Finished strong with our last test, yes I got a smiley face and Bill didn’t. I think I’m up 3 dollars now. Yes, I’m a high roller! Since this was our last regular test, I calculated my average and it came in at 92.8%. Not bad for minimal studying, although some of the tests only had about 10 questions, so even if you missed one or two, it really pulled your average down. The final is tomorrow and cumulative, but not weighted any differently. Today marked our final classroom session and they had some fun things for us to do. After going over the test corrections, we played umpire Family Feud. There were four rounds of two questions, with each crew sending up 4 different players. Since each crew has 7-8 persons, not everyone got to go. I was the last player in our group, by the time my turn was due up we were eliminated from competition, but not from the spoiler role. Crew 3 was leading with 5 points and crew 9 was close behind with 4 points. The last group to go was crew 9 vs. my crew 10. Since there was two questions left, I needed to get one right to force a tie, and answering both questions right would knock off crew 9. I was late in “buzzing in” (we didn’t really buzz in,we just slammed our hand on the podium) on the first question and crew 9 won the point. Now it was tied, and I needed to win the next question to force a tiebreaker, or if crew 9 was right, they would win outright. The next question was right up my alley, and I slammed my hand down. The question was, “what is the distance between the back point of the plate to second base.” Gentlemen, we are going to a tie breaker! I hollered out the answer as 127′ 3-3/8″, and the crowd erupted! Crew 3 ended up winning the tiebreaker so I did my job of playing spoiler! The game was a lot of fun and everyone had a few good laughs. We finished the day in the classroom with some video and discussion on a couple of game management situations, and a Q&A with five of the instructors that are currently working in the minors. The instructors spent about and hour answering questions and the students seemed to really enjoy it.
In the field we continued with situations and we are now starting to get the hang of everything they are throwing at us. Had some good reps at the plate and bases with only a couple of minor mistakes. I think it is all beginning to sink in, I hope. Nothing major to report on the field, we just keep running the drills each day and try to get better. However, I did get plunked in the shoulder by a throw when I was a runner. I was on my way home for a play at the plate and as I got about 10 feet away from the catcher, I noticed his eyes get big. The throw hit me in the left shoulder, but luckily umpires were acting as fielders, and it didn’t hurt much at all. (There’s a reason we are umpires and not ball players, right?). I just don’t understand how I couldn’t outrun the throw with my blazing speed. Today marked the last day of cage work and I think everyone is a little sad about that. Not only are the cages a lot of fun, but no more cage work is another sign the school is quickly coming to an end. In the cages the instructors stayed silent and let us do our reps and kept notes. I’m sure they were evaluating us today. I have to say, getting as much cage work as we have here at pro school has been nothing short of awesome. With the constant repetitions you can really lock in your stance, especially when pro instructors are guiding you along the way.
So we’re slowly coming to an end, only three more days left on the field. No more cages and no more classwork. And today was our final laundry day. They have a coin operated laundry room here and Bill and I have devised a clever way of beating the crowds. Most of the students use the laundry in the evening time, but we put our laundry in early before breakfast and check on it during our classroom breaks. It’s a clever system if I do say so, of course it helps that youngsters don’t really want to get up that early if they don’t have to. When I first got here, this weekend seemed like a long ways away, but in reality the time has flown by. It will be only four more days until I have to start packing up my suitcase.