up, and let the ball fly.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Eyes on the ball at all times... When it comes into your reach, swing... NOW! The bat made contact with the ball, the loud 'crack' sounding as it flew back the way it came. It narrowly missed hitting Cristo's knee, before skimming itself off of the grass and rolling to a stop. "Huh. That was better than I thought it would be."

Will dropped the bat and started walking to pick the ball up. He could've ran or even jogged, but he was feeling lazy today and didn't want to bother. He'd cut his time down to under 20 minutes yesterday, so he was trying to do as little excessive as possible until Sunday to give himself a rest. "You know the whole 'base' system, for dating?" He called out as he walked. "For some bizarre reason, it carried right over the pond, no changes, even though half of us have no clue what a 'base' is." He picked up the ball and started walking back. "Slang's weird like that."
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Cristóbal was a little taken aback at how well Will swung the bat, moving a step over just in time to avoid getting nailed in the leg by the returned ball. Before he could go and retrieve it, Will was already on his way. He hadn't made much effort to catch it, given his lack of a glove right now, but he hadn't intended to make Will go back and forth the whole time. Oh well.

Instead, he stood there and waited for Will to return, raising his eyebrows a bit at the topic of conversation. It was thematically appropriate, he supposed, if a bit... out of left field, as it were.

"That's interesting," he said, for lack of anything else. What was he supposed to say to that? Of course, if they were going to take the baseball metaphor to its logical conclusion, Cristo had never even come up to bat at this point in his life. It wasn't like he had any "base" experiences to share, nor would he be comfortable spilling them to a near-stranger if he had. He wondered if Will even expected him to respond, or to just listen and nod along with whatever.

He held his hands up for Will to throw the ball back to him when he got within tossing distance.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Dannyrulx
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Will had noted the little leg jump Cristo had done. I mean, sure it was needed, sure this was the entirley wrong sport to make the joke, and sure, Cristo had shown zero signs of being able to understand it, but goddammit sometimes he liked to feel more important than other people without bringing up his family or wallet size. So, what the hell, "LBW" it was.

Just to rub the little bit of British superiority in a little bit more, he did a little run up before throwing the ball over-arm, bouncing it straight into Cristo's hands. "This feels good actually. Really, really good. I've not put the whites on for what, four, five years now? And it's getting increasingly difficult to together a rugby team. Only home sport I've played at all in the last year would be football. Sorry, soccer."

Saying that word made him slightly angry actually. It wasn't because of anything Cristo had done, it was just the sheer, jaw-dropping bullshittery that had lead to the rest of the world being sidelined for the yanks to feel better about a sport nobody cares about outside their country.

"At the same time... It's probably no secret I'm not going to be picking up a Stars and Stripes any time soon. There's a reason for that, a good one." He stretched his arms out wide as if to indicate he was talking generally, rather than this tiny ass-end of a state known for a gigantic hole in the ground.

"This is basically a punishment for me. A punishment I couldn't avoid, and did nothing to deserve. Sent out here because I was supposed to 'stretch my wings,' or some bullshit that my insane Geordie aunt dreamt up. I was going to do it all. CCF, then DofE, then get a military scholarship until I could go to Sandhurst. If I was at home I'd be earning my stripes. What do I get? Fucking. Sand. And more sand. And even more fucking sand. Oh! And cacti and coyote, but I can't even bring my own fucking guns so I have to use my uncle's peashooter, and besides, what's the fucking point in hunting because there's nothing bigger than a dog unless you go for a fucking lion or some shit and even less that tastes good!"

He was getting angry actually. Very, very angry. So angry that he hadn't realised how harsh his accent had been getting, and he was very sure that half of what he'd just said would be roughly translated as 'indecipherable due to accent' if life had closed captions. "Fuck it, throw me a fastball. I want to see if I can hit a haymaker."
Edited by Dannyrulx, Aug 5 2016, 07:19 PM.
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What...

What the hell was wrong with this guy?

Will launched into a tirade, going on and on about how this and that was the worst thing to ever happen to him, his accent thickening until it was more or less indecipherable, and Cristóbal just... stared. Not an unusual reaction from him on the outside, but inside?

Inside, he was suddenly seething.

Cristo didn't like being angry. It wasn't something he usually felt, and when he did, it was always the same kind of helpless, impotent anger that he could never manage to give voice to. It exhausted him, and whoever or whatever had sparked it in the first place almost never knew that it had even existed.

Now seemed much the same. Will raged on, laying out exactly how the home and people that Cristo loved were so much dirt under Will's shoe, and Cristo just stared, wide eyes half-hidden by his bangs, and said nothing about the cold, tight knot in his chest that squeezed tighter with every word.

Oh. A fastball.

You want a fastball, you high-and-mighty douchebag?

"Alright," was the single, clipped response Cristóbal gave before winding up again and throwing what he thought was probably the hardest pitch of his life. He realized almost as soon as the ball left his fingertips that he'd made a mistake, he hadn't waited long enough for Will to comfortably get into position and signal to him before letting loose, but by then it was too late to do anything but watch things unfold.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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He'd asked for a fastball, and he'd gotten a fastball. Christ, the thing mustv've been going close to seventy miles an hour. Had he'd had any time to react, a neck crick would have been in order, but again, it was fast. His footing was all wrong, and he knew it. This would be him swinging and seeing what happened.

