Thursday, April 19, 2018

4/15/18 Cop Field- Unofficial game

An abbreviated attempt at a game was pursued on Sunday.  I showed up sometime after first pitch with the two lil' guys in tow, mostly to get out of the Missus' hair for a few hours and cuz the boys love playing on the old batting cage structure at Sundberg. 

Unfortunately, the skies grew darker the closer we got to SF, and by the time we reached the field it was lightly misting.  The mist turned into a fine rain, lightened for a second, then got steadily heavier and heavier.  We lasted about an hour, I threw batting practice to the kids for a bit, and then called it a day.  No sooner had we gotten into the car then the skies opened up and a real downpour descended on the game, which I figure probably stopped it for good.

I can't tell you anything about what happened, other than Greg was back from Peru, and was pitching which means his knee can't be that bad, or he has taken the traditional MBC play-through-the-pain route.  Either way, it was good to see him. 

Tony was ready to pack it in as soon as the rain started, but was shouted down.  He then had to make a play on a ground ball that threw up a rooster tail of water as it headed towards him, and then when he threw it to first, it looked more like a shot put. 

It was a great showing for a questionable day, all the usual suspects were out.  Too bad it wasn't a full game. 

We drove home, and the rain stopped just as we pulled in to the driveway.  I guess the wind and the storm must have been stronger than I realized, as I found our EZ Up had blown up and over the safety fence and was upside down at the bottom of the pool.  I donned a mask and spent ten minutes in the semi-frigid water, detaching the canopy and pulling the structure to the side so that we could haul it out.  Not how I pictured the day coming to an end.

Let's hope for a nice Sunday to make up for it!

S. Paige

Monday, April 2, 2018

4/1/18 West Sunset

Easter Sunday and April Fools in the one day, and what a day it was.  Glorious weather, warm but not too hot, the field was in immaculate condition, and we had 20 players show up.  How can you go wrong?

The teams may have been a little lopsided, but on the whole, it was a pretty good split.  Chris Powell started for the visitors and Satch, so hungry to play ball that he could hardly stand it, went for the homers.  We shut down the first inning in about 8 pitches, and then went to town to the tune of 5 runs.  We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, until the visitors roared back and tied it up with their own barrage of runs, making it a 5-5 affair.

We traded zeroes for a few innings, and then the homers struck again for another 5 runs, and never looked back.  Chris had given way to New guy Chris, who was a bit wild.  He was then replaced by Abe, who I think I have only seen throw one other time.  It was a pitching by committee for the visitors, for sure.  Satch ended up throwing a  complete game for the homers, which was very nice to air out the arm for a lot of innings.  Special thanks to Tony for letting me keep going, even though I know he wanted to throw.

We tacked on a few more, the visitors had another mini-barrage, but it was too little too late, and with a ground ball to SS we ended the game in a tidy 2.5 hours.

Final score: 14-8

Highlights:

* What an amazing day, other than the sun which temporarily blinded more than a few fielders.

* Thanks to Bob, Ed, Gaspar, Don, Chris for donning the tools of ignorance

* Adam tried the ol' rufus goofus of leaving early and trying to get picked off of first to give the man on third a chance to run home.  Unfortunately, he didn't realize that there was a runner on second too.  He made it back safely.

* Urano had a great day at SS, making play after play with a smooth precision.

* Derek made a great catch in right field after it was obvious that he could not see it in the sun.  It was headed right for him, so at the last second he saw it enough to catch it.

* Additional thanks to Derek's special lady friend who watched the entire game

* RBI Ed is back!

* Bob was HBP, though he tried so little to get out of the way that it was almost batter's interference.

* Big flies were hit by James, Dave, Chris P., Satch.  Should have had the cones out.

* Nick Smith had no luck at first all day, his infield could not throw him a decent ball for an out, he was jumping, and digging, and pulled off the bag every time.

