Lingua Fracas

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Updated: September 11, 2017

Pity Ron Black. He’s really nice guy. Some say too nice. His players love him. Management, not so much.

Ron’s been around along time. You see a lot in 34 years of coaching. When he managed the Bokors he steered the club to first place and a playoff appearance. When the club was quickly shown the door going down 3-1 Ron was also shown the door with a demotion to short season A league ball.

He always enjoyed meeting his players. He’d hold a special informal gathering where he’d introduce himself to every one of them and get to know them better over some pizza and beer. It was his way of developing a lingua franca within the organization, a common language.

If you had asked him before he started coaching the Yasu Storks he’d have said he seen it all. He hadn’t. He was about to. His lingua franca was about to become a lingua fracas.

It was a warm day and perhaps that was the reason too much beer was consumed.  Ron ambled across the room to meet one of his younger players, a Dutch kid.

“Hi kid I’m Ron. What’s your name?”

Nervously the the youngster replied in alcohol-and-Dutch-accented english, “Volmer Buscher sir. Pitcher.”

Ron knew a lot about pitchers, he had already downed two that evening. As he attempted to repeat the name he become acutely aware of something trying to choke him. It was his tongue. After several attempts to make peace between his tongue and the strange name he blurted out, “Damn kid that’s a tongue twister!” And from then on Volmer Buscher was known as “Twister”. Ron never did recall the meeting, and he always wondered why he heard stifled laughter in the dugout when he mentioned “Twister”.

Yeah it was quite a party.  In another alcohol guided attempt to impress the guys, Buscher’s buddy and fellow pitcher, Jorge De Los Santos thought it’d be great to feature his singing skills.

Jorge, a native Panamanian only knew the music of his hometown. This was a type of singing known as ‘saloma’ which usually has elements of accordion and yodeling. Beer was not required to sing saloma but beer was mixed in anyway. An accordion was needed for saloma but was not available. That left yodeling. The beer left an impression that faded over time. The yodeling left an impression that was immortalized in yet another moniker. Thus was born Jorge “Yodels” De Los Santos. May we never speak of this again.