As a captain of my work’s softball team, I create the lineups and email game details to the team. My co-captain communicates with the opponents and assigns beer penalties. Other than the lineup, we do next to no coaching…except that the past two games, the most coaching I did was to remove myself. The other teams have my number and have been rocking my pitches for home run after home run.

It’s a casual league, but I’m not a casual player. I hate not playing but I hate losing even more and so I put someone else on the pitcher’s mound.

An unavoidable conflict last night made me miss our fourth game of the season last night and with the tiniest roster yet, I had to assign a completely new player as pitcher. He’d made noises about wanting to pitch and I’m a good listener.

Updates about the game poured in from my co-captain.

T: We won. Walk off. 20-19. Did u really miss game for haircut?

Me: Yes. [Lengthy explanation.] Also, CONGRATULATIONS. A walk off in our favor! My lineup worked!

T: It did. [Outfielder] hit the winner

Me: And who scored the run?

T: [New pitcher]. He was awesome tonight

Me: How’d he’d do pitching? Am I being replaced?

T: He did well.

In addition to listening well, I’m also good at reading-between-the-lines. I think it’s time to pull my bullhorn and cheerleading outfit out of the closet. I’m no longer needed on the field.

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