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This Is What Happens When You Take Recreational Softball Too Seriously

22/08/2014 12:45 BST | Updated 22/08/2014 12:59 BST

So here's a lesson in why you probably shouldn't treat recreational softball like you're playing in the major league..

One company's team captain, who shall remain nameless, organised a practise session before the next game, so he could make sure his team were ready to "manhandle" the opponent when the time came.

Unfortunately, one player (let's call him Michael) couldn't make the practise but said he was "keen" to play the next time.

The captain promptly replied saying Michael wouldn't be playing again this season as the team had already been picked for the rest of the games: "It's the regular players that will give us the best chance of winning," Michael was told.

"Happy to have you along for the ride, but we're being selective, putting in players who have participated the most and have the most practice."

Rather put out by this news, Michael took the opportunity to respond - and couldn't resist cc'ing in the rest of the team.

Touché.

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Thanks [redacted]

It has been hard for me to decide whether or not to reply to your email. You say "If any issues with that let me know" - but I am not sure if this is a deliberate attempt to goad me into responding, or if it reflects a genuine uncertainty on your part about whether or not you are being unreasonable

On the one hand, I don't want to be a d*ck - it's not the best image to have at work, and I don't want people thinking of me like that. On the other hand, your email is so ridiculously entertaining that I feel compelled to continue the good fun

So I have decided to be a d*ck after all... and reply all

In summary, the reasons that you give for not allowing me to play are complete nonsense. First, I will list your reasons. I will then demonstrate exactly why they are nonsense, one by one, and try to explain to you why these should not even be your selection criteria in the first place

Your list of reasons not to let me play:

1. You want players who "give you the best chance of winning"

2. You want players who "have the most practice"

3. You want players who "have participated the most"

1. Best chance of winning

I haven't played so much this year (more on that later). But when I have played I have been fairly good. I have batted about 10-15 times and I have failed to reach first base once. That is pretty good. I have also scored two home runs, never dropped a catch, and I am pretty quick between the bases too. In fairness, I think I might have over-thrown first base once - which is a bit stupid - but I think you might have done that once or twice, no?

In conclusion - I am probably better at softball than you

2. Most practice

I was one of a handful of people to turn up to the very first softball practice - when you were teaching new people how to play. I was also one of four people who came to batting practice in May

I also play in a softball league on Sundays with my friends, so I probably have just as much game time as many of the other people in the team despite not being able to play much this year (again, more on that later)

In conclusion - I have had just as much practice as anybody else in the team

3. Most participation

It is true that I may not have played as much as the people whom you have selected for the [redacted] (should you get there :) )

However, this is not through lack of enthusiasm or lack of effort from myself. Initially I tried to attend almost every game, and kept my Thursday evenings free [redacted]

Unfortunately, I went on holiday from Brazil for three weeks (I considered commuting back for Thursday evenings but I was saving for a deposit and I couldn't justify the cost of the flights)

Since then I have found it virtually impossible to get invited to play softball

Occasionally, I have been lucky enough to get cc'd into your private email threads by people who knew that I was still interested in playing - but it was usually too late by then as I already had other plans. This is actually the first time that you have voluntarily sent me an email since I got back from Brazil, and that is only because you cleverly realised that you ludicrous selection policy means you don't have enough people to stage a practice friendly

In fact, right from the start it was baffling to me why I had to badger you to get invited when it would have been oh-so-simple for you to copy the distribution list from last year, of which I am a member

In conclusion - you stopped inviting me long before I stopped participating, not the other way round

But despite the fact that each of your stated reasons for not letting me play next week are so obviously not true, that is not the real reason that I think your email this morning is complete nonsense

The real reason is that these selection criteria are the most retarded* selection criteria for an after-work activity that I have ever seen...

SOFTBALL IS A SOCIAL ACTIVITY!

Softball is a great opportunity for people to get together after work and enjoy some sport and some beers. It's fine to be competitive and its fine to want a win but the raison d'etre for the softball team is not to beat [the other team], it's to have fun

You have ruined this opportunity for me by making it so difficult for me to participate

I am in equal parts insulted, angry, and amused by your inability to perform such a simple task as "organise a work softball team"

I hope that you are not too offended that I decline your offer to "come along for the ride"

Cheers!

[redacted]

* no offence intended to actual retarded people