Tuesday, September 2, 2014

4th of July Doubleheader Pics

Thanks again to Jay Cellini, resident shutterbug for these shots from our glorious doubleheader.  Sorry it took so long to post, but, well, you know....life.









































Monday, August 25, 2014

8/24/14 Balboa Cop Field

What a beautiful day.  I know I say that a lot, but seriously, it was borderline perfect weather at the ballyard.  We were a little worried when there were only 12 people including a DL'd Greg dropping off the equipment, but then, our ranks swelled and we ended up with 20!

Noah started for the homers, fresh from his sojurn to RI, but he didn't seem to have practiced his pitching while he was there.  The visitors touched him for two runs in the first, then we tacked on a few more runs, and I guess he must not have been feeling it cuz by the 3rd he had given the duties over to Mitch who took it the rest of the way. 

Satch started for the visitors, and it felt good, even had some extra zip on his fastball to help off set the change up.  That being said, the homers kind of lit me up when they were hitting, they answered back to tie the game in the first to make it 2-2 and seemed to be on the verge of several big innings that fizzled out.  After 7 strong, I handed the game over to Sean and then Tony for the finish, both of whom did admirable jobs.  Sean is leaving the MBC for a few months to tour with some rock and rollers, Good Luck!

The defense on both teams was not bad, other than a few of the usual muffs and drops.  The game was quick and we were having so much fun that we played an extra inning.  The homers loaded the bags and were on the verge of breaking out only to be turned away after a great pitch and a bang-bang double play.

Not much else to report, the final was 8-5 visitors.

Highlights:

* Good turnout and a fun game

* Thanks to Bob, Mike, Adam and Noah for taking the catching duties

* Gaspar gave me a true Gasparian at bat, fouled off at least 6 balls.

* Tony and I fouled out in successive order

* Powell turned a double play with the bases full to end the game!

* My last at bat, Tony and I were determined not to go down so easy.  For my part I hit a ball about 380 feet and into the glove of Sean, who was covering left field and playing me at 370.

* Mitch sent a low line drive to center field that was snared by a diving Phelps.  Mitch got Mitched (except of course, that Mitch would never have to dive, he would instinctively know where the ball would be hit....)!

* Sean's friend Miles came out and made several good plays in the field and had at least one hit

* Ball went right through my wickets on a comebacker.  Powell picked it up for the out. Nice.

* New Guy Ryan played well and also broke his first bat.  Hazards of the game.

* Don is a scary batter to face, I had a lot of confidence in my stuff and everything that was close he was right on it.  Had to downshift to junkballs

* Both teams seemed to overthrow first a lot

* Powell also made the correct choice in electing to go to third on a ground ball to get the lead runner.  I know that is what you are supposed to do, but in the MBC that is sometimes a frightening proposition.

* Adam missed a play at first, I haven't seen that in a long time

* Thank you to Nick for taking the gear and allowing us to play an extra one

* I think I may have not allowed a hit to Lattig?  Or maybe just wishful thinking.

*  Mitch hit a big league triple

* Double steal, me and Sean.  Becoming quite the thief....

* There were also a lot of infield hits, not by me though, I grounded out twice to third and both times I barely got it out of 2nd gear...but I didn't want to blow out the legs early, ya know?

* Thanks again to everyone who came out, it was a great game!

S. Paige

PS
Sorry if I have left out any memorable plays.  Feel free to remind me and I will add in




Monday, August 11, 2014

8/10/14 Balboa Cop Field


This week's write up courtesy of Mike Gaspar, thank you Mike!  Seven Double plays, that is definitely a MBC record!

It was a surprisingly sunny day at balboa park.  The field was in peak summer shape.  Meaning, alternating dry, bare patches and swampy patches in the outfield.  Hit a dry patch and you got an easy double, hit a swampy patch and you might get thrown out at first.  Players started slowly assembling and it looked like me might not get to the magic number of fourteen.  

When low and behold, like a scene out of Field of Dreams, William Rockwell appeared.
Will's back in town to see his brother Carter get hitched (congrats dude!) and as luck would have it, play an s.q. game.  After a round of hugs and handshakes and a little infield practice,  we were ready to start.

Mike Lattig took the bump for the home team and as he would for most of the day had a tidy first inning.  As for the visitors, Chris Powell got the starting duty.  And after a solid hit by Tim, some shoddy defense and a weak ground ball by yours truly, the score was 1-0 homers.

The big story line (besides the return of Will) was the amount of double plays turned.  In a typical mbc game you might have one or even two but on this day there were seven.  Now a couple of these were a result of some questionable base running,  but most were due to good infield defense.