* Speaking of, we have decided that a ball that hits the wall behind 1st, and bounces back is a live ball.  If it goes past the wall to the fence area it is out of bounds.

* We had a couple of good 2-out rallies

* I think I struck out five for the day, the change up was working really well, as was the curve, with the exception of the second inning, when the visitors were squaring up on everything I threw.

* I think James won the biggest hit, he almost reached the other field, and we all thought Loren was going to catch it Willie Mays style-but it ended up right at the fringe of the infield grass. James got a triple because he isn't a fat bag of slow like me.






* Bob told some new guy on his team to tell me to go fuck myself, but he never did.  So I am owed.

*  I think 5 people got hit by pitches, which is more than usual.  Urano and Tony both took one off the knee but seemed to shake it off.

* The grass on the infield is almost too good, you don't expect that a low ground ball will stay low.

* Thanks to everyone that showed up, I would have been super bummed to have to do...gulp...batting practice.

Here are Ed Sidawi's action photos for the day, as well as a slo-mo of Urano's hit/ error off of Chris Powell:





 



S. Paige

Monday, March 12, 2018

M. Sidawi hits a round tripper

Milo gets all of it, and then disses his absent father by refusing to acknowledge or mug for the camera as his mother instructs him. 

He has a bright MBC future ahead of him.




Also that is some bullshit that the first baseman is standing on the bag, when the ball is clearly deep in the outfield.  Could have been ugly if he had obstructed the runner. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

2/25/18 Golden Gate Park

This is a delayed report, and so it might be short on facts. 

Not to mention that me and Lil' Satch got there in the 3rd inning, and played right field the whole time.  There were a lot of people out, so we sat out a lot too.  It was beautiful day, and Mitch pitched a complete game.  I remember that much.  He didn't get the win, but cap tip for the effort.  Tony, Jordan, (?) pitched for the other team.

My first at bat I crushed a ball to center but it was caught.  Never got anywhere close to that again.  I had one hit up the middle that I thought was clean, Chris stopped it, but it had enough English on it that I made it to first.

Another week without Greg which was a bummer.  No update on Elvin's injury either, hopefully not as bad as he thought.

The game went really quickly again, and we added another inning, on the down-low, again.  So that means that Mitch threw 10 inning complete game.

The one thing that was noted was that at one point JT, Bob, and Dennis comprised the right side of the defense, all of whom are 60+.  This may be the first time that happened, but as we stay on with this game, it won't be the last.

S. Paige

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

MBC Stats Part Deux 2011-2018




I found this old post when I was noodling around recently, and thought it would be interesting to update with the changes in the last 7 years.

http://missionbaseball.blogspot.in/2011/11/mbc-stats.html
The first thing that anyone can notice is that there are a lot less write ups per year, mostly due to the fact that I have two kids and a wife now that demand a lot of my time.  Still, I am averaging about 40% attendance, if you count the write-ups as times when I for sure played.