So, he swung with all of his might. Despite what it might've seemed to outsiders, his upper body strength was not actually his forte, he was a long-distance runner first and foremost , but that's not to say he was weak, far from it, the muscle mass that could make men more than double his age jealous wasn't just legs.

As he swung, he knew something very clearly; it was going to be a hit of fate. He didn't exactly call it that out loud, but that was what it was. These types of hits only ended one of two ways. Either the ball would sail past him, rushing air past his ears and leaving him shamefaced like it had done so many times before...

Or every atom inbetween the ball and bat would be determined to make this shot succeed and it would fly towards the swinging bat like a guided missile, exploding outwards until some poor intern at a space agency would be spitting out his coffee at a UFO coming on the radar.

The crack of the connect was so loud it sounded like a gunshot going off by his ears. The bat, not used to the huge amount of pressure it had suddenly been put under cracked and shattered, a hunk of the maple flying out and sending splinters into his arm and cheek.

The ball on the other hand, seemed to break the sound barrier. Over five thousand pounds of force compacted into the area the size of his thumbnail caused the ball to rocket outwards towards the sky in a perfect parabolic arc that there was zero chance of him seeing the curve of.

Will blinked. The pain was slowly registering in his system, but he'd just managed to hit a ball that some pro' league baseball players wouldn't be able to hit if they were ready. It wasn't luck, wasn't fate or any of that. For some reason, Will thought to himself, God had decided to come down and bless the entire process that has just took place, because he could not think up of any other explanation for what had just happened.

Dropping the broken bat he brought two fingers up to his chest, then his head, and then pulled them across his chest right-to-left, before bowing his head in thanks. It was stupid, some tiny part of his brain said, but it was immediately drowned out by the rest of his brain.
Edited by Dannyrulx, Aug 5 2016, 08:44 PM.
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Cristóbal stared.

And stared.

And stared.

And a strained, humorless laugh came bubbling up out of his throat.

A hit like that shouldn't have been physically possible. To be perfectly honest, he was pretty sure it wasn't. He was seeing things. He was no practiced pitcher, and even if he was, to throw the ball hard enough for... that? Even with a powerful, trained batter, which Will had in no uncertain terms made clear that he wasn't?

But of course. Of course Will could go and hit a home run with no prior baseball experience, because he was just the best there was, wasn't he? He was so much better than everyone in Cochise, in Kingman, in the United States, and in the entire world. He was William McKinley, and how dare anyone try to imply that he didn't deserve everything right away and on a silver platter?

No, Will had made it perfectly clear just how far everyone and everything was beneath him, and Cristo wanted no further part of it. His hands were shaking. He felt like he might be physically ill, he was so angry.

"You should go to the nurse," he mumbled, his own voice sounding far away. He needed to get out of here, and the period was nearly over - and by the way, that was school equipment, you couldn't just throw it on the ground like that even if you did just shatter it in a physically-impossible display of whatever kind of superiority that was-

He needed to get out of here.

Staring straight ahead, Cristo stumbled away from Will and the class, and whatever the hell had just happened, and he didn't look back.

((Cristóbal Morales continued in Empire of Dirt))
Edited by backslash, Aug 5 2016, 10:27 PM.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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How the actual fuck had he done that? He'd had experience with a bat before, obviously, but... He had landed a one-in-a-million shot. The bat itself has broken, which apparently wasn't entirley uncommon by the amount of times his uncle had screamed in frustration as another one of his favourite batsman's clubs had shattered but...

How? HOW? HOW?! the ball had been going fast, and he'd hit it with all his strength, which meant that there was a ton of force going into it, obviously, which would account for the incredible speed the ball had managed to have, but how had it happened in the first place? How had he landed the sweet spot? If you hit something with a stick, e vibrations would cause your hands to sting, and whilst his did sting, it was nowhere near the pain one would expect from... That.

Half of his brain was screaming there had to be a reasonably explanation. It was a complete fluke, right? It had even flown in a perfect arc! He'd never, ever, ever hit that kind of ball again in his life even if he dedicated the rest of his life to attempting to recreate it.

The other half of his brain... It was a miracle. A pointless, stupid miracle that seemed to have no greater meaning than to one-up Cristo, but then again if everything was part of God's plan then this hit must've done something, right? Maybe the butterfly effect was coming into place, and the ball had hit a squirrel or something.

He shook his head, before noticing the uncomfortable amount of blood now spreading on his top, colouring one of his favourite workout tops a deep crimson. As soon as he realised this, the stinging pain that should have accompanied it finally kicking in. He looked down at his arm, five large, obvious splinters poking into his biceps and one even straying into his chest.

He picked up the bat. It would be the only proof he had that this had ever happened, bar the others witnessing it. Besides, the bat had hurt and been hurt by him, so he thought it was reasonable to give credit when credit was due and show the puppy off. His first, and only, home run. He was quitting whilst he was ahead.

All well and good, he thought, but half of his goddamn shirt was red. Face cuts bled like a bitch, so getting something on them as soon as he could sounded like a good idea. Even as he walked off though, his brain was still whirling inbetween miracle and fluke. Maybe it would for the rest of his life.

((William McKinley, continued in Take Me To Church))

Edited by Dannyrulx, Aug 7 2016, 06:33 AM.
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