Both pitchers settled into a good rhythm and because of the aforementioned double plays the game was low scoring and played at a quick pace.  The visitors tied it up.  And then the homers tacked on a couple.  And in the bottom of eighth it was 3-1.  That's when the homers put up a crooked number.  At this point Greg then Tony had taken over for Chris.  The big hit of inning came off the bat of Mike Lattig.  A double that plated two runs.  

With the score 6-1 at that point, Sonny came in and got the 'save'.

Highlights:

-playing with Will " Straight outta Brooklyn" Rockwell.
-seven double plays!
-J.T. had some nice line drives right at Mitch.  Then one finally fell.
- John McG.  had a hit from the left side.
- Mike L.  pitched one of his better games.  Mixing his pitches well.
- We all got like seven at bats.
- A nine inning game in under three hours.  (mlb take note)

Monday, August 4, 2014

8/3/14 Balboa Cop Field

Two in a row, I could hardly believe my luck.

Of course, I also know that I have commitments the next five weekends in a row, so I guess you take the gifts that you are offered.  The weather was somewhere between muggy, foggy, windy and neutral.  Don't ask what that means, but that was what it was.

Sean started for the visitors and Mitch on the bump for the homers.  It was a good match up, both teams seemed capable.  But the visitors had a case of the dropsies that was much worse than usual.  We could not believe our good luck as we saw balls squirt out of the gloves again and again.  No kidding, errors were averaging two to three per play rather than per inning.  The game stayed within range, and was tied after the first few frames.

Satch made a controversial call to go for the out on a ground ball to SS, with a runner going home.  Ordinarily, this is a no brainer MBC play, but with Powell at SS we probably had a good chance of getting him and stopping the run.  While the argument that early in the game is to try for those sorts of outs, I have seen it go sideways too often.  That being said, I tried hard the next inning to make it up by taking second on a passed ball and third with a great jump, but was stranded.  Might be the first time I have stolen a legitimate base off of Sean. 

It turned out not to be a big deal, as our deluge of runs began and by the end of the 7th, the score was all of a sudden a lopsided 8-3.  Satch came in to throw after Mitch did 6 strong, and I felt good, mixing it up.  There was a grand canyon in front of the mound, so I switched from far right to left, rubber wise which was new.

I can only assume that the homers won, I had to leave the game early, as I got word that Lil' Satch took sick and threw up all over the couch, and I felt bad not being there to help out the missus. 

Thanks to AOY Phelps for the denouement of the game.

Top 9: With a 5 run lead, Powell came in for the emergency relief appearance and walked the bases loaded. Sean hit one off the end of the bat right at me at second and I thought it had more mustard than it did. I didn’t charge it and he beat it out. Rule 42.3.4 - No lefties in the infield besides 1st base. Then Greg (?) hit a blooper over 2nd base that I nearly caught but heard footsteps and hesitated at the last second. Tice, the tying run at 3rd base and Chris got the strikeout (i forgot who was up). Game over.

A good game all around, thanks to everyone who showed up.

Highlights:

* Powell and Mcgrath were both hitting line drives

* Ed and Greg did a great job behind the dish, blocking errant pitches

* John Nero had a great catch in left field

* Duane was the hard luck winner of the game, got hit in the back with a pitch, was thrown out at first and again at third on very close plays

* Paul managed to catch a few while working around his son Malcolm (who is five.)

* Struck out Tim on a nasty breaking ball

* Lattig in pants!

* Maybe I am behind the times, but I love the nickname R.B.Ed, very apropos.

* Infield fly rule was enforced correctly

* Tony had a legit triple, as did Sean I think.

* Lattig had a good day at first, Adam had a day of watching throws sail over his head

* I told Greg he was getting the fastball, and he grounded out to SS, I bet he will think of that for a few days

* Mitch threw a great game

* The Piano Leg threw a wood splinter on to the field of play.  Nothing a little more tar won't fix

* The pop fly was deadly in the first few innings.  Then the wind died down.

S. Paige

Monday, July 28, 2014

Out of the Archives- 17 Reasons Roberto Clemente league team

One of few great things about social media, is every once in a while, a circumstance of meeting a person and following up on-line can yield a gem like this.  This is the team we have all heard about, the prototype of the Mission Baseball Club, some may call it the 17 reasons team, others may just refer to it as the "original" MBC.

See who you can spot, who is still smiling, who is trying to look like a tortured punk poet, and who for the first time that I can remember, is wearing a stirrups and socks combo....

