The teams in the Senate Softball League's Division 5 are one big disappointment to Bill Christian, the division's softball commissioner, who signs off as "The Commish aka Major Payne."
The series of intensely capitalized emails began back in May, when the Commish just wanted to get the softball schedule nailed down. It all began normally enough.
"Dear D5 Teams," wrote the Commish. "First of all, please accept my apologies for the delay in reaching out to y'all. As you know (from the rules), we're already a little behind on getting all of the Teams' schedules in — this is a necessary step so that you can then report your own wins without having to count on me to do it.
"Secondly, I'm granting a bit of a reprieve," he continued. "Since I'll be out of the country until Monday, May 21st, you have a bit more time to get those schedules in to me. BUT, I really must have those by the time I return."
By the end of this email, the Commish clocked in at a relatively conservative 11 capitalized words. By the next email, however, the D5 teams were already starting to disappoint.
"D5 Teams: Today (June 25th) marks just over ONE MONTH before the end of the 2012 Regular Season (Friday, July 27th), by which time ALL GAMES must be completed! AND GET YOUR 'WINS' REPORTED ON THE WEBSITE!
"Also," he continued. "LIABILITY WAIVERS are overdue, so please scan & email your Liability Waivers to me ASAP! Let's 'GIT 'R DUN!!!' PLAY BALL!!!"
By this email, the number of capitalized words nearly doubled, and the exclamation points — nine in all — showed his frustration, but a certain faith, that D5 would come through.
He was wrong.
"D5 Teams: LIABILITY WAIVER FORM is attached! Please provide ASAP!" read the Commish's next email subject line.
"NOTE," the email began. "[W]e have less than one month left of Regular Season Game Play, and only 1 team has completed their games (Congrats, Suns Out Guns Out!). Please remember that FINAL ROSTERS are due July 13th, and ALL GAMES must be completed by July 27th. Any games that are NOT COMPLETED will result in a LOSS for BOTH TEAMS! ... Let me know if you have any questions. PLAY BALL! The Commish"
This email cut back on the exclamation points and used a relatively conservative 16 all-caps words. But the Commish was clearly worried that the D5-ers wouldn't actually get the liability waivers in or their games completed.
"Hey, D5! What gives?" he asked in the next email. "TODAY IS JULY 3rd — GAMES MUST BE COMPLETE BY JULY 27th — or any unplayed games count as LOSSES for BOTH teams..."
"Suns Out, Guns Out," those crazy overachieving softballers, he wrote, were at least "trying" to get the Commish their liability waivers.
"AND they've completed all their games! GREAT JOB, MIKAELA!" he wrote.
"C'mon, Teams!" he begged. "Let's GIT 'R DONE! Occupy Kay Street — 5 games left to play (or wins to report)? Spuds, NTAC, Carper, Canadian Club — 4 games left to play (or wins to report)? Swing Votes — 3 games left to play (or wins to report)? Baucus-Tester Overdrive — 2 games left to play (or wins to report)?"
Finally, the Commish gave up: "Please let me know how I can help."
The D5 teams still don't respond. After the slackers don't schedule their games, turn in their forms or log their scores, Major Payne took to his email once again:
"The UNDEFEATED LUCKY SPUDS would end up with a record of 4-3, if today was the last day of the season, based on incomplete games," he reasoned desperately. "PLEASE REMEMBER: any incomplete games by the end of the season count as LOSSES FOR BOTH TEAMS that fail to complete their games (against each other).
"So far, only one team (hats off to 'Suns Out, Guns Out') has completed ALL 7 games of the regular season. Fortunately, Baucus-Tester Overdrive and the Swing Votes only have 1 game remaining to complete — but, in addition to Lucky Spuds (3) — I also have Canadian Club (3) — don't mind the record glitch on he website — as well as NTAC All-Stars, Carper Diem, and Occupy Kay Street, each with 4 games remaining to play — all by Friday, July 27th."
Then the Commish pressed that caps lock key and got serious: "AND I STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED WAIVERS. ONCE AGAIN, I am attaching the WAIVER FORM. Please, PLEASE let me know if I am speaking Greek, if any of this is not clear, and/or if any of this is TOO GREAT A BURDEN to successfully accomplish. I would very much welcome the feedback, as opposed to the chorus of crickets chirping in the night silence...
"Yours in Softball," he wrote. "MAJOR PAYNE (aka The Commish)"
Still, the D5-ers ignored his anguished pleas. They did not respond.
"D5 — REALLY?????? You have 3 nights left to COMPLETE SEASON. NOT HAPPY!!!" read the email subject line.
"FOLKS — come on. SERIOUSLY?????" The Commish wrote, gobsmacked. "You all have had OVER THREE (3) MONTHS to get SEVEN (7) LOUSY GAMES played (each), SUNS OUT GUNS OUT got it done. WHAT'S UP WITH THE REST OF Y'ALL??? This is bordering on the ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS."
He began, once again, listing off the division stats: "Lucky Spuds & NTAC All-Stars — you each have 3 games to complete (or at least report) ASAP! Occupy Kay Street — 2 games. Canadian Club, Baucus Tester Overdrive, Carper Diem, Swing Votes — 1 game each."
No more mister nice guy, swore the Commish.
"Well, test me. ANY GAMES THAT ARE NOT COMPLETED by the League Deadline (THIS FRIDAY, JULY 27th) will be counted as LOSSES for BOTH TEAMS in each instance.
"What the hell? Your Commish (aka Major Payne — and, yes, I can live up to the name!)"