Monday, July 20, 2009

A Loss and A Victory


Yesterday, Tom Watson broke a lot of hearts when he couldn't get up and down on the 72nd hole at the Open Championship and thereafter went on to lose a four-hole playoff to fellow Yank, Stewart Cink. If Watson had won a major at age 59, it would have been the single greatest victory in the history of the sport. But alas, as Tom himself said in the press room after the tournament, "It would have been a helluva story. But it was not meant to be."

____

But let's not dwell on that loss; rather, let's focus on a glorious victory that occurred this weekend instead: a good friend (who we'll call "Kevin") and I took on and defeated another good friend (who we'll call "Mark") and another friend who I'll call "Nate" in a rousing game of Baseball.

No, not the actual sport of baseball that involves bats, gloves, balls, uniforms that look suspiciously like tights, and lots of tobacco chew.

I'm talking about the drinking game. Baseball is a combination of the more popular beer pong and flip cup. It's a brutal game that rarely advances beyond a few innings because of the sheer amount of alcohol that can be consumed rather quickly. Here's the skinny:

-Four cups are set up in a straight line on both sides of the table. They each represent a base, so if you make it into the nearest cup, you've hit a single. The opposing team would then be required to drink that first cup and refill it. If you make it into the third cup, you've hit a triple, and the opposing team must drink and refill the first, second, and third cups. So if you have a good inning at bat, the other team has to drink a lot.

-If you throw and miss the cups on the other side entirely, that's an out. If you throw and hit the rim of a cup but don't actually make a shot, that's just a strike.

-If you have a man on first or second base, you can attempt to steal. This is where the flip cup part of the game comes into play. To steal, you play a game of one cup flip cup against your opposing team. If you win, you have stolen a base. If you do not win, the other team has picked you off/thrown you out. You cannot steal home base.

-Other than that, it's just like baseball. You get three outs an inning, and you're technically supposed to play nine innings, though that rarely happens.

As the wiki page notes, baseball requires the following skills: aiming, taunting, and alcohol tolerance. Our game unbelievably made it through nine innings, and I'm still not sure how we managed it. "Mark" and "Nate" got off to an early lead, and "Kevin" and myself weren't sure we could continue after the fourth inning. But "Kevin" turned it around for us, at one point hitting six triples in a row over the course of two innings. For my part, I batted so-so but really shined when it came to flip cup.

Dad would be proud.

If you are considering giving this game a try, I'd recommend the following. Use a light beer. Don't be afraid to have more than two players on a team. And, for the love of god, don't shortchange the seventh inning stretch.

22 comments:

marco said...

Sounds like my kind of baseball, though I'd probably play to lose.
What was the final score(in liters of beer consumed by the winning and the losing team)?


v-word: blather

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco,

The winning score eludes me, though by the end it was a blowout thanks in large part to my teammate and in very small part to me. As for the amount of beer consumed, I couldn't say, but I do know we had to restock the cooler twice during the proceedings.

And your comment about playing to lose made me recall the odd nature of drinking games - most people are playing to win, i.e. to not drink, which is strange if you think about it. An example of our competitive natures beating out our addictive natures, perhaps?

Nice v word, BTW.

Nathanael Green said...

Brian, a blowout?

I think it was 15 to 11 ... or, so I heard from this guy "Nate."

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nater,

Hmmm, I thought it was 19 to 11. But then again, my memory of the game isn't the best. Maybe you--I mean, "Nate"--are right.

It's a brutal game, isn't it?

marco said...

15-11 or 19-11... sounds impressive. But you do score a point when you reach the fourth base as in real baseball or the score simply reflects the number of cups drank?
15+11 16 ounce cups should be around 2.5 liters per capita.

v-word: troops

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco,

You score a run the same way you would in baseball. So if you get the ball in the home run cup, that's a run; if you get a ball in the double cup and then a ball in the triple cup, you've scored a run and there's a man on third base.

The cups are about one-third full. So, a rough estimate would be one run equaling 1.33 bottles of beer. Assuming thirty runs were scored would mean 39.9 bottles were drank. But there were also more hits than runs, i.e. men that didn't make it to home base. That happened nearly every inning, so we're talking between 45 and 50 bottles of beer.

And of course, we'd already started the night off before we played too.

seanag said...

Whoa.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

It wasn't pretty. Still not sure why we do that to ourselves.

seanag said...

Oh, I don't judge, as long as you guys weren't driving around the town afterwards. I like beer too, but there are easier ways to get it...

adrian mckinty said...

Brian

Did you know that Jack Kerouac invented a similar baseball beer game?

How did he end up?

Why a misanthropic alcoholic of course.

Just a warning.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

No way did we drive. We planned this one out like the A Team. "Mark's" house is within walking distance of a bar.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Adrian,

I had no idea Kerouac invented a game like this, but the idea is quite sobering (pun intended) and now I've sworn off drinking forever, or until this weekend, whichever comes first.

marco said...

So, assuming 30-20 bottles of beer, the players of the losing team must have drank 15 bottles each. I assume Bottles were .33 Lt? Even then 5 lt. are scary and not entirely compatible with human phisiology.

Did you know that Jack Kerouac invented a similar baseball beer game?

How did he end up?


Brian will end up singing "What I'm doing here in The House Jack Kerouac Built "



v-word: equal

marco said...

"what am I doing"

v-word Tantal, like Tantalus, the guy condemned never to eat or DRINK for all of Eternity

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco,

Nice reference to Tantalus there.

Both teams scored, thus, both teams drank. The losing team, though, had to drink more.

The bottles were 12-ouncers, so roughly .35 liters each. Assuming 39 bottles were consumed, that means 13.65 liters drank. Again that doesn't account for all the men left stranded on base. I just realized it also doesn't account for the attempts to steal/pick men off with flip cup.

And believe me, nobody wants to hear me sing anything.

seanag said...

Of course, Kerouac also went on to write what everyone but me considers a modern American classic, so you takes your chances.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

I once tried to read OTR, and it just wasn't my thing. So maybe I'd better stop all this nonsense before I write something I wouldn't even like to read.

marco said...

Brian, last night we went for kebabs after the late conclusion of the City Council and I promptly explained the rules of baseball to a guy that I consider a good prospect. He already does a lot of... athletic preparation.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco -

Sounds like you'd make a great player AND manager.

Nathanael Green said...

A real test of a player's mettle would come in the form of a doubleheader.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

The second game of a doubleheader might as well be played in the waiting area of an emergency room.

seanag said...

Brian, so when you start thinking that writing your next novel on a really long scroll sounds like a good idea, you'll know that it's time to start thinking seriously about renunciation.