07/27/14 Balboa Cop Field

What a great day, as long as you weren't driving or a Giants fan. 

Before we start, a special congratulations to Dani Leone and Jen Ralston, two of our MBC stalwarts, who took the big leap this weekend.  Yes, the chicken farmer is officially off the country market, having fallen in love with a wonderful lady and as far as I can tell, they are creating a agricultural paradise in Petaluma.  The wedding was a great event, live music was present from start to finish, good beer, tables of cookies, chicken and waffles were all excellent, and my first experience with a wedding ceremony done in country song format ( Given the number of weddings I have and in the future, will, attend as guest and employee, I wish this format was a lot more popular....).  From all of the MBC, Wishing you all the good fortune and happiness!

The drive back from the north bay, in a panic, trying to get through the Sunday traffic and close enough to a Bart station to get to the game on time was not great, given the number of things going on in the city this part weekend, but it all worked out.  Thanks to John McGrath for picking the cop field, conveniently located next to a station.  We had 17 all told, and the game was a tight affair for most of the time.  Phelps started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  In the bottom of the first we strung together several hits and scored three runs.  We were real confident, until the top of the second when we gave it all back.  But it was nice while it lasted.  The score stayed like that for a few innings then, we scored a run, then they answered and it was tied for a bit longer. Phelps did not have the usual zip on his pitches and bowed out after 2 innings.  Noah came in a pitched for a while, then Mitch for a few, then Daniel in the 9th.  Satch went the distance, natch, as the only sure thing I know is that each game only guarantees that the next will most likely be further off.

Our Waterloo came around the seventh, we had managed to get two outs, but the visitors were threatening to break it wide open.  Satch had lived by the change up and knuckleball all day, and with the wind and humidity it was all working.  A fisted liner to the middle of the infield looked scary, but then I saw Rojas moving, nay, gliding to the ball and I relaxed.  Smack it hit the glove, then, well, it dropped out.  Sad to say that was the play of the game.  The visitors took advantage and moved a few more across the plate. 

By the 9th, it was 9-5, and we were trying to make a last stand.  Daniel was throwing, and having trouble getting the ball across the dish.  After a legit hitting start, we had the bases loaded, and Tony ended up taking a walk to bring in the first run.  Satch up next went through 3 counts and then took a walk to make it 9-7.  Alas, with 2 outs, Tice flied out and the game was over. 

Highlights:

* It was a great game, defense was pretty strong on both sides

* The changing weather and wind had a great effect on the knuckleball, I loved that Greg was calling it three four times in a row.  Finally!

* I hit Bob twice, both on pitches that a blind man could have gotten out of the way of

* New guy Rafael was a defensive and offensive talent the whole game, robbing me of an easy extra base hit with a full 360 turn in center before gloving the ball

* We had guys dead to rights on pitch outs twice, couldn't seal the deal.

* Always reasuring to hear the racking of shotguns when you are trying to concentrate

* Tice made some nice plays in right field, including a San Quentin special

* Phelps tagged Nick hard in the helmet when he had to come off first.  Luckily it was mostly brim, and Nick was already grumpy

* Tony had a great day other than that one play, couple of hits, couple of heads up plays with runners on.  We all know its the one bad play that stays with you afterwards, not the 9 you did right.

* Thanks to Greg for catching and playing with a bad back, even if he did catch the final out of the game

* Mitch had another great game at SS, all kinds of range, and a couple of hits on top of the pitching

* Other than the long fly out I hit, I at least managed a line drive double down the line that made me feel like I can still hit

* There might have been some chicanery with regards to a fair/foul ball on a few down the right field line

* Ed and Rafael both hustled to back up first, way too much trying there.

* Visitors almost had two double plays in a row

* Tony may have been picked off at first to end the game, but no one really knows (quiet down Phelps.)

* Noah was the only one for most of the game that hit the knuckleball well, one was at his shoulders, the other at his eyes.

* The theme of the day for our team was "Is this really happening?"

* We decided that Sonny's impromptu jazzy fedora hat choice in the 7th inning was our downfall, but at least we went out looking classy.

Thanks to everyone for playing, and congratulations to all the Dodgers fans for a SF sweep.  It is still July, thankfully, so hopefully the Giants can shake the the injury and bad luck bug long enough to make this a pennant race.