I wrote up this list in 2011, and the updated information is added in red to reflect status or a growing list at the end to incorporate the new dope.  The overarching theme is that the core is pretty much the same, and that the MBC has been repopulating the world in the last few years.
  • Sean is still striking lots of people out- Not as many as he used to, but Sean's capacity to play any position well is more notable.
  • Bob is still getting HBP, and hitting big drives- Still valid
  • Satch is still throwing a knuckleball- You better believe it!  My change up sees a lot more use though, and I can throw it for a strike most times
  • Mitch is still THE deciding defensive factor- I would add to this: James, Chris P
  • Johnny still throws a lot of complete games- I wish this were still true.  We lost the regular attendance of one of our most stalwart players to a embolic stroke in April, 2013.  He still comes out for the doubleheader, but it’s not the same.
  • Noah eats a lot of innings- Noah is in the midst of the new daddy business, I bet he would eat a lot of innings if he had the chance though
  • Nick Smith still hits the other way, and grunts a lot while doing it- He’s older and grumpier now, but that is all that has changed
  • Cagle still bunts and has good defensive skills and gets caught stealing- Brian Cagle went AWOL a few years back.  He was a good guy
  • JT can tell you the runs scored, the runners left on, and the total score before most of us comprehend what we are talking about- Still very relevant, it’s like he isn’t even trying to poison his brain with substances and bad decisions
  • Tony still makes every play look pretty and pitches well in the late innings- Tony has become a premier starting pitcher, going deep into games, has a great curveball.  He still looks pretty on defense, though his error rate may have gone up a little
  • Greg catches a lot, and seems to be involved in a lot of clutch moments- Up until a few weeks ago, then that stupid knee thing.  Hope this becomes the regular again
  • Gaspar is still hitting lots of foul balls and balls the other way, then as soon as you think you got the goods, he hits up the middle- Gaspar is married.  But everything else in this sentence is exactly the same
  • Lattig's B.A. is about .890- Shoulder issues may account for the drop in his average to only .754 is the last few years
  • Noah and Dustin still enjoy the Jamison- I heard this happened again just few weeks ago, Noah’s sweat was testing at 70 proof
  • Girgus is still 90% attitude, when he shows up, which is never- Girgus moved to Echo Park, opened his own barbershop, and is doing well.  He cut Bill Lee’s hair recently
  • Phelps has excelled in making himself a power at each position he has taken- Phelps is in the same boat as me, probably wants to play a lot more than he does.  And he likes to keep it fresh at 2nd and 3rd sometimes
  • Ed is an RBI machine- Ed’s RBI totals have dropped, at least it seems that way.  Maybe just less chances
  • Richie is still a frustrating batter to throw to- Still true, I don’t even try anymore, just throw strikes and hope he hits it right at someone
  • Nero is still agile and nimble at 3rd- It’s a mysterious thing, given that Nero is not the agilest of players that the MBC fields
  • Stoner makes it out once every five weeks, and still likes sliding for fly balls- Aww, Stoner.  Rarely seen anymore, but he was out not too long ago, and had a very Stoner-ish slide
  • Chris hits the hell out of the ball and has great range at SS- Abso-fucking-lutely
  • Duane's triple record may never be broken- I forgot all about Duane’s triples.  We haven’t seen Duane in a while, I am not sure if it’s extended DL or timing
  • Adam is still a master of the scoop at 1st- This is truer than ever.  I would say that Nick S., Sean P and Lattig should be added to this list
  • Nero, Bob, Adam, Greg, Ed, Noah, Rojas, Gaspar, Tim are all still ready and willing to strap on the tools of ignorance- Yes!  Also James, Don, Nick , Jimmy 
  • The MBC East (Brooklyn Ramblers) are still going strong, Saturday mornings- By all accounts, bigger and better each year. We have had a few visitors from the Ramblers, all good people
  • Kvoriak still impresses all with the deep drives- I bet he would if he ever played anymore, quitter.
  • Infield and short outfield pop ups still plague us as the hardest plays to make- Yeah, they still suck. 
  • The addition of Coney Island James gives both teams a chance to have a guy who can hit, run, throw, and argue
  • Elvin came in as a law student and a right-hander, now he is a left-hander and passed the CA Bar.  It took a while, but I think he is proficient.  I cannot vouch for the lawyer part
  • Speaking of lawyers: Abe, John McG, both great players, both lawyers.
  • John McG has gone lefty as well, in response to an injury and has also contributed to the future of the game, with his two boys Liam and Aiden, who are both great players
  • Nick W. aka Magnum PI, has become a regular, and can play everywhere, and dig up dirt on everyone too
  • The era of Sonny the pitcher has been born, frustrating everyone who hits off him
  • John Carey is in college.  Bob must be really old!
  • Loren disappeared for a long while, but now seems to be back, 30lbs lighter and in the midst of an extended hitting slump
  • We had Rich J coming regular for a while, who plays like a real professional, but he is in the midst of new daddy world as well
  • Carter started the FuckFace Bat Co. He also is a new daddy, but his drop off in attendance is too severe for just that.  He is the default Deserter trophy winner until further notice
  • Daniel D. was a regular, with a lot of fashion savvy. He moved to Portland like a chump, though we tried to warn him, then moved back less than a year later.  He is currently in Monterey and also a new daddy.
  • Doc has continued to show up occasionally but in umpire capacity. Always a pleasure
  • West Sunset has been rehabbed and is now the nicest field we play on
  • Abe, Adam, and Randy combined for the only documented triple play in MBC history, it all went down November 13, 2016 
  • I don't think I have used a metal bat in several years
  • Skateboarding is one of the biggest dangers to a MBCers health
  • Dennis is back and we are calling for performance enhancing drug testing
  • Elvin is the first player to win Rookie of the Year twice, once for right-handed, once for left-handed
  • Who has more to add to this list??????

