Friendly Greeting at Home

Instead of a fanny pat for hitting a home run, Moe's Frontier Bar's Josh Nelson got the full grab from a teammate. Photo by Jennifer Collins

2001: A softball odyssey

For the first time in five years, the Skagway softball crown seems up for grabs. No team looks truly dominant in the fashion of the previous season’s champion. Five of the eight league teams are so closely matched that at this point, picking a favorite would appear somewhat naive.
Minnesota, the Master Batters (formerly the Hambones), PMS, White Pass, and the Vigilantes are competing in a league race that may come down to a photo finish. These teams, while not completely even keel talent-wise, have found ways to stay close in important games and have mustered a hazy cloud of dominance in the league this year.
If the league had a power poll, then the consensus pre-season No. 1 pick would be the two-time defending champion – Master Batters. However, in the recent battle of the unbeatens, the reigning champs fell hard to the Minnesota squad – one team that might turn into the dark horse of the year.
So now no one really can figure out who is tops among this league. While Minnesota in undefeated, they have rarely played “Goliath-like” to other teams that may appear as a “David,” but the Master Batters, who usually bring out the whoopin’ stick, looked strangely average in what has to be the most interesting match up of the year.
The records may not say so, but PMS, White Pass and the Vigilantes have all suffered from tough game schedules that seem unequal to the level at which they are playing.
The other three teams in the league have not been quite as impressive, but they should benefit from the league split at mid-season. Undoubtedly, one obstacle in their way is going to be which ever team out of the top five gets dropped into the lower bracket. Those bottom three would need to bring out their “A” game every night in order to compete with the top five.
Teams are beginning to prepare for the annual 4th of July tournament, but the winner of that is by no means the favorite to be league champ. With this field, on any day, any team can win.


“But Honey, I was FISHING!”

A word of advice: If you have an engagement with your wife, girlfriend or significant other, planning a fishing excursion for that same day can be a risky undertaking. Odds are, you will be late. In fact, the chance of being late grows exponentially as the date’s importance and significance grows.
This law makes it unwise to go fishing on wedding anniversaries, your wife’s birthday or on any night she may be planning a quiet, romantic dinner for two at home (especially if it is a surprise dinner).
In keeping with the old adage, “To be forewarned is to keep from having a frying pan smacked upside your head,” we offer these three simple “Rules of Engagement.”
Rule #1 ... If you have to be home at 5 p.m. and it takes one hour to drive home, you will hook into the largest fish of your life at exactly 3:59 p.m. Think of it as the fish’s way of getting revenge.
You will fight this fish for 45 minutes, only to lose it boatside due to a poorly tied knot. No, your wife is not going to understand. Your claims of a badly tied knot will only give her ammunition to say she’s the one who made the mistake when she tied the knot. Always choose your words carefully. Take heart in knowing the only thing that could make it worse is if you had actually caught the fish and brought it home. Solution: Leave early. (Yeah right!)
Rule #2 ... Flat tires are 80 percent more likely to occur on the return home from fishing than any other time — ever. This one is going to be tough. She’s already heard you use this excuse to your boss when you were late for work, the time you missed the family reunion and when you “forgot” to pick up your mother-in-law at the airport. The key here is to become a master of the quick tire change. This also gives you an excuse to watch more NASCAR. Oh and don’t forget the spare this time.
Rule #3 ... Your boat is an unreliable piece of crud, especially if it’s new. Your wife does not understand this and while she may laugh hysterically at you when she’s there to watch you “start” it, it’s nowhere near as funny when she’s waiting at home. The best way to prevent tardiness from boat failure is never to leave the harbor. But if you must, bring some extra gas and begin attempting to start the engine an hour before you have to head in. That way when you flood the engine — and you know you will — you can still get some fishing in while you air out the engine.
Other common excuses such as “My watch stopped,” “My buddies made me drink all that beer,” or my favorite, “But honey, I just lost track of time,” will guarantee that not only will you have spent the day with the fish, but you will spend the night sleeping with them. Better to arm yourself with flowers candy or jewelry. In fact, keep a supply on hand, you’re going to need them.
If you decide to fish on your anniversary, redecorate the doghouse ahead of time and God help you.
Best bet: Rumor has it that dollies are running in Long Bay at high tide. Having a small boat or canoe to quietly approach schools will help catch fish, but success can be had from shore too. Light casting tackle is best. It is necessary at times to cast a small lure a long way to get the fish. Reports from Canada have been mixed. Grayling are being caught, also some small trout, but it looks like it’s going to be hit or miss for at least another week or two. Big lake trout will be in demand soon. In our next edition we’ll focus on these great fighters.
– Andrew Cremata