S. Paige

Monday, July 21, 2014

7/19/14 MBC vs. SQ Giants


















Mission made a valiant effort vs the San Quentin Giants but ended up losing 9-6, which is a victory in many ways. We had 2 new fish (Sonny and Miles), 2 inmates on our side and Sean on the bump. Carter led the scoring off with a 2-run blast over the barbed wire in left. SQ took the lead at 3-2 and worked it up to 5-2. Some late runs by SQ got them to 9-3. We held strong an rallied to 9-6.
 
 
Highlights:
• Sonny and Miles joined the SQ club. 
• Miles got hosed when the ump called a hit a foul ball off his foot. But lined one up the middle a few pitches later. Then Dewey tried his hardest to pick off Miles.
• Sean was called Sandy Koufax (last game Phelps was referred to as Jamie Moyer). I love the chatter.
• Jimmy made a sick diving stab at 3rd. 
• Mike had an RBI hit to the right side and played a great 1B
• Sonny’s nerves were visible but managed to play a good game
• Brian had an adventure in center but only one ball escaped his grasp which landed next to the tables in center. 
• Brian also ended an inning on a double-play throwing out an over zealous baserunner trying to advance to third on a flyout. 
• Sean hustled down the line to beat out a possible inning ending double play, which scored a run.
• Greg was a wall behind the dish and had a good oppo field RBI hit
• Carter’s bomb was the talk of the after game. Interviewed for the newsletter which will read “SQ Giants beat Mission 9-6. Carter hit a bomb!”
• Carter had a dream the night before the game of Jimmy hitting bombs in batting practice, but it was he who was on cloud nine after the game.
• Carter also got hit in the head (everything ok) and then they tried to pick him off. The nerves.
• Beers and burgers were had by some after the game. The sweet taste of defeat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The AOY Oath for Ed Sidawi







Do you take this oath voluntarily, or are we going to need to get rough?

Do you promise to abandon all standards of sportsmanship and civilized behavior on the baseball diamond?

Do you promise to underestimate your injuries and overestimate your talents?

Do you promise to throw out JT at first on what would otherwise be base hits to right field?

Do you promise to ring your own son up on a questionable third strike?

Do you promise to heckle at every opportunity despite peer pressure?

Do you promise to enforce the unwritten rules of baseball?

Do you promise to raise your sons in the way of the AOY?

Do you promise to greet your fellow AOYs with:  Hello, Asshole.

Are you an Asshole?


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

7/6/14- GGP- Annual MBC Fourth of July Doubleheader




Another glorious game-BBQ-game is in the record books.

I can say with all honesty that this year's doubleheader was fun from start to finish, just the right mixture of  good people, competitive play, great food, camaraderie, beer, weather and fans.  The families came out, the tourists stayed and watched, we never got hassled by the park officials for multiple violations of the City park code, all in all, a great day.  We averaged about 14 per side, so the rule was every player sit three innings of nine for each team.  We were also graced with the presence of Johnny Bartlett, who played last week as a warm up and then really played for the homers in the first game.  He looks great, approved of the official playlist and really made the day (no wagon this year though...).  He requested all knuckleballs which I was happy to oblige.

Game 1

Satch squared off against that young upstart Rockwell, who has been the talk of the club since deserting us to play for a league and then returning.  Sometimes you have to let them fall so they know how to get back up again.  From what I understand, Carter learned the realities of the league game, specifically always having to drive to places like Novato, dealing with overly aggressive and competitive players, and in general, sucking all the fun out of the old game.

Luckily, the shine is off of Carter somewhat, and our team was able to at least hold up their heads as he didn't dominate us per the usual.  But he still pitched well, even if he pitched into the 8th inning, in clear violation of the unwritten rules we had all agreed to....Satch felt good, always nice to get out to a game, and the fastball felt good, the change up looked slow, and the knuckleball looked devastating.  About the third frame, I think I threw 90% knucklers, which is always fun.

The score stayed low and tied for the majority of the game.  Both teams squashed rallies with thanks to some good defensive work.  John Carey hit a towering shot to right that was sure to be an in-the-parker, but a great four man relay caught him at the plate.  An inning later, the visitors suffered the same fate as Rojas attempted to score from second on a line drive up the middle and was gunned down, ripping his fancy MBC flannel uniform in the process.  The visitors hit it to Tim and the homers seemed to hit it to JT no matter where they were playing.

Going into the 9th, the score was 3-3, Satch had given way to Daniel after the 5th, who threw strikes for the most part, then to Dustin for a change and then gave way to John McGrath, who started out wild-wild-wild but eventually settled down enough to strike out the first batter, but anyhoo, the homers had men on, and with a monsterous shot to the gap in right center, Don won the game.