2/18/18 Golden Gate Park




Two weeks in a row, who could believe it?  Of course the holiday weekend helped salve Mrs. Paige into agreeing to let me play again.  This amazing weather we are having was real nice too, it was supposed to be remarkably colder on Sunday than it was, though we did have 3-seconds of rain at one point.  We also had 22 people out, including relatives of Ed and Nick W. 

Sonny started for the homers and was lights out for the first few innings, we were stymied as usual, hitting the piss out of the ball but right to somebody, or awkwardly chopping it weakly on the ground.  I got the start for the visitors, after some well-timed whining and cajoling, cap tip to Lattig for being decent enough to let me throw. 

Now there are those that might say that the teams were a little askew.  We might want to consider a rule about Chris P, James, and Sean P. being on the same team, since they are all guys that can hit for power, steal whatever base they want, and play multiple positions.  And if I wasn't on the same team as all those guys, I would have probably made a fuss about it. 

In any case, the homers gorked, dinked, and flopped two runs out of me in the first inning, they were concentrating all their hitting to the gaps, but only to about 170 feet.  And it worked.  Luckily, that passed, and they never scored again.  I had about 6 Ks, though some of those were people who had never played with us before, so taken with a grain of salt.  But still, felt like a good workout.  Tony came in for one, then Sean for the close, the score being a lopsided 9-2 at that point.

The real story is that I was finally on a team that cracked the Sonny code.  It wasn't pretty at times, but dammit we did it.  In looking back at the blog, I cannot find an example of being on a team that hit Sonny well, so this could be the first time I was on a team that beat Sonny.  He threw the whole game, and earned his stripes for sure, but it felt good to just once have a decent game against him.

The other big story is that Elvin, playing in his third game of the weekend, made an amazing catch in deep center to rob me of a extra base hit, and came up with an injured hammy for his troubles.
This was essentially the play he made:



I would say it was worth it, but I don't have to limp around for a month.  It was an official bad-ass catch and I tip my cap deeply and humbly.  Sidawi, in true AOY manner, told me that I should protest the play (from his own team!) since Elvin was playing outfield with a left-handed first baseman's glove.  To whom should protest to, is the next question?

The game was so crisp, the weather was sunny and warm,  jokes and bullshit peppered the conversations, the only thing lacking was that we were missing the Captain, Greg, who is still laid up with knee issues. Get well soon.

Highlights:

* Ed caught the whole game, as did Tim, and both did very well

* Bob continues to hit triples and stay at first base

* JT calculated that he was 0-5 with four walks (if he had taken them he would have been 0-1.)

* The bums sitting in the stands had one of the best playlists rocking, they were all over the map: outlaw country, speed metal, oldies, black metal.  Guy was in the zone

* Tony reckoned this game almost ranked up there with the Is this really happening game

* Sean on third, I thought a safety squeeze was in order, especially when I saw Nick W. playing so deep.  I bunt, perfectly I might add, and make it safe at first with no play, only to see Sean still on third....



