The other night Staffen/Muscles comes over to hang out. I was watching TV and she said she wanted to learn how to play video games. I asked, “Ok, what do you want to play?”
Let me step aside for a moment. I’m a man as everyone knows. There are two things in life I love in fourth and fifth place (behind Jesus Christ, my family, and my golf clubs in that order): Maker’s Mark and video games. I only play two kinds of video games: sports and Call of Duty. There aren’t many “girl friendly” games in my library, but Staffen insists on me looking through to find a game she can learn to play. She said she wants to learn how to play MLB 11: The Show, which is a very successful baseball game and she wants to learn how to play baseball.
Back to the story.
We start the game up and she wants to be the Pittsburgh Pirates (she’s going to Pitt next year for Grad School), and she sees that they’re terrible. I, of course, choose the Texas Rangers.
“I want to be the Rangers,” she said as she pouted.
“I’m going to be the Rangers. I’ve been a fan all my life. Even when we had A-Rod and he was spreading lies and stealing money from us,” I said back.
“Well who can I be?”
“Be the Phillies. They have the best pitching staff on this game.”
“Ok. Now what?”
“Choose your jersey,” I said. I went with the red home alternate uniforms. She when with grey road tops and throwback powder blue pants. They looked awful. A blind man could have and would have dressed better.
“Choose your starter and set your lineup,” I replied. Brandon Webb was in the rotation and he technically was the best starter I had to choose from (I refuse to start C.J. Wilson). Staffen chose Roy Halladay after a long discussion on why he needed to start. I had to yell the phrase I thought I’d never say about why you had to choose Roy Halladay: “because he threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same year. That’s why he’s starting.” I told her to just press start after that because I didn’t want to explain why she needed to keep it like that.
As the game is loading, I noticed that she has no patience. Why is it taking so long? Why do we have to wait? It was then I thought to myself that she is not going to be able to handle 9 innings of this. I was right.
Like all people who are learning how to play video games, the same question of what do all buttons do and how do I swing come up. I understand that, but when you teach a guy to play a video game, he knows how to hold the controller. He understands that the controller is designed for the shape of the hand and that all buttons are in reach of all the fingers. Girls don’t get that. Not all girls, but the ones who aren’t gamers don’t hold it right. I can’t reach any of the buttons. It’s weird holding it like that. No, it’s correct, but I show her which buttons are to swing and how to choose a pitch to guess. Within five seconds, Staffen forgot everything. It was a one, two, three inning that was only three pitches long.
Onto the bottom of the first. Same thing happens again. Here are the buttons for pitches. Here’s how you throw. The only thing you have to do is throw pitches and the defense is automatic so you don’t have to worry about that. It was a one, two, three inning. (I’m facing Roy Halladay give me a break).
We keep playing and still 0-0 headed into the bottom of the 6th inning. I’ve had a few hits here and there, nothing for extra bases. I’ll admit I was a little too aggressive against Staffen. I was swinging for the fences every at bat and she was making me pay. She talked a lot of trash and she earned it, but I’m not about to let a girl who has never played video games in her life beat me, not with the team I’ve grown up watching my entire life and had my heart broken twice in as many years. Anyway, Josh Hamilton is up and I hit for a single up the middle, Adrian Beltre flies out to left, and she walks Michael Young on four straight pitches. Runners on first and second, one out, and Nelson Cruz up to bat. I’m thinking “offspeed down and away to get the double play and end the inning,” but I’m playing Staffen who knows nothing about baseball and video games and pitch selection and she’s thinking “I haven’t pressed this button in a while.” It was fastball up and away. I smoked it in the gap for a double and a run scores: 1-0 Rangers. Staffen is livid. What the heck is going on here?! Ugh… Why can’t they catch the ball? God, these guys suck! She escapes the inning only giving up the one run.
The next inning she scores a run and ties it all back up at 1. Jay you suck at this. Jay you’re going to lose to a girl. I’m so good at this game. I’m going to win. It’s going to be like the World Series all over again.
Something snapped in my head. I just thought of all the heartache from this past year. One strike away to win the World Series, twice and we couldn’t close it out. I thought of everyone in Houston being happy that the Rangers lost. I thought of me as a little boy watching the Rangers being swept by the Yankees twice in the only two other times the Rangers have made the playoffs. I thought of how much I wanted a pennant that said “World Series Champions” on it. I thought of how much I hated Joe Buck. I dug deep and got two strike outs to end the top of the seventh.
Bottom of the 7th started with a single, an RBI double, a fly out, RBI single, double, RBI ground out, and ended with a 6-3 groundout. It was now Rangers 4, Phillies 1. Staffen was starting to get mad and I could sense it. I was feeding off of it.
I went to the bullpen and got the set up man, Frank Francisco (it’s an old game), and a one, two, three, strikeout the side inning for the Rangers. Neftali Feliz starts to warm up in the bullpen to close it out in the 9th.
Bottom of the 8th and I did what only the best offensive baseball team can do, score runs. I put up another 5. Each hit, each run, she was getting angrier and I was only becoming stronger. She finally got the third out of the inning and on to the 9th we went with a 9-1 Rangers lead.
I brought in Feliz. I could feel the pressure on me because I know what could happen in a baseball game all too well. The heart of the order was up for Philly. I couldn’t control my anxiousness. I wanted the game to be over, but I wanted revenge more. Each pitch I threw was the pitch to get back at the St. Louis Cardinals and to let all the Rangers fans all over the state of Texas know that I could close this game out. Strikeout for the first out. Fly out to deep left field for out number two. Then it came up, one strike away from winning the game. My palms were sweating. My heart was pounding. I didn’t know what pitch to throw to end it, but I felt a sensation over me that was telling me what I needed to do. Give them the fastball up and in. They can’t hit it. I picked the pitch. I chose the location. The wind up and the pitch. Swing and a miss. Strike tree.
All in one motion I jumped up on the coffee table and let out a Josh Lewin-esque “BALL GAME!” It was then followed by repeated yelling of “Hello win column!” and singing of “I Like Texas” by Pat Green like after every game that the Rangers win at home. I had done it. I won. I settled the score with everyone who hated the Texas Rangers and sent a wave of comfort for the last two year of hurt to all Rangers fans. I beat a girl that never played a video game in her entire life and I was a huge jackass for rubbing it in her face, but I was sending a message to everyone: Don’t mess with Texas.
She started texting her boyfriend, Michael, saying that she didn’t like playing video games, especially The Show. The only thing he could say was, “I hope Jay had no mercy. You wanted be on a level playing field and that comes with a price. You’re bad because you’re a woman. I hope you realize those women aren’t supposed to play video games. It’s a man’s world and you can’t keep up. I miss you.”
Staffen then proceeded to cry. Women. Always crying about something.
Like us on Facebook! Follow me on twitter: @goodolejaybird. Share the blog! Remember the Alamo! Go Rangers!