Final- 4-3

Everyone trotted in and were greeted by the delicious smoke of four BBQ's

FOOD- BEER-FOOD-BEER

The AOY 2014 recipient was presented to Ed Sidawi, Esq., via the past AOY's including Will Rockwell via Skype technology.  I will reprint the oath of the AOY once I can get it from Bob.  There was also the addition of a beautiful scepter for the knighting ceremony and a silk kimono worn by AOY Carey (what?).

The 2014 Deserter trophy stayed in the Rockwell clan, and was presented to Will, with brother Carter standing by.  If Will has any sense he will seek out the Brooklyn game ASAP.

Game 2

We swapped home for visitor, but kept the teams pretty much the same, other than Phelps who was traded for some reason.  For the first time in a long while, that I have seen, Lattig started on the bump.  He was his usual crafty self, somewhat evident of the Leone process, by way of a frustrating pitch that looks so good, but that one can never hit well.  Greg started for the homers and did well, but the defense was not as good as it was the first game.  We see sawed for a few innings, the game was another low scoring affair.  Don flashed the leather several times in the outfield including robbing Satch of what would have been a stand up triple, or at least a really lazy double. 

Greg did the right thing and bowed out for Sonny, who was making his pitching debut ( I think) and while he got a 1-2-3 inning it was not a particularly efficient one.  However, after that, he settled down, found his rhythm and was great.  Lattig gave way to Phelps (with a pitching aid of glass stuck in his hand) and then John Carey.  Tony came in for the late innings for the homers and did a great job.

The homers were down 3-4 going into 8th, but we had Mitch on our side, who had scored two of our three runs already, and with a towering shot to the deep yard, he had a triple and things were looking up.  Tony followed up with a clean hit and a RBI to tie the game, then took second and third.  Satch strode to the plate with his bat-shaped 2x4 and after a low strike and a waving flail at a curve ball, spread out, choked up and lined one over the first basemen's head for the go ahead run.  So after tying the game, and scoring the go ahead run, Tony took the mound for the 9th, and closed it out.  We honored him with the Style trophy for his custom uniform and high level of play on the day.

Final-5-4

Highlights

* Thank you to every one who came out to play and watch.  Special thanks to all the significant others who put up with us as well as Stella and Rosie, Oliver Smith, Liam, Aiden and sister*, Thomas and Charlie, Wesley, Leo, Helen and Bo, and any other kids and pets whose names I didn't get.

* Jay brought out his fancy camera and tripod, and let us all play photog, hopefully some good shots

* What a difference a Mitch makes.

* James from Coney Island gets the long ball award for a couple of foul balls and a fair ball that all hit the other diamond

* Greg drove from Tahoe that morning, caught, pitched, caught.  Glad I am not his legs.

* The pulled pork, burgers and Brandon Natural Beef ™ steaks were top notch, natch.

* From what I hear, the homemade veggie burgers were also exquisite this year

* Bob hit a towering shot to left field that made it to the other field.  Only one problem, it may have been foul.  Ed maybe didn't see it clearly, but called it fair.  Dustin at third argued there was no way that it was fair.  Bob got the hit and maybe got away with something....

* Don might get the MVP for his winning RBI in the first game and defensive magic in the second

* Tony Rojas also is a strong candidate for the same reasons, however, his slide loses him some points....

* I missed a lot of the game play cuz Lil' Satch had to go pee roughly every 1.1 innings.  Ahh, fatherhood.

*  We had quite a few in and out catches in the outfield

* Mcgrath's kids lost their minds when he took the hill

* Jay won the air guitar award for the day. Glad the music was inspiring.

* I stole second on John when he neglected to remember to go to the stretch.  His frustration was payment enough

* Elvin hit a filthy knuckleball

* Johnny got his first hit, first RBI since his return to the game of the Elysian fields.

* I had two consecutive line drive singles with men in scoring position that yielded 0 runs.  The first runner was held at third after James threw a laser to home and the second runner was thrown out at the plate.  Lucky I got that last RBI.

* I thought we were going to get some good razzing from the drunk in the stands, but he mostly just provided accurate calls of the game.  A gentler, more educated bum....

* Richie was really hoping for the Deserter trophy, I can't tell if that is a good thing or not.

* Elvin saved the camera from a foul ball, and maybe snapped off a action shot. He was less responsive in letting his napping girlfriend know she was in danger of a foul ball landing on her.  ELVIN!

* Tim had some great plays at SS, as did Rojas.

* Happy Fourth everyone!  Thanks for a great time.

PS- Let me know if I missed any vital aspects.