* I had the chance to catch a pop up from Bob, directly in front of him at home

* The game went so quickly that we decided to lose an inning again, and we were still done by 3:45

* The defense was pretty sharp, but the errors that were made seemed costly

* I didn't charge the first ground ball that came back to me on the mound, and it bounced right by.  The next one I did charge and threw out the runner by 40 feet.

* Tony almost had his face taken off by a hard grounder at third.

* Sonny fouled a pitch that was 6 inches above his eyes

* We bucked the odds and had Sean at 3rd for a few innings.  He made a nice play

* Dennis made a good play in left, after a close but no cigar play on a foul ball

* Loren showed up late, got a nice hit

* We did not make the most of the foul pop ups that we had

* Chris hit the shit out a ball that ended up scoring Tony from 1st

* I was dangerously close to recreating this infamous play, after I stole second in an attempt to get picked off an score the runner from third.  Right fielder dropped the pop fly, and I was safe at 2nd, but I was all over the place:





* Tony and I almost pulled off a no-plan squeeze play.  He gave me the cap tug from the batters box, and I answered him right back.  Unfortunately the bunt went foul, but at least we understood one another for the moment.

Hope that leg heals quickly Elvin, I can write a letter of explanation to your baseball tryouts squad if you need it.

Don't look back.

S. Paige

A



Monday, February 12, 2018

2/11/18 Golden Gate Park

It was a gloomy day in the beginning, all that 70+ weather had faded into a gray foggy cold afternoon.  But like most things, you wait long enough and you get the pay off.

I saw the start of the game from the road, as I cruised back and forth trying to find a parking spot, or stalk someone who looked like they were headed towards a car.  Mitch was the starting hurler for the homers, and he did a great job, mixed up his pitches, kept the runners close.  He lasted 8 innings, I think?

Tony started for the visitors, and the very first pitch, Powell took him way deep to left field for a stand-up triple.  The homers were hitting Tony square for the first few innings, and only because of some well-placed defense did we walk away relatively unscathed.  But Tony kept battling.

We had 22 active players, which was nice, including James' brother, Kevin.  Baseball ability seems to run in the family.  Instantly recognized as Coney Island kin, when after a sac fly, he walked back to the dugout saying, "Well, at least I moov-ed the run-nuh."

The sun came out and suddenly it was a beautiful day, the wind died down for a bit, and the game became a real treat.  It was an evenly contested affair, and see-sawed in the middle innings, 2-1 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-4.

I took over in the 6th, and everything felt good.  It is amazing what rest does.  Jimmy caught the entire game, and did a really good job at blocking the dish, and calling the right pitches.  I have a witness in Adam, who saw from first base, a fastball I threw that came out of nowhere, and was easily the hardest ball I have thrown since 2004.  I don't know what I did different, but my arm didn't explode the next pitch, so that was good.

The visitors took the lead in the middle innings, and held a 8-6 score going into the 9th inning.  That was actually the 10th inning.  We flim-flammed the box score since the game as already into the later innings and it wasn't even 3pm yet.  But who wouldn't play extras on a beautiful day, with plenty of reserves?

Jordan, who has been coming regularly and proved himself a good guy, had asked to pitch last week, and this week got his shot.  We threw him directly into the fire with a save situation.  It took him a little while to find his delivery and location, but once he got it, he was great.  The homers scored once, and were threatening, but we buckled down and took the game, 8-7.

Highlights:

* Kudos to Jimmy for catching the whole game

* Kevin and James connected for two of the closest plays at the plate that I have ever seen, and just missed the runner in both cases.  Kevin's arm from center field is just as potent as James'.

* Bob didn't get hit, but he did get a hit.

* Elvin made a great running catch in left field, left handed.

* John McG and Aiden combined for some outs, father and son style, and Aiden had a legit hit to center field, off real pitching.  He's practically a grizzled veteran now.

* I screwed up play at first, ball hit me right in the glove and fell out

* Adam had couple of key RBI knocks, and was told by an MBC'er that his at-bats are the best to watch, he appears totally relaxed until the moment of contact

* The dilemma continues:  bases loaded, one out, do you play corners in, or infield in?  I think the ethos of the MBC is more about getting outs than double plays.  And we have fucked up so many easy chances at double plays up the middle that I don't think it is a reliable play to base a strategy on.

*Powell and I had a epic battle in the middle innings, I think he fouled off 6 balls in a row on a 2 strike count.  I was scraping the barrel for pitches I hadn't already thrown multiple times

* My first at bat I tattooed a ball to left that happened to occur just as the wind died.  Left fielder tracked it down on a dead sprint.  It was a great play.

* Nick Smith, me and Jimmy combined for a 9-4-2 play at the plate, to nab Aiden as he came in hard.  That's why we hit the cutoff!

* Many of the pitchers in the game had at least one inning with sub-7 pitches thrown.

* Helpful hint: When you are tall and fat, you don't need to slide or anything to break up the double play, just run straight at the second baseman.  If it's Dennis, he can't see around you.

* Both teams hit the ball hard all day, but directly at someone for the most part.  Tony caught a line drive at third that he never had to move for, it would have killed him if he hadn't caught it, it was smoked.

* Brian Phelps was later than me, so he gets to be the Late Asshole.

Severe drought in our futures, but for the time-being, the weather sure is nice for a ballgame.

S. Paige

Post-script: Get well soon Greg, it's not the same without you.  And stop kicking cars.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

1/28/18 Golden Gate Park

I don't want to jinx anything but it seems like we are in the midst of a resurgence in attendance at the MBC.  We had 23 players for Sunday, and it was sure nice to be able to enjoy the game, rather than covering for the other teams defense.  I had lil' Satch with me, who covered left field and second base with me. 

Mitch started for the homers and Mike Lattig for the visitors.  They both were tossing good ball, and the score after the first few innings was 3-1.  Mitch wanted it highlighted that in the course of two innings, he retired 5 batters on six pitches.  Pretty damn impressive.  According to my research, Walter Johnson had the most 3-pitch innings in MLB history, with 4.

Lattig gave way to Sonny, who did what he does best, frustrate hitters.  Powell was given the mop-up duty after that.  New guy Chris took over after Mitch, and then I got the 9th inning.  By that point the score was 6-2, and I thought that the 9th inning would not be a problem.  Shows what I know. 

We had lost Greg to a knee injury and he took the momentum with him.  Powell got on, and scored, which is always sort of a given.  But the visitors were showing a lot of life, to the point that we had men on 2nd and 3rd, and the tying run at the plate.  A little more stressful than I was looking for in my inning of work.  JT gets a shout out for coming up with the big 2-out hit, when I was trying to shut it down.  Luckily, we got the fly ball that we needed and the game was ours.

Final 6-4, homers.

Highlights:

* As far as I witnessed, Elvin had 1.000 defensive game.  He made some great catches in the outfield when we needed them.

* Adam likewise had a great game at first base, made some fantastic digs

* Chris Powell made an amazing leaping play at SS, to kill our rally

* Some new guy with a wicked sidearm motion played SS and had the unfortunate luck to get 4 ground balls in a row before he could settle in.  That motion has to be touch for the first baseman to track

* It is official, Loren and Coney Island James are competing for who will break out of their slump first.  Loren's girlfriend got footage of his at-bats on Sunday.  I doubt he wants to share those with the group.

* Mitch kind of did it all on Sunday, great performance on the mound, hit and scored runs, and caught to finish the game.  5 tools.

* While I didn't get him out, I did get Powell to swing and miss at a big ol' knuckleball

* Our 8th inning rally was snuffed out by a double play by the visitors

* James threw out Dennis from center field.  It's his new move.

* Doc came out and umpired from the 4th inning on.  It was great to see him, and he was moving like a spritely man of 55.

* Gaspar defied the Gasparian odds with a single up the middle, after hitting two foul balls that were textbook Gaspar

* Tony suggested that the Hall Of Shame post was too harsh.  I would counter that hitting anyone three times in one at-bat is harsh.  Even if it was Bob.

No rain for at least a few weeks in the forecast!

San Quentin 2018 season looms.

S. Paige

Monday, January 22, 2018

1/21/18 West Sunset


No word on the outcome of the game, but two notable occurrences:

* Abe left the game after fouling a ball off of his shin (Goose egg, no structural damage)

* Tony hit Bob three times in the course of one at-bat, which has to be a MBC record.  I will comb the archives to make sure, but welcome to the Hall of Shame, Mr. Rojas.




* No witnesses have come forward to testify if Bob rubbed any of the impacted areas.  For his sake, I hope not.

S. Paige

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1/14/18 West Sunset Fields 1 and 2

It was really nice to get out to the game again. 

The holidays, the stress, the travel, the sickness, it call came a'calling this December, and damn it feels good to have it all be in the rear view mirror.  And what a field to play on, the West Sunset renovations have really spruced the place up.  In addition to the sculpted infield and new cages and fences, there is also a clean new bathroom facility, and paved dugouts to avoid the mud pits of yesteryear.  I love it!  And as an added bonus, when the high school team kicks you off the field in the middle of your game, the JV field is now fully integrated for actual baseball, no more multi-purpose, no mound fields!  Hooray!

We had 20 players come out, Sonny started for the homers, and Tony for the visitors.  The mystery of Sonny continues, as we were baffled through the first innings, unable to score a run, or even get good contact.  Tony was not in top form, but he made the pitches when they were absolutely needed, and he escaped several jams.  The homers scored first, and after what seemed like a really long time, we tied the game at 1, and then managed to go ahead 2-1.  There is stayed until I took over in the 5th inning.  I was itching to pitch, had been since a month earlier.  I didn't hit anyone, so I can say that.  I did cough up the lead, and we entered the middle innings knotted at 2.  Then the kids showed up, and we schlepped everything down to to the other diamond, kicked off the father and son who were minding their own business (happy ending: they went tot he upper field which was the right size for the kid) and kept on playing.  New guy had replaced Sonny, but the wildness remained.

We picked up another run, and down to the ninth we went, clutching at a 3-2 lead. Luckily the homers were a little too anxious to win that game, and the first two batters swung at the first pitch, and we had 2 outs just like that.  The game ended, but not the fire in the belly of the players, so we played on into extra innings.  The momentum shifted for the homers, and they finally scored the tying and then the winning run, capitalizing on our mistakes. 

So a nice ending for all, visitors in regulation: 3-2; homers in extra: 4-3.

Highlights:

* There were at least 3 leaping catches of line drives: Powell, Zuckerman, Lattig

* Greg caught all 11 innings, like a real catcher is supposed to.

* Apparently Nick W. is a catcher now too, and a good one, by all accounts

* The Nick Smith shift paid off

* I had a defensive gem of a game, including a sliding catch on a dying line drive in right (ala Matt Stone), a hot one hopper back to the mound, a diving snare of a foul ball in no man's land on the third base side, and I remembered to back up third!

* Sonny pitched very well again, but I am starting to think that it is the effectively wild aspect is playing a bigger part than previously thought.

* Greg made several good blocks, until I could figure out how to throw my curveball

* Elvin made a nice defensive play in left field, left handed

* Loren as well, in right, right handed

* Our lead may have been due to what Brian Girgus coined "Ol' Fashioned Shitty Fielding"

* The JV field boasts a left field fence, at about 258 feet?  It's a tantalizing attraction.  I got one chance and I hit an Oops ball through the right side of the infield.  Just as I planned.....

* The homers had a lot of speed on their side, we had James and then the rest of us, which could collectively be called The Trailer.

* Between Mitch at third, and Powell at SS, they made about 17 put outs for the homers.  Not hyperbole.

* Abe tried to stop a inside pitch with his hand.  When will these kids learn that the thing to do is lean back, but stick your elbow out, get hit, then milk the sympathy.

* James made a great play in short left, on the run from 3rd.  But it never should have been his ball. 

* Dugout conversation: Why do we have so many lawyers that play with us?  The founding members of the MBC were the antithesis of lawyers, the dark matter of lawyers, if you will.  So what's the deal?  I guess if we ever needed legal advice, we have a wide array of experts to choose from, but so far, I don't think too many people have needed tax help, or committed a crime in Santa Cruz.  And why no MDs?  Doctors like baseball, don't they?  We have had at least two PhDs (Doc and JT) but no medical minds.  No RNs that I can think of either, which would actually be more helpful. 

* Thanks to Sean P for this cinematic glimpse into what critics are calling:  A Perfect Start to a Failed Pitch Out:




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12/10/17 West Sunset (Remodeled)

I really wanted to be out there on Sunday, but I was dismantling a 15' redwood garage door, in order to salvage some nice lumber for a future project.  Luckily, Mike Lattig had nothing keeping him from the game, and filed this report on the new, and improved West Sunset Field.



The new field was as pristine as the weather - and as perfect as the turnout (an exact 18). Sadly for the pitchers, the same can't be said of the defense on Sunday. Through the first four innings, there were probably somewhere on the order of 10-12 errors. A few of them sun related, a number of them glove-related. And one of them (I'm looking at you Don) feet-related. 

Greg was the first to take the immaculate new hill in the middle of the diamond, and was able to wiggle out of a two on, two out jam to leave it scoreless. Nick toed the rubber for the visitors, and struggled with his command early before his defense began to struggle with their command of catching the ball late. Fortunately for us, that ineptitude in the field was matched by the homers as the game quickly turned very Mission-y... Maybe we just aren't used to a field where the ball rolls that nicely and takes true hops? 

The first sign of trouble was when Mike (Chris' friend, not sure of his last name) in-advisably tried to take third on a fly out to Don in center in the second inning. The throw had him by 5 feet, but short-hopped Tony and skittered to the fence. Mike decided to break for home, and Tony would have had the ball, ready to throw, with him only about a quarter of the way there. But he couldn't find the handle. And then couldn't find the handle. And then couldn't find the handle. 

That theme repeated for both sides over the next few innings. And by the time Greg and Nick made way for fresh meat sometime around the 5th the score was about 10-6 visitors. We eked out a couple more runs against Sean over the ensuing innings, as Mitch kept a tight leash on the homers - and we headed to the 9th up 12-6. 

But, as is often the case, no lead is completely safe. A string of hits (some solid, some bloops) in the 9th, along with a dropped fly ball in left, had the tying run on first with two outs. Alas, we locked it down finally and left with a 12-10 victory. 

Highlights

* The Jameson Twins made their long overdue returns. Looking like they've been enjoying their downtime to the fullest. They've threatened to become more regular again. We shall see. 

* The sun was the star of the game (see what I did there) for both offenses. Any ball hit into the air in center or left was an adventure. So hat tip to those brave souls (Don, Mitch, Noah, James, Nick) who manned those positions and gave it their best. 

* Mitch made two great catches. One a line drive back to the box while pitching, the other an over the shoulder catch in center after breaking in, losing the ball in the sun, and then having Noah direct him to the right spot. 

* I remember solid line drives from Tony, Mike, Randy, Sean... I'm sure there were more. So it wasn't all bloopers and sun balls. But there were a lot of them. 

* There was a broken windshield in the parking lot, and Parks and Rec came out. Unclear if we'll be on the hook for anything, but stay tuned in case a hat needs to be passed... 

Overall, the new field is stellar. Every ball I threw around the infield from first base took nice true hops, rolled smoothly, etc... It was a treat to play on a great infield for a change. Just have to consider whether playing there in the winter - when the sun is low in the southern sky - is